How to open a CSV file in OS 10.4?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by alexf, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    alexf

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
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    Planet Earth
    #1
    I need to open a CSV file in OS 10.4 and cannot find an application which will display the data in a legible format. CSV is now one of (or perhaps THE) most common database formats out there, so I am not sure why this is so difficult.

    Any suggestions? :confused:
     
  2. macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #2
    By what do you mean legible?

    TextEdit or TextWrangler will open it fine.

    Microsoft Excel will open it as a spreadsheet.

    What are you looking to do with it? :confused:
     
  3. Administrator

    Doctor Q

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  4. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

    Joined:
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    #4
    Well, I work as a Web designer / developer and I am maintaining a store for a client. We have a major product update, and they sent me all the new data as a CSV file. This would be fine if we were using a database, but we are not; I am doing everything by hand. I need to see each product and associated info (price, number, etc.) separated by line breaks, not commas.

    Thanks for the help.
    :)
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    Jan 24, 2005
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    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    So, you're saying you need a Comma Separated Values file to not separate by commas? :)
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #6
    I thought about this for a minute....

    Would it work to take the CSV file, open it up even though it has all the commas, and just do a "Find and Replace" with returns in place of commas? Would that solve the problem?
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

    Joined:
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    #7
    This is a good idea; I thought about this myself. I'll give it a try.

    Ideally, I think I will need to have the client get me the data in some other format than CSV (e.g. Excel). If I am not mistaken, CSV is really meant to be plugged into a database, right?
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    Wait... if you're comfortable with an excel file, why don't you open the CSV in Excel? Excel will handle this format very easily. I think CSVs are commonly used to interchange information both in databasing and spreadsheeting... usually they work for sort of two-dimensional records. So it isn't really a "database" format, at least not in the relational or object-oriented database sense.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

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    #9
    No, Excel will not open the file...
    :confused:
     
  10. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    #10
    Then it isn't a csv file like any I've run into it.

    I thought your problem might have been with the line endings in the file, so I created a test csv file and tried changing the line endings to Unix style, Macintosh style, and PC style. Excel 2004 had no trouble with any of them.

    Instead of dragging it into Excel, try this: launch Excel, select File->Open, set "Enable" to "All Documents" (not just "All Readable Documents"), navigate to your csv file, and select it. Does it open? Is it parsed into separate columns?
     
  11. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #11
    .CSV files

    Excel - File: Open -- issue is that Excel will truncate long fields to 255 characters and will evaluate some text fields as numerals or calculations, possible example would be a phone number.

    Filemaker Pro - File: Open (creates a new DB) or File: Import into an existing DB

    BBEdit - File: Open. Yes you can search and replace, but be WERRY CAREFUL not to accidentally remove even one comma or paragraph mark, because the wheels will fall off...
     

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