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What is a CSV file?

CSV files, short for Comma-Separated Values, serve as a fundamental tool for organizing structured data in a universally understandable format. In essence, these files represent tabular data, where each line signifies a record, and the data within is separated by commas or other specified delimiters. While they are called Comma-Separated Values, it is not always the case that a comma is used as a delimiter. Other commonly used delimiters are:

What is a CSV file?

Advantages of using CSV Files

One of the significant advantages of CSV files lies in their simplicity and versatility. Being plain text, they can be created, modified, and interpreted using any text editor. Furthermore, CSV files are supported by virtually all spreadsheet software, databases, and data processing tools. This wide compatibility ensures seamless data exchange and interpretation across various platforms. Another great benefit of using CSV file formats is that there are no limitations to the number of rows and columns.

Specifications

Typically, the first row of a CSV file contains headers, providing labels for each column and offering valuable context to the data. This clear structuring allows for easy comprehension and integration into various applications, making CSV files invaluable for tasks involving data analysis, migration, and integration. In the example below, you can see how a CSV file is structured. This example uses semicolons as delimiters.

postal_code;country;revenue;number_of_customers
4617;The Netherlands;7788;70;111.26
4280;The Netherlands;7722;123;62.78
6349;The Netherlands;11219;50;224.38
8239;The Netherlands;6054;51;118.71
5387;The Netherlands;6075;47;129.26

Associated filename extensions

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