What is a CSV file and how to open it?

13 November 2023By Dasha

CSV file format is a common format for storing tabular data. It provides a simple and efficient way to organize and exchange data between different software applications. In this article, we will look at what CSV files are and how to open, create, and save them.

What is a CSV file and how to open it?

What is a CSV file?

Comma-Separated Values, or a CSV file is a text file that stores data in table form, where each line represents a row of data and each field in that row is separated by a comma. CSV files are simple and easy to use, making them a popular option for exchanging data between different programs, databases, and spreadsheets.

Data in a CSV file is represented as rows and columns. Rows are separated by newline characters and columns by commas, which give it the name “Comma Separated Values”.

In many CSV files, the first line is used as a header line containing the column names. This helps users to understand the meaning of each column.

Here’s what the data in a CSV file might look like:

What is a CSV file and how to open it?

Now let’s see how you can open and work with CSV format in ONLYOFFICE Spreadsheet Editor.

How to open a CSV file

Opening a CSV file is a simple process. You can use different tools depending on your needs:

  • Text Editors. Notepad (Windows), TextEdit (Mac), or Gedit (Linux) can help you to visualize the data.
  • Programming Languages. If you are comfortable with programming, you can use languages like Python, R, or Java to read and manipulate CSV files.
  • Spreadsheet Software. If you plan to analyze and visualize data using charts and graphs.

ONLYOFFICE Spreadsheet Editor allows you to open a CSV file and present the data in a table in a few steps.

Open ONLYOFFICE editors, click Open local file, and choose your CSV file from the storage.

What is a CSV file and how to open it?

Once the file is selected, the spreadsheet editor window will open.

Select the CSV options – delimiter and encoding – you need to visualize the data and click OK.

If you have configured CSV options for your file once, you will not need to customize them every time you open a document. They will be automatically saved in the local storage, which prevents you from having to change it every time.

What is a CSV file and how to open it?

In the online version of ONLYOFFICE editors, you can also preview the way your data will look like. If you change the delimiter options from the drop-down list, the view of your data will change in the preview window. Select the one that suits you best and click OK.

What is a CSV file and how to open it?

Here’s how the data will look in a table.

What is a CSV file and how to open it?

After that, you can format the table: change column widths, wrap text, apply ready-made table templates, highlight tables or terms with important data, etc.

How to create a CSV file

You can also create a CSV file using the ONLYOFFICE Spreadsheet Editor. This is the most convenient way, as you don’t have to pay attention to the correct punctuation, but enter data into the table immediately.

  • Open a blank spreadsheet or a ready one you want to get in CSV format.
  • If you create a table from scratch, enter your data into the cells, with each row representing a new record and each column representing a field.
  • Go to the File tab in the upper left corner.
  • Select the Save As option.

What is a CSV file and how to open it?

  • Select a location to save the file.
  • Click the Save button to save your spreadsheet as a CSV file.

Get ONLYOFFICE editors

Work with CSV files easily online with a free ONLYOFFICE DocSpace account or get a desktop app for Windows, Linux, or macOS:


Discover all new features of ONLYOFFICE Docs v7.5: