Microsoft Excel, a powerful data management and analysis tool, now offers enhanced functionality by supporting the export of spreadsheets to CSV (Comma Separated Values) files. This new feature gives users more flexibility in sharing and transferring data between different platforms and applications. The company recently issued a press release regarding exports to CSV file feature for all web-based Excel users. Microsoft said that many Excel users on Windows and Mac platforms frequently use the CSV export feature. Now that this feature is available on the web, users can export this lightweight file format between applications or between platforms.

Microsoft has stated that the scenarios you can try when exporting CSV files from Excel for the web are as follows:

  • Store structured data in a simple, easy-to-read format for easy backup and retrieval.
  • Transfer data between spreadsheet applications and database management systems.
  • Exchange simple structured data between different applications (such as CRM) that may not be directly compatible.

Understanding the CSV format

CSV, short for Comma-Separated Values, is a widely used file format for storing tabular data in plain text. Each row in a CSV file represents a row of data, with values ​​separated by commas. This format is popular due to its simplicity and compatibility with various software systems. CSV is a versatile, relatively simple file format widely used by consumers, businesses and academics. The most common application is to transfer tabular data between programs working with incompatible formats (often proprietary and/or non-canonical formats).

Export Excel spreadsheets to CSV

To export an Excel spreadsheet to a CSV file, users can follow these simple steps in Microsoft Excel:

1. Open the workbook: Start by opening the Excel workbook you want to export.

2. Go to Save As: Click the File tab in Excel and select Save As from the menu.

3. Select a file format: In the Save as dialog box, select the desired CSV format from the “Save as type” drop-down menu. Options typically include:

  • CSV (Comma Separated): Standard format for comma separated values.
  • CSV UTF-8 (Comma Separated): Supports special characters and Unicode encoding.

4. Specify a destination: Select the destination folder where you want to save the CSV file and click “Save”.

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Export CSV files to Excel

Advantages of exporting to CSV

Exporting Excel spreadsheets to CSV files offers several advantages:

  • Interoperability: CSV files can be easily imported into various applications such as databases, email clients and web platforms.
  • Data integrity: By exporting to CSV, users can ensure that data is transferred accurately without loss of formatting or special characters.
  • Simplified data sharing: The CSV format simplifies data sharing between different systems, making it easier for users to collaborate and exchange information.

Export Considerations

While exporting to CSV is a handy feature, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Loss of formatting: When saving as CSV, all formatting from the original Excel sheet will be removed.
  • Character Encoding: Choosing an appropriate CSV format is critical to preserving special characters and ensuring compatibility with target applications.

Best practices for working with CSV files

To get the most out of exporting Excel files to CSV, consider the following best practices:

  • Regular backups: Keep backups of your original Excel files before converting them to CSV.
  • Data Validation: Check the accuracy of exported data in CSV files to avoid errors during import.
  • Encoding selection: Select UTF-8 encoding when working with non-ASCII characters or special characters.

Export CSV files to Excel


Microsoft Excel has introduced a new feature that allows users to export spreadsheets to CSV files, improving data sharing and transfer capabilities between platforms and applications. This functionality allows users to store structured data in a simple, easy-to-read format, transfer data between different applications and systems, and exchange structured data between different platforms. The CSV format, short for Comma-Separated Values, is widely used for storing tabular data in plain text, offering simplicity and compatibility with various software systems.

Exporting to CSV offers benefits such as interoperability, data integrity and simplified data sharing. However, users should be aware of considerations such as formatting loss and the importance of choosing an appropriate character encoding. Best practices for working with CSV files include maintaining backup copies of original Excel files, validating exported data for accuracy, and choosing UTF-8 encoding for non-ASCII characters or special characters. In conclusion, Excel’s CSV export feature improves data management and sharing capabilities, promoting seamless collaboration and efficient data exchange across platforms and applications.

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Microsoft Excel for the web now supports exporting to CSV files