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.csv file extension

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1. Comma Separated Values file.

A .csv file is a text editable file, commonly referred to as a CSV file, that contains one record per line with field values for each record separated by commas. A common format for exchanging data between database or spreadsheet systems.

CSV files may have the first line in the file specifying the field names rather than data. However, this is not guaranteed and CSV files do not need to have field names in the first row - although field names must be in the first row if they are included at all.

Typically text fields are quoted, meaning that a text field is surrounded by double quotes. This allows a text field to contain a comma, which would otherwise be treated as a field separator. Be aware that text fields do not need to be quoted, although if they are not quoted then they cannot (or should not) contain a comma as the comma will be interpreted as a field separator.

Each row in the CSV file should contain the same number of fields.

2. Tab Separated Values file.

A .csv file can be a tab separated values file, this is a text editable file which contains one record per line with field values for each record separated by a TAB (hence tab-separated-values). It is a file format which is virtually identical to that of a comma-separated-file (CSV), except that it uses a TAB as a field delimiter instead of a comma.

A TSV file would normally be given the file extension of .tsv and not .csv, but many packages save tab-separated-values to .csv files.

Can you add to this? Do you know of any applications not already listed which will work with .csv files, view .csv files or open .csv files? Are you able to contribute any additional reference information or file format information about .csv files or have you spotted any errors or omissions? If so please let us know by emailing us at feedback@cryer.co.uk - Thank you.