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Prepare your file – Part 1: Understanding and formatting a CSV file
Prepare your file – Part 1: Understanding and formatting a CSV file

Learn what a CSV file is and how to create one with Excel or another spreadsheet program

Cláudia Duarte avatar
Written by Cláudia Duarte
Updated over a week ago

CSV stands for Comma-Separated Values and is a file format where each value is separated by commas to store tabular data. CSV has widespread support and is the most popular method to exchange spreadsheets and databases, for which reason FULL FABRIC imports exclusively from CSV.

If you mean to do an import you must get acquainted with this format and what measures are needed to build a workable table, in that preparing your file is absolutely key! 🗝

Understanding and creating a CSV file

Simply put, CSV are plain text files with very specific formatting where each value is delimited by a field separator, the default being a comma (,), but CSV can also handle other separators such as semi-colons (;), colons (:) and tabs.

You can pretty much use any text editor to create a CSV file, but we strongly recommend using your favourite spreadsheet program (e.g., Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, OpenOffice Calc) because the data is sorted into columns and much easier to parse (plus you get dodge the learning curve of CSV dialect). 😁 

So, just create a table as you normally would while bearing the coming rules in mind and do Save As… or Export… to Comma Separated Values (.csv).

For reference, here’s an Excel table:

And here’s the same table after conversion to .csv:

Spreadsheet programs don’t always export with commas as separators depending on your regional settings (like commas being set as decimals and semi-colons being set as list separators), but don’t worry: your file can be imported all the same!🏅This is just something to be aware of because it will come in handy with the importer.


PUBLISHED: October 2, 2018
LAST UPDATED: October 2, 2018 at 4:46 p.m.

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