How to open a CSV file.

A comma-separated values (CSV) file is any file containing text that is separated with a comma, but can also be a file separated with any other character. A CSV file can be opened in any program, however, for most users a CSV file is best viewed through a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel, Open Office Calc or Google Docs.

Tip: If you do not have a spreadsheet program installed on your computer consider using an online Spreadsheet such as Google Docs or a free Spreadsheet program.

Microsoft Excel
Open Office Calc
Google Docs

Microsoft Excel

If Microsoft Excel has been installed on the computer, by default CSV files should open automatically in Excel when the file icon is double-clicked. If you are getting an Open With prompt when opening the CSV file, choose Microsoft Excel from the available programs to open the file with.

Alternatively you can open Microsoft Excel and click File, Open, and select the .CSV file. If the file is not listed make sure to change the file type to be opened to Text files (*.prn, *.txt, *.csv).

Open Office Calc

If Open Office has been installed on the computer, by default CSV files should open automatically in Calc when the file icon is double-clicked. If you are getting an Open With prompt when opening the CSV file, choose Open office Calc from the available programs to open the file with.

Alternatively in Open Office Calc click File, Open, and select the .CSV file.

Google Docs

Open Google Docs, Click the Upload icon, Files, and browse to the directory containing the .CSV file. If an Upload settings window appears check the Convert documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and drawings to the corresponding Google Docs format checkbox and click Start upload.

Additional information

  • See our CSV definition for further information on this term and related links.