What is a CSV file and how do I save my spreadsheet as one?

CSV is an abbreviation for "comma separated values", a file which allows data to be saved in a table structured format. CSVs look like a spreadsheet but have a ".csv" extension in the file name. Traditionally they take the form of a text file containing information separated by commas.

CSV files can be used with any spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. They differ from other spreadsheet file types in that you can only have a single sheet in a file, they can not save stylings for cells, columns, or rows, and can not save formulas. 

Saving Your Spreadsheet as a CSV

Note: These instructions are for MS Excel 2016, but any spreadsheet software will follow a similar process.

  1. Open your file in MS Excel
  2. Click on File
  3. Choose Save As
  4. In the drop-down menu, select CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv)
    Please note:
    If you intend on using your file in the User Import tool found in Absorb's Admin UI, you will want to select CSV UTF-8 (Comma delimited) (*.csv)
  5. If you see a message that the selected file type, "does not support workbooks that contain multiple sheets", it is simply warning you that any formatting you have will be lost (ie. colors, bold text, formulas, sheets aside from the active one). Click OK to continue. 

Important Notes:

  • Do not change the file extension to CSV by using the Rename function in Windows File Explorer. This will only cause the file to be unusable, and in some cases, corrupted.
  • Do not change the file extension to CSV in the Name & Extension area when viewing a file through the Get Info window in Finder for Max OS X. This will only cause the file to be unusable, and in some cases, corrupted.
  • Adding CSV to the file name will not update the file. 
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  • This is only for Excel 2016, how about your other clients who don't use it?

    It used to work just saving as CSV and now it doesn't anymore. I don't see the option to save CSV TSF-8 in the Excel version I use. What can I do? I have been adding dozens of users manually, this is a waste of time.


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