Open CSV File

Information, tips and instructions

What is CSV file and how to open it

CSV file is a text-based file format for storing comma delimited data. Data in CSV file is format is stored in comma delimited text fields where each field represents one value. Values could be in any format and contain both numerical and textual data. That means that there is no limitation to which data you can store in CSV file as far as it is textual. Values in CSV file can even contain special characters supported by CSV file encoding.

CSV file is typically not limited by size and can contain any number of rows and values in each row.

Typically, it is assumed by many that every row in CSV file should contain similar number of fields, but it is not part of CSV standard. If necessary, every row in CSV file can contain different number of values. This confusion is frequent because CSV files are very popular on the internet to export some kind of table data to the user computer and table data typically has same number of columns for every row. Similarly, CSV files frequently expected to contain names of columns in the first row. This is also not a part of CSV standard. It is how the tables are typically exported to CSV format.

Opening CSV file

There are many different ways to open CSV file, and you can choose how you want to open it depending on what you need to do with the data inside the CSV file. If you want to view this data as a table the best way would be to open it in spreadsheet processing software like Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers.

If you want to view it as a text file than you can use software which can view CSV file as text: Windows Notepad, Apple TextEdit, Vim.

Below is a list of software which can easily open CSV files: