Comma-Separated Values File

Comma-Separated Values File

« Back to Glossary Index
Visit Us
Follow Me

A Comma-Separated Values (CSV) file is a type of plain text file that uses specific structuring to arrange tabular data. It’s a simple and compact format where each line of the file corresponds to a single row in a table.

Within a CSV file:

Each line represents a new data record.
Each record consists of one or more fields, separated by commas.
The use of the comma as a field separator is the source of the name for this file format.
For example, consider the following data in a CSV file:

Name, Age, Country
John, 35, USA
Alice, 28, Canada
Bob, 30, UK

In this case, the first line defines the column names, and each subsequent line corresponds to a row of data.

CSV files are widely used for simple data storage and exchange because of their simplicity and wide support by a variety of applications. They can be opened and edited with any text editor, and are also easily processed by computer programs. Common uses include exporting data from structured databases or spreadsheets for use in other programs, and transferring data between different software applications that support CSV input and output.

One limitation of CSV files is that they don’t handle complex data types and structures very well. For example, they don’t natively support nested or hierarchical data. If you’re working with such data, formats like JSON or XML might be more appropriate.

You may also like...