What Is a CSV File?


Quick Answer

A CSV (comma-separated values) file stores data tables in text format. This file uses an indicator, called a delimiter, to separate column names, row names and cell values in a data table.

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Full Answer

CSV files often use commas as their delimiter but can use other types of characters, such as colons or apostrophes. A number of programs, including spreadsheet and database programs, import and export CSV files using these delimiters. These programs ask which delimiters are used in the file. The user must specify the correct delimiter when importing or exporting a CSV file using these programs, or the data cannot be read correctly.

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