A colleague of yours has sent you a list of names and / or data in the form of file CSV but you don't know what program to open it with? Have you exported the address book of your smartphone or your old PC as a CSV file and now you don't know how to import it into Outlook, Thunderbird or your favorite Web Mail service? Don't panic, it is a much simpler operation than you imagine.
First of all we begin to clarify a basic concept: CSV stands for comma-separated values, i.e. comma separated values, this means that CSV files are nothing more than text files designed to host long lists of data. In theory, they could also be opened with Notepad, TextEdit or any other simple text editor, but their consultation, acting in this way, is somewhat difficult (you only read a series of names, data and figures without an apparent logical sense) . To understand something e open CSV file correctly, it is advisable to use programs for processing spreadsheets, such as Microsoft Excel or LibreOffice Calc, which allow you to import data from CSV files and sort them into separate cells, thus facilitating consultation.
A separate discussion, then, must be made for CSV files that contain the contacts of an address book. In this case, to use the CSV files you need to open your e-mail client (eg. Outlook, Mail, Thunderbird etc.) or your favorite Web Mail service (eg. Gmail or Outlook.com) and take advantage of its function. import contacts. More details are explained below.
Read CSV Files
Do you need to consult the contents of a CSV file? No problem. Below you will find a series of programs for PCs, smartphones and tablets that allow you to perform this operation in an incredibly easy and fast way.
Microsoft Excel (Windows/Mac/Android/iOS)
If you want open CSV file and any version of Microsoft Office is installed on your computer, you can import the contents of these documents into a Excel. To do this, start Excel, go to the menu File> Open and select the CSV file of your interest.
The file should be read correctly by Excel, which will automatically arrange the contents of the document in the cells of the spreadsheet and allow you to edit it easily. By clicking on the floppy disk located at the top left and responding in the affirmative to the warning that appears on the screen, the changes made to the CSV file will be automatically saved in the latter.
If the CSV file is not imported correctly into Excel, because for example the division of the values in the cells of the spreadsheet is not done exactly, you can take advantage of the Excel data import function and adjust "manually" the criteria to divide the values in the spreadsheet cells.
To take advantage of the data import feature in Excel, create a blank workbook, go to the card Giveclick on your button From text located at the top left and select the CSV file you want to view. A quick wizard will start through which you can specify how to import data into the spreadsheet.
Therefore, make sure that in the preview located at the bottom all the characters are legible correctly. If the accented letters are not reproduced correctly, try changing the value in the drop-down menu File source selecting, for example, Windows (ANSI). Next, put the check mark next to the item Delimited (in order to separate the values of the CSV file by a delimiter character, in this case the comma) and go forward.
Now you have to choose on the basis of which variables you want to separate the information in the cells: I advise you to put the check next to the items Comma e Semicolon, in this way Excel will divide the data in the cells based on the commas and semicolons present in the document (some CSV files generated by Excel can be delimited by semicolons). To make sure that the data is split correctly, help yourself with the preview displayed at the bottom of the window.
Finally, choose whether to format the data to be imported into the spreadsheet as general (therefore generic data), Umbrian baking testo o date placing the check mark next to one of the available options, click once again on forward, click your end e OK and start working on your spreadsheet using the information contained in the CVS file.
After working on the spreadsheet, you can decide whether to save it as a new CSV file or an Excel file (XLSX) by going to the menu File> Save As> Browse Excel and selecting the file format you prefer more from the appropriate drop-down menu.
Excel is also available in the form of an app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone (it is even free for all devices with dimensions equal to or less than 10.1 ″) and allows you to open CSV files, however it does not include the advanced import tools present in the desktop version of the software. This means that if the CSV files are not formatted correctly by the app, nothing can be done to "fix the shot".
That said, if you want to open a CSV file with Excel for smartphones and tablets, all you have to do is start the app, select the tab apri, choose the location where the file CSV (you can choose the memory of your device, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud and other cloud storage services) and select the latter. If you are asked to use an online service to convert the CSV file to an Excel readable format, accept.
Within a few seconds, the CSV file will be opened, but it will be read-only. To change it, press the button Save a copy which is at the top right and works on the copy of the document.
LibreOffice (Windows / Mac / Linux)
If you haven't purchased a copy of Microsoft Office and don't intend to, you can rely on LibreOffice, the best productivity suite available for free. It is compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux and supports all Microsoft Office file formats. Its spreadsheet management software is capable of both importing information from CVS files and exporting workbooks in this format.
To download LibreOffice on your computer, connect to its official website and click on the button Download version xx. If you are using a Mac, also download the Italian translation package of the suite (which instead is "standard" on Windows) by clicking on the button Translated user interface. When the download is complete, start the LibreOffice installation package (LibreOffice_xx_Win_x86.msi) and click in sequence on the buttons Run, forward (twice in a row), Install, Yes e end to complete the setup.
If you are using a Mac, open the dmg package containing LibreOffice and drag the software to the folder Applications of macOS. Then right click on the suite icon and select the item apri from the menu that opens to start LibreOffice bypassing macOS restrictions (which prevent the execution of software from developers not certified by Apple).
When the operation is complete, close LibreOffice (by pressing cmd + q), open the dmg package of the language pack, right click on the icon LibreOffice Language Pack and select the item apri from the menu that opens to translate LibreOffice into Italian (just click on the button Install twice in a row, then on Yes, identify me and type the password of your user account on macOS).
At this point, to import a CSV file into LibreOffice, all you have to do is start the suite (or just the program Calc), select the item apri from the menu Fillet and choose the CSV format document to open.
In the window that appears, make sure that there is a check mark next to the item Comma and / or Semicolon, check that in the preview displayed below there are no errors in the reproduction of accented characters (if you try to select a different option from the drop-down menu Character type) and click your OK to import the CSV file into LibreOffice.
Once you have applied the desired changes to your file, you can overwrite the original CSV document simply by clicking on the floppy disk displayed at the top left and confirming your willingness to export the file in the form of file CSV.
Alternatively, if you want to save the file as a new document, go to the menu File> Save with nome of LibreOffice, choose the name and folder in which to save the new CSV file and set the option Test CSV (.csv) in the drop-down menu File type.
Google Drive (Online/Android/iOS)
If you don't feel like installing new software on your computer, you can rely on Google Drive, the cloud storage service from Google, which, as you probably already know, includes a sort of free Office that you can use directly from the browser. All free.
To open a CSV file with Google Drive, connected to the home page of the service and, if necessary, log in with your Google account (if you do not yet have a Google account, find out how to create it through my guide on how to create a Google account ). Then drag the file CSV on the main Google Drive screen and wait a few seconds for it to upload online.
Once the upload is complete, double-click the del icon file CSV to open in Google Drive and press the button Open with Google Sheets which is located at the top.
Within a few seconds the CSV file will be imported into Google Sheets (the Excel counterpart of the Google Drive suite) and then you can edit it as you like.
If you notice any errors in the formatting of the CSV file imported into the spreadsheet, proceed as follows: create a new spreadsheet in Google Drive by pressing the button New and selecting the voice Google Sheets from the menu that appears, go to the menu File> Import Google Sheets, select the tab Charge and drag the CSV file to import into Google Drive in the browser window.
At this point, choose which font to use as separator to divide the values within the spreadsheet (ex. tabulation, comma or custom value) and click on the button first Import and then Open now (above) to complete the CSV import process and view it in Google Sheets.
Google Sheets it is also available as a free app for Android and iOS. This means that you can access the service and view / edit your CSV files even from smartphones and tablets. The app also supports offline working mode.
WPS Office (Android/iOS/Windows Phone)
You would like it open CSV file even on your tablet or smartphone? If the official Excel and Google Sheets applications I told you about earlier don't satisfy you, you can try WPS Office, a free productivity suite (at least in its basic ad-supported version) available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
WPS Office is very simple to use and supports both viewing and editing of files in CSV format. To use it, all you have to do is install it on your smartphone or tablet, select the option for open files (you can open both local files and files hosted on cloud storage services, such as Dropbox) and choose the CSV file to operate on.
When the file is selected, a spreadsheet will open in which to freely view and modify the content of the selected CSV document.
Import Address Book from CSV File
You have a CSV file with all contacts of your old PC or smartphone and you don't know how to import them to a new device? No problem, I'll explain how to do it. Before proceeding, however, make sure you create a backup copy of your current address book, so if something goes wrong you will have a way to go back.
Microsoft Outlook (Windows / Mac)
It was used Microsoft Outlook as your default mail client and you want to import your contacts into it, click on the button Fillet (top left) and select the item Open and export from the side bar of the sinistra.
Then click the button Import / Export, select the option Import data from other programs or files from the window that opens, click on forward, select the voice Comma separated values, go again forward and select the CSV file with the contacts by pressing on Shop by Department.
At this point, choose whether to allow the creation of duplicates, whether to replace the duplicates with the new contacts imported from the CSV file or if not to import the duplicates by selecting one of the appropriate options available, click forward and select the folder Contacts.
To finish, click forward, select the check box which is next to the name of the file CSV you are about to import, adjust the parameters relating to the fields to be imported (name, email address, etc.) and first click on OK and then end to complete the phonebook import procedure.
It was used Thunderbird as an email client, you can import a CSV file into your address book by clicking the button Address book located at the top and selecting the item Import from the menu Means (also located at the top).
In the window that opens, put the check mark next to the item headings, or forward, select the voice Text file, go further forward and select il file CSV with the contacts to be imported into the program. If the file is not selectable, expand the drop-down menu located at the bottom right and set the option All files in this last.
Finally, set the fields of the CSV file to be imported into Thunderbird and the data they correspond to (name, email address, etc.) and click on the button OK to complete the contact import process.
Apple Mail (Mac)
If you have one Poppy, you can import CSV contacts into the system address book (and then into the Apple Mail) by opening the app Contacts and selecting the voice Import from the menu Fillet which is located at the top left.
At this point, select the CSV file of your interest, click on the button apri and choose the fields of the CSV file to import into the address book. For each field you can choose the corresponding value (eg name, surname, company) by expanding the drop-down menu Don't import which is on the left. Once you have selected the data to import and the values to which they correspond, click on the button OK to start importing the names into the macOS address book.
If the macOS address book is synchronized with iCloud, you will find the contacts imported to the Mac also on the iPhone, iPad and all the devices associated with your iCloud account. For more information on how to sync data via iCloud, see my tutorial on how to sync iCloud.
Also gmail, the very famous Web Mail service from Google, offers the possibility to import contacts from CSV files. To take advantage of this function, connected to this Gmail page, log in to your Google account (if necessary), click on the button Other located at the top and select the item Import give the menu to compare.
In the box that opens, click on the button Choose File / Browse, select the CSV file you want to import into the address book and click on the button Import.
If Gmail finds duplicates, it will report it to you and invite you to correct the problem by clicking on the entry Find and merge duplicates, which will appear at the top.
Once you have imported your contacts into Gmail, you can also transfer them to Android, iPhone and iPad by activating the synchronization of the address book with Gmail. I have well explained you how to do it in my tutorials on how to sync Android contacts and how to sync iPhone contacts with Gmail.
If you use Outlook.com, Microsoft's Web Mail service, you can easily import contacts from a CSV file by clicking the button menu located at the top left (the icon with the 9 white squares) and selecting the item People in the displayed menu.
In the next screen that opens, first press on the menu items Manage> Import Contacts which is located at the top right. Now click the button Shop by Department and select il file CSV with the contacts to be imported into the service directory.
At this point, click on the button Import which is located at the bottom and that's it. Only CSV files that conform to Outlook standards are accepted. Once the procedure is completed, by synchronizing the Outlook address book with Android, iOS or Windows, you will find your contacts also on these platforms.
App for Smartphones
By taking advantage of Gmail, iCloud and the other services I told you about before, you can import your contacts even on smartphones and tablets. In any case, if you prefer to act directly on your portable devices, you can use some apps that allow you to import CSV contacts directly into the Android and iOS address book.
Among the best applications to import CSV files into the address book, I recommend Import CSV TXT XLS contacts for Android (free) and SA Contacts for iPhone (free trial, 3,49 euros in full version) which support both cloud storage services and guide the user in setting the various fields of the CSV files (in order to import the right information).