Open CSV File – What is and How to View – Format and Programs

File type: Comma Separated Values


What is

Comma Separated Values Files by default use the CSV file extension for proper identification. Under this format, every line is represented by new rows with values organized by cells either in a database or spreadsheet application.

This file format uses a comma as a delimiter for information contained in the file which can be exported into supporting programs. If necessary, the comma is also enclosed in quotes.

Once the data is imported from a supporting application like for example Microsoft Excel, it can then be exported to whatever format is required or supported by the host application. When importing the data, it normally follows the formatting of the spreadsheet or database application that will host the information.

This format file represents one of the more standard ways of transferring data to and from a spreadsheet software.

The CSV file extension was derived from the CSL (Comma Separated List) format which dates back to the earliest appearance of Personal Computers in the IT industry.

This was widely deployed in earlier pre-IBM PC units for use with tape storage backups along with interchange database information between machines with varying architectures.


HOw to open CSV Files 

Category: Data Files
File format: Open-Source
Open with Windows: Microsoft Excel, Database Programs, standard Text Editors
Open with Linux: Microsoft Excel with CrossOver, standard Text Editors
The format applied by this technology allowed small businesses during those times to address the unavailability of affordable drives and rely mostly on floppy disk based applications for their computing. The implementation of the CSV file extension can be diverse; thereby creating interoperability problems.
In October 2005, the RFC 4180 defined the specifications to be used for text/csv in relation to Internet communication. Fielded Text also employs industry standards covering the .CSV file extension.
Despite the various usage, the basic rules covering the CSV format files include the use of comma to represent a new value and double quote enclosure for using special characters or empty strings.
These rules also do not use special character encoding, line terminator, or byte order formats. The main terminator used for each line is the line feed or carriage return with additional functional support for embedded line breaks. In most cases, the comma represents the delimiting character except in localities wherein the comma is utilized for a decimal point. In this context, the semicolon serves as the data delimiter.