There are different file extensions in MS Office and they offer their own advantages. For instance, CSV is an alternative often considered to excel.

CSV stands for “comma-separated values” since it is a file that can save data in a table formatIt becomes useful when one is handling large databases.

How to Create CSV Files?

This is a format that comes of use when large database data is being created and saved. It can help convert suchdata from other sources such as Microsoft Excel, Google Spreadsheets, Notepad, and others.

Convert Microsoft Excel to CSV

  1. Step 1

Start by opening a new spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. In order to do so, visit the Start option on your computer, find the MS Office suite and open Excel. Start with a blank document.

  1. Step 2

Once the new spreadsheet is opened, type in field name, header in the cells in row 1 or in any other row of your choice. For instance, you could be creating a list with different headers in the cells.

  1. Step 3

Once the header row is created, start by entering the data below each. From the column for numbers to product names, descriptions and values, continue filling in the data as you would create a list or database.

  1. Step 4

Once the data has been filled, you need to save the spreadsheet. Click on “File” and find the “Save As” option. Here you need to choose to save the file in CSV format.

  1. Step 5

Here you will find the pop-up box for ‘Save’ and the save type options in the drop-down menu. Choose to save the file in CSV format. Type in a name for the file and select the ‘Save’ option.

  1. Step 6

Find the CSV file in the saved folder or subfolder. When you click it to open it will reveal the data with commas added to separate the data in the different fields.

How to Convert Notepad to CSV File

  • Go to Programs or Start option on your computer and select Notepad. Start by typing in field names and separate them by commas. Write down the first line, entering items data as you would in column form such as number, item name, description, number, values and so forth.
  • Place commas between the items and don’t leave spaces.  Move onto the second line, entering data in the same way. Use the same format as specified on the first line and enter data under the field names accordingly. Continue to type in data for every individual item on subsequent lines. Even if a field is left empty add a comma to ensure that the field remains.
  • Click on File and then opt for ‘Save’, choosing .csv as the file extension from the drop-down menu options. Click Save. The file is now saved in Notepad.

How to Convert an Existing Excel Spreadsheet to CSV Format?

  • If you have an existing Excel sheet that you wish to convert and open in CSV format, once you open the same you find the columns in different orders. Columns could be with headings like ID, Email, Role, Description, Boss ID, Names of employees and so forth, as seen in the image below.
  • Custom tag fields can be imported to CSV files as well. For instance, you can label columns with headings that correspond to the names of tag fields. For instance, in the image above, enter individual skills and separate them by colons as under Skills heading.
  • In this, choose to save the file. Go to File, choose option Save As and enter a file name. Select the Save as type as CSV which comes in the drop-down menu.  You might get messages like “Some features may be lost” but if you wish to continue importing the file in CSV format, click on Continue option.

How to Open CSV File in Google Sheets?

CSV files are useful for exporting report documents. One can open Google spreadsheets in CSV format as well.

  • If you are starting to formulate data in a new spreadsheet, start by choosing a new file as below.

  • If you have data existing in another location, you can import the same onto this spreadsheet by using the Import option from the drop-down menu on File.

  • Choose the Upload tab, open a file and find the file you wish to import to the spreadsheet.

  • When the file settings open up under Import option, choose No as an option for converting text numbers and dates. Click on the button for Import data. It would open the CSV file in table format. This is a useful technique when you wish to edit data saved in CSV format.

  • The spreadsheet can now be edited. Once details are entered or edited as required, it can be saved in CSV format again. Go to File option on the menu, select the Download button and click on the comma-separated values option.

The above steps help you open an existing CSV file in spreadsheet form. It also helps to convert the same back to CSV format. Once the download as an option is chosen, click on Ok to save the document in this format.

How to Open CSV File in the Old Version of Excel?

  • Visit Data tab, click on From Text and choose the file extension .csv to open.

  • Choose the CSV file you wish to open and get data from. This will open in ‘Text Import Wizard’.

  • Choose Unicode UTF-8 as a ‘File Origin’ option and check off Delimited. To ensure that Excel can read and convert data into columns, check the ‘Comma’ option.

  • Click on a given column, set the option of column data format to Text and then finish the import function by clicking on OK.

The above instances show how one can import Excel, Google sheets or Notepad to CSV file format and vice versa as well as save such file formats in CSV.

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