What Is a CVS File?

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Short for "comma-separated values," CSV is a common file format type that utilizes a text-based system that places commas to separate the values in each field of data. The CSV format is often used to transfer information from one software application to another.

Most spreadsheet and database programs, including Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access, are able to open this type of file. A CSV file is also a commonly supported file format among several widely known accounting programs, including Quickbooks and Microsoft Money. Most software applications that can open these files are also able to export data in a CSV format.