How to make CSV files

Have you been asked to draw up a product inventory and save it in CSV format but you don’t know which program to use? Would you like to export the address book of your smartphone or email client as a CSV file but you don’t know how to do it? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place at the right time!

I’m here today to help you out. Let’s start by saying that CSV documents (short for comma-separated values , comma separated values) are nothing more than simple text files which, as the name suggests, contain lists of data separated by commas. They are often used to export e-mail contacts or quickly import information into spreadsheets. You can create and read them with a huge range of applications, both free and paid.

If you want to know more and, above all, you want to find out how to make CSV files without wasting time, all you have to do is take five minutes of free time and keep reading: you will find all the information you need right below. I assure you that you will be able to do everything in a very simple way!


  • Programs for making CSV files
    • Microsoft Excel (Windows / Mac)
    • LibreOffice (Windows / macOS / Linux)
  • How to create a CSV file with a pipe separator
  • How to create a CSV file in Python
  • How to create a CSV file in Java
  • Export CSV files from the address book
    • Android
    • iOS
    • Gmail
    • com

Programs for making CSV files

Let’s start with a couple of programs that allow you to create CSV files on Windows, macOS and Linux . Choose the one that best suits your needs and use it following the directions I am about to give you.

Microsoft Excel (Windows / Mac)

If you have a copy of Microsoft Office installed on your PC or Mac , you can make CSV files directly with Excel , Microsoft’s world-famous spreadsheet software. Its operation is so simple that there would be no need to talk about it, but let’s see how to proceed together anyway.

All you need to do to create a CSV file with this software is to start creating a new blank workbook (by selecting the appropriate option on the app home screen) and fill the sheet with all the data you want to include in your document. . For example, you could create a column with the names of your customers or friends, one with their telephone numbers and another with their email addresses, but there are no particular rules to respect: you can create lists of data in the the way you prefer.

When you are ready to save the document, all you have to do is click on the File button located at the top left and select the items Save As> Browse from the menu that opens and (only if you are using a version of Office between 2013 and 2010) go to Computer> Browse .

In the screen that opens, set the CSV item (delimited by the list separator) from the Save as drop-down menu , choose the folder in which to export the file in CSV format, assign it a name and click the Save button to complete the operation. If you get a warning that some spreadsheet features may not be preserved after exporting to CSV, click Yes / OK to continue.

Of course, with the same procedure you can also open an existing XLS / XLSX workbook and turn it into a CSV file. Convenient, right? To open an existing CSV file, right-click on it and select the Excel entry from the Open with menu or, alternatively, open Excel, click on the Open and Browse buttons and select the CSV file you want to open in the program.

LibreOffice (Windows / macOS / Linux)

If your PC doesn’t have Microsoft Office, you can make CSV files with Calc , the spreadsheet application included in LibreOffice . In case you’ve never heard of it, LibreOffice is an excellent free and open source productivity suite born as a free alternative to Microsoft Office (after OpenOffice, with which it shares much of the source code).

It is completely in Italian, is compatible with all major computer operating systems (Windows, macOS and Linux) and supports CSV files for both reading and writing. If you have not downloaded LibreOffice, you can then consider this tutorial dedicated to the topic, in which I will explain in detail how to install this software on your computer.

To create a CSV file, launch LibreOffice and click the button to create a new Calc Spreadsheet located in the left sidebar. Then fill in the workbook with the data you want to save as a CSV file and click on the Floppy Disk icon located at the top left.

At this point, select the CSV text item from the drop-down menu for selecting the file type, choose the folder in which to export the document and that’s it. Click on Save and then on the Use CSV text format and OK buttons to complete the operation correctly.

Like Excel, LibreOffice Calc can also be used to transform spreadsheets in XLS, XLSX or ODS (OpenDocument) format into CSV files by opening the workbook, selecting the Save As item from the File menu and setting the CSV format as the format output.

To open an existing CSV file, just go to LibreOffice’s File> Open menu or right-click on the file and select the LibreOffice Calc entry from the Open With menu .

How to create a CSV file with a pipe separator

You may need to create a CSV file with a pipe separator , ie the | symbol , instead of using the classic comma to separate the data in the spreadsheet. This is possible on both Windows and Mac, in case you are using LibreOffice .

In this case, following the procedures indicated in this previous chapter , when saving in CSV text , select the item Use the CSV text format and, in the box that is shown to you, set the pipe symbol ( | ) in the Field separator field and press the OK button . Obviously this is the best and free solution to create a CSV with pipe separator on Windows and Mac.

If you are using Microsoft Excel , on Windows the procedure to follow requires you to act from the operating system settings. Like? I’ll explain it to you right away. On Windows 11 , right-click on the Windows Start button (present in the taskbar) and select the Settings item . At this point, in the screen that is shown to you, select the items Date / time and language> Language and geographical area> Administrative settings of the language .

On Windows 10 and later, on the other hand, press the Start button , which you find in the taskbar and select the Settings item . Now, click on the items Date / time and language> Geographic area> Additional date, time and international settings> Change date, time or number format .

Now, regardless of the version of Windows you have, in the screen you see, go to the Formats tab and press the Additional settings button and, in the box next to the wording List separator , replace the current separator with the pipe symbol ( | ) and press OK .

When you save a CSV file, as I explained to you in the previous chapter , the CSV file will no longer have the default separator, but the pipe symbol, as you set with the procedures described above.

How to create a CSV file in Python

In case you want to create a CSV file in Python , you need to know that it is not an immediate operation to perform, unless you are already familiar with this programming language.

In this regard, what I can do is advise you to read some of my guides dedicated to the subject, such as the one on how to program in Python , or you can follow one of the courses on , a well-known Web portal where you can follow lessons (also free), in order to learn this and other programming languages ​​(but there are also courses to do many other things).

How to create a CSV file in Java

If your intent is to create a CSV file in Java , as I suggested in the previous chapter, it is ideal for you to have at least some Java language basics to succeed in your intent. It is not an operation for everyone, unless you roll up your sleeves and learn what there is to know about this language.

Also in this case, you can read some tutorials on the subject, such as the one on how to program in Java , or you can read the advice I gave you in my article on the computer science course for Web developers Aulab , a Web service that allows you to learn in a few months what you need to master Java and other programming languages.

Export CSV files from the address book

You don’t want to create CSV files by filling them in manually but much more simply do you want to export the contacts of your address book in this format? No problem. Here’s how it’s done on major smartphone operating systems and major email services.


The default Android phonebook allows you to export contacts in VCF format only. To export contacts in CSV format you need an external application, such as Contact Master Kit which is free and very easy to use. You can also find it on alternative stores , for devices without Google services.

To export contacts with Contact Master Kit, start the application and press the Export your contact button . Then place the check mark on the All contacts or Selected contacts item (depending on whether you want to export all contacts or only some selected contacts), press the OK and Next buttons and select the CSV format as the output format.

Finally, tap the Start button , wait for the export of contacts to be completed and press the Email button to auto-send you the CSV file via email or save it in one of the apps you have installed on your device (eg. Dropbox , Google Drive and the like).


If you have an iPhone , you can export your address book contacts as a CSV file using My Contacts Backup , a free application that allows you to export up to 500 contacts from your address book in CSV format. To eliminate this limit (and disable advertising banners) you need to purchase the Pro version of the app which costs 1.99 euros.

To export contacts in CSV format with My Contacts Backup, you need to open the application and grant it permission to access the iOS address book. Then you have to press the gear icon located at the bottom right and you have to select the CSV (Excel) item from the Type menu in order to set the CSV format as the output format for the exported contacts.

When the operation is completed, go back to the main screen of My Contacts Backup and press the Backup / Export button first and then OK . Then wait for the export of the contacts to be completed, press the Email button and auto-send the CSV file obtained by e-mail.


If you want to create a CSV file from Gmail , you can export your contacts in this format in a very simple way. All you have to do is connect to the Google Contacts service and click on the Export item located in the left sidebar.

Then select the items Contacts and Google CSV from the box that opens and presses the Export button to start saving all contacts. It was really easy, am I right?

Even the Microsoft e-mail service allows you to create a CSV file from Outlook to export the contacts in the address book in this format. All you have to do is connect to your mailbox, press the button with the 9 squares at the top and select the People icon from the menu that appears.

On the page that opens, click on the Manage item at the top, select the Export contacts option from the menu that appears and choose whether to export all contacts or just a specific folder of contacts, using the appropriate drop-down menu.

Next, click on the Export button located at the top and wait a few seconds for the CSV file with the contacts to be prepared and downloaded to your PC.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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