How to Open CSV Files on a Mac


The acronym CSV stands for "comma separated values." Much like the name implies, a CSV file contains spreadsheet information in which the information in each row is separated by a comma. The rows are separated from one another by creating a new line at the beginning of each entry. CSV files can be used to transmit information between different spreadsheet editing programs, or they can be edited using a simple text editing program.

Open with a Spreadsheet Program

  • Open a spreadsheet program on your Mac computer. Any spreadsheet program can be used to open CSV files, including Microsoft Excel and Open Office.

  • Click "File" and choose "Open." Change the file settings such that all files are displayed, including CSV files.

  • Navigate to the directory that contains your CSV file and open the file. The information in the CSV file will be imported into your spreadsheet program.

  • Edit the file as desired. When you are finished you can save the file in your program's proprietary format or you can save it as another CSV file that can be read on any computer. If you save as a CSV file, you won't be able to save any formatting that you have applied in your spreadsheet program.

Open with a Text Editor

  • Open a text editing program on your Mac. Mac OS X comes with the TextEdit program included.

  • Click "File" and choose "Open." Navigate to the directory that contains your CSV file and open the file. The data in the file will be displayed with commas separating each column and each line representing a new entry.

  • Edit the file as desired. Be sure to maintain the correct number of comma-separated entries in each field in order to preserve the integrity of your data.

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