Opening CSV files

Have a problem opening a .CSV file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what CSV files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .CSV file type?

The .csv filename extension stands for 'Comma-Separated Values' (CSV) and is used to distinguish plaintext files that are lists of text data conventionally separated by the 'comma' character (UTF-8: 0x2C). However, depending on an application, other delimiter characters like semi-colon can be used with CSV files.

Basically, CSV is a text-based format for exchange of table data. In a .csv file, each line is a table's row (or a record), while data portions separated with the delimiter represent cells (or record fields). Cells above and below each other form columns. CSV files can be used for any type of table data that can be presented (serialized) with printable characters.

CSV files can be opened with any text editor. Although not suitable for handling hierarchical data structures (like HTML markup), CSV files are still commonly used as a way to exchange linear table data between otherwise incompatible databases, applications etc. Many office productivity suites support both export and import of CSV files. Another common use of CSV files is exchanging contact information in mobile phones.

Software to open or convert CSV files

You can open CSV files with the following programs: 

Popular formats