Comma Separated Values (CSV) files are one of the most common formats for exported data. On Linux, we can read CSV files using Bash commands. But it can get very complicated, very quickly. We’ll lend a hand.
What Is a CSV File?
A Comma Separated Values file is a text file that holds tabulated data. CSV is a type of delimited data. As the name suggests, a comma “,” is used to separate each field of data—or value—from its neighbors.
CSV is everywhere. If an application has import and export functions, it’ll almost always support CSV. CSV files are human-readable. You can look inside them with less, open them in any text editor, and move them from program to program. For example, you can export the data from an SQLite database and open it in LibreOffice Calc.
However, even CSV can become complicated. Want to have a comma in a data field? That field needs to have quotation marks “”” wrapped around it. To include quotation marks in a field each quotation mark needs to be entered twice.
Of course, if you are working with CSV generated by…
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