Suppose, you have an Excel spreadsheet that you want to save as a CSV file. In general, CSV files take up less space so they are easy to share with others. Also, they are supported by a variety of programs, which only adds to their popularity.
Basics of CSV File
Throughout this article, we will show you 3 quick & proven methods of saving your Excel file in the CSV format. In addition, you’ll learn about the available formats of CSV, and get a good grasp of choosing the correct CSV format when saving your file.
What Is a CSV File?
CSV stands for comma-separated values. In simple terms, each line consists of multiple fields or values which are separated by commas. A CSV file stores tabular data – simply put, numbers and texts. This explains its popularity as a method for exchanging data. Therefore, it is widely used by businesses and in scientific applications.
Available Formats of CSV
The below table describes the available formats of CSV files.
|CSV (comma separated)||This format saves your worksheet as a comma-separated text file.|
|CSV UTF 8 (comma separated)||Your file is saved as a comma-separated text, in addition to supporting characters and special symbols.|
|CSV (Macintosh)||Saves the text file in a format suitable for Macintosh operating system.|
|CSV (MS-DOS)||The saved text file is intended for MS-DOS operating system.|
|Unicode (*.txt)||Saves your spreadsheet as Unicode text.|
Save Excel File as CSV: 3 Methods
Now, to illustrate the first method, we will use the following dataset. Here, the dataset contains the Names of employees in the first column while the second column shows their Sales figures.
1. Saving the Worksheet as CSV (Comma Delimited) File in Excel
In this method, we’ll explore the classical method of saving your Excel file in CSV format. It’s simple and easy, just follow along.
Step 01: Go to the Active Worksheet & Save
To save the above Excel file in CSV format, you need to follow these steps.
- Firstly, navigate to the worksheet you want to export to CSV since only the active sheet will be converted to CSV.
- Next, click the File tab.
- Then, select the Save As option.
Step 02: Choose Your Preferred Directory & File Format
- Secondly, click on Browse and select a directory to save your CSV file.
- Next, enter the file name and from the drop-down select CSV (Comma delimited)(*.csv).
- Lastly, click on Save to convert your Excel file to CSV.
- As a side note, in case a warning window pops up, click OK to resolve the issue.
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2. Using CSV UTF 8 Format to Save Excel File as CSV
If your worksheet contains foreign symbols or characters, then the method shown above won’t work. This is due to the fact that the CSV format removes any non-ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) characters present in your spreadsheet. So, let’s begin.
In order to demonstrate our second method, we will refer to this dataset. Here, the first column of the dataset contains the names of the Items while the second column contains their corresponding non-ASCII Symbols.
In order to save the above Excel file in CSV UTF-8 format, follow these steps.
Step 01: Save Your Worksheet
- Firstly, locate your target spreadsheet and click on the File tab.
- Then, select the Save As option.
Step 02: Designate the File Location & Format
- Secondly, click on Browse and choose a folder to save your CSV file.
- Next, type in file name and choose CSV UTF-8 (comma delimited) (*.csv) extension.
- Then, click on Save.
- Finally, open your saved document with a preferred text editor, for instance: Notepad.
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3. Saving as Unicode Text and Then Converting It to CSV in Excel
If you’re using an earlier version of Excel and want to preserve the special symbols in your CSV, this method will be beneficial for you.
As a note, if you’re Excel’s older versions do not support the UTF-8 encoding which adds an extra step to the conversion process.
Here, we’ll use the same dataset as the second. So, let’s see it in action.
Step 01: Select & Save the Worksheet
- Initially, go to the spreadsheet you want to save and click the File option.
- Then, select the Save As.
Step 02: Pick the File Location & Format
- Secondly, click on Browse to save your CSV file at your desired location.
- Next, rename the file and select Unicode Text (*.txt), and click on Save.
Step 03: Replace Tab Character with Comma
- Thirdly, open your saved document in a text editor, like Notepad.
- Following this, use CTRL + H to open a dialog box.
- In turn, copy the tab character with CTRL + C, paste it into the Find what box, and type in a comma in the Replace with box.
- Next, click Replace All and close the dialog box.
Step 04: Provide the Correct Encoding
- Now, add a (.csv) extension to the file and choose UTF-8 with BOM Encoding.
- Finally, open your saved file in Notepad.
Download Practice Workbook
In short, this tutorial demonstrates 3 simple methods to convert Excel files to CSV. Download the practice worksheet contained in this article to put your skills to the test. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the box below. Our team will try to respond to your message as soon as possible. Keep an eye out for more innovative Microsoft Excel solutions in the future.