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Opening and saving CSV files in Google Sheets

A CSV file or “Comma Separated Values” file is used to store information in plain text form. This format is widely used for moving or updating data between systems  in ecommerce stores. Google Sheets allows you to easily view and edit CSV files as spreadsheets with info placed into columns, that’s often more convenient compared to working in a text editor.

Here’s how the same CSV file looks when viewed in a plain text editor and in Google Sheets:

If you’re up to opening an online store, you can use CSVs to upload catalogue in minutes. Learn more about catalogue import

Table of contents

Opening CSV files in Google Sheets

If you have an account with Google, you can use the free Google Sheets spreadsheet editor to open and edit your CSV files.

To open a CSV file:

  1. Save the file to your device.
  2. Open a blank sheet in Google Sheets.
  3. Click File → Import.
  4. Go to the Upload tab and click Select a file on your device.
  5. Find the file that you’ve saved and click Open.
  6. On the opened page, choose the separator (delimiter) or set it to be detected automatically, and untick Convert text to numbers, dates, and formulas. Then click the Import data button:

That’s it! The file will be opened as a spreadsheet in Numbers. You can now edit it. To check what columns you can add there, see Format guidelines for the CSV file for reference

Saving CSV files in Google Sheets

After you’re done editing your import file in Google Sheets, you can download it as CSV before proceeding with the import process.

To save a spreadsheet as CSV:

  1. Open your spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Click File → Download → Comma Separated Values (.csv)


That’s it! A file in CSV format with comma as a delimiter in UTF-8 encoding will be downloaded to your device, and you can upload it into your store to update your store data.

CSV file delimiters

Values in CSV files are divided by delimiters (also called “separator characters”).

For example, a delimiter can be a comma (,), a semicolon (;), a tab ( ), or a pipe (|).

In CSV files that you import into your store on our platform, you can use any kind of delimiter as long as it’s consistent throughout the file.

When you open CSVs in Google Sheets, you can specify what delimiter is used in your file to avoid processing errors. After that, delimiters will be converted into table borders, and you can view the CSV file as a spreadsheet.

To see what delimiter is used in your CSV file, simply open the file in a plain text editor — right-click on the file and choose your editor (Notepad, TextEdit or similar).