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Comma-separated values

File format used to store data / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Comma-separated values (CSV) is a text file format that uses commas to separate values. A CSV file stores tabular data (numbers and text) in plain text, where each line of the file typically represents one data record. Each record consists of the same number of fields, and these are separated by commas in the CSV file. If the field delimiter itself may appear within a field, fields can be surrounded with quotation marks.[3]

Quick facts: Filename extension, Internet media type,...
Comma-separated values
A simple CSV file listing three people and the companies they work for
Filename extension.csv
Internet media typetext/csv[1]
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)public.comma-separated-values-text[2]
UTI conformationpublic.delimited-values-text[2]
Type of formatmulti-platform, serial data streams
Container fordatabase information organized as field separated lists
StandardRFC 4180

The CSV file format is one type of delimiter-separated file format.[4] Delimiters frequently used include the comma, tab, space, and semicolon. Delimiter-separated files are often given a ".csv" extension even when the field separator is not a comma. Many applications or libraries that consume or produce CSV files have options to specify an alternative delimiter.[5]

The lack of adherence to the CSV standard RFC 4180 necessitates the support for a variety of CSV formats in data input software. Despite this drawback, CSV remains widespread in data applications and is widely supported by a variety of software, including common spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel.[6] Benefits cited in favor of CSV include human readability and the simplicity of the format.[7]