How to change a tab-delimited text file to a CSV file
A tab-delimited text file is a text file whose units of text are separated by a tab character. These tab characters organize the text into tabular data. You can convert the file to a CSV (comma-separated values) file by using a spreadsheet application such as Microsoft Excel or LibreOffice Calc.
Using Microsoft Excel
- Open Microsoft Excel.
- Click on the File tab in the top Ribbon menu and select the Open option.
- Click the Browse option to bring up the Open or Browse window.
- Next to the File Name field, click on the File Type drop-down menu and select the Text Files option.
- Navigate to the location of the text file, select it, and click the Open button.
- In the Text Import Wizard, the Delimited option should already be selected (shown below). Click the Next button to go to Step 2 of the wizard.
Note: If the text file has a header row in it (a row that identifies the name of each column of data), click the check box for My data has headers.
- Make sure the Tab option is checked and validate the data is separated correctly in the Data preview section.
- If you want to format each column of data, like text, date, or numeric, click the Next button to go to Step 3 of the wizard and select the format type for each column of data. If you don't need to format each column of data, click the Finish button.
- The text file data will be converted into spreadsheet format. Again, click on the File tab in the top Ribbon menu and select the Save As option.
- In the Save As window, select the CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv) option in the Save as type drop-down menu.
- Type in a name for the CSV file in the File name field, navigate to where you want to save the file, then click the Save button.
The file will be saved as a CSV file, which is a text file that uses commas as delimiters. It can be opened in a spreadsheet application or in any text editor.
Using LibreOffice Calc
LibreOffice is a free, open-source office productivity software suite that runs on many operating systems, including Linux, Microsoft Windows, and macOS. Its spreadsheet application is LibreOffice Calc.
Follow these steps to open a tab-delimited text file in LibreOffice Calc, view it as a spreadsheet, and save it as a CSV file.
- Open LibreOffice Calc.
- From the File menu, select Open... and select your tab-delimited text file.
- Once the Text Import dialog box opens, by default, it will interpret tabs, commas, and semicolons as column delimiters, and newlines as row delimiters.
- Unselect Comma and Semicolon.
- Click OK. Your data will load into a spreadsheet.
- You can now select Save As... from the File Menu, and choose Text CSV (.csv) as the File Type.
- To save the file, click Save.