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The CSV format

CSV (Comma Separated Values) is a text based file format for storing tabular data.

ID Name Thickness
1 iPhone 3GS 12.3
2 iPhone 4 9.3
1,"iPhone 3GS",12.3
2,"iPhone 4",9.3
1;"iPhone 3GS";12,3
2;"iPhone 4";9,3
Table “International” CSV “Continental” CSV

The CSV file format is a very loose standard. Applications handle CSV files very differently. However, two main types of CSV files have emerged:

This can mean that for example CSV files created with an English version of an application might be incompatible with CSV files created with a German version. The behavior of some applications depends on the region settings in system preferences. To make things even more complicated, some applications always use the international format. MDB Viewer allows you to choose which format to use.

CSV Export panel of MDB Viewer

If you are unsure which format to use, try the International format first.

Some applications don't support line breaks within fields. If "Allow Line Breaks" is not checked, line breaks are replaced with spaces.

International Continental
Character encoding UTF-8 or MacRoman
Line breaks MacOS X/Unix style (\n)
Field separator Comma (,) Semicolon (;)
Decimal mark Period (.) Comma (,)
Quoting Double quotes (quotes inside a field are doubled)

Exporting to other applications

There are more detailed instructions available for exporting MS Access databases to specific applications:

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Questions? Contact Jakob Egger.