.csv is a comma-separated values file that allows data to be saved in a table structured format. Traditionally they take the form of a text file containing information separated by commas, hence the name. It looks like a spreadsheet file but with a .csv extension.

.csv files can be used with any spreadsheet program, like Microsoft Excel, Open Office Calc, or Google Spreadsheets. They differ from other spreadsheet file types and that you can only have a single sheet in a file, they can not save cell, column, or row styling, and can not save formulas.

In eCommerce, .csvs are used primarily for importing and exporting product, customer, and order information to and from your store.

How to Save Your Spreadsheet as .csv

Note: These instructions are for Microsoft Excel 2010, but any spreadsheet software will follow a similar process.

  1. Open your file in your spreadsheet program.
  2. Click on File and choose Save As.


  3. Under Save as type, choose CSV (Comma delimited). Click Save.


  4. You may see a message that your file "may contain features that are not compatible with CSV." This message is to inform you that any formatting you may have (such as colors or bold text) and any formulas will not be preserved in the CSV formatted file. Click OK to continue.


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