How to Use Our Comma Separator: Convert List to CSV
Our free comma separator tool automatically converts a column to a comma list or list to CSV (comma-separated values). Copy your column of data and watch the conversion happen. You can do the reverse and convert a delimited list to a column.
You can use our comma separator tool to convert column lists to comma-separated value (CSV) lists quickly and easily. Just follow these instructions.
Convert a List to CSV
- Change any settings you want on the right side of the comma separator by selecting how you want to separate the line breaks once you remove them.
- Lowercase list: Lowercase all of the items in the list. Helpful if you have a column where the first letters in each row are capital, and you want a comma-separated list without capitals.
- Reverse list: Reverse the list that you entered so that you can have the values backwards.
- Delimiter: The delimiter is the value you want to separate items in your lists. You can choose from commas (the default), commas with spaces after, spaces, and others.
- Remove Line Breaks: This setting will remove any extra line breaks in case you have blank rows.
- Remove Paragraph Breaks: This setting removes paragraph breaks which are two two line breaks in a row.
- Remove Extra Spaces: If you have any issues with double spaces after removing lines, select this option.
- Paste your column or list of data into the left text box where it says “Enter/Get Column Data Here…”
- You’ll see the new delimited list in the right text box labeled “Get/Enter Delimited List…”
- It’s that simple.
Convert CSV to List
You can also do the opposite: convert a CSV (or other delimited string) into a column of text). Just paste your string into the right text box, select the delimiter and other options, and see your column/list in the left text box.
What Is a CSV File?
CSV stands for Comma Separated Values. That said, a CSV file is any text file in which the characters are separated by commas, making a kind of table in rows and columns. The columns are defined by each semicolon (;), while each row is defined by an additional line in the text. In this way, CSV files can be created very easily (we explain this later). This is why .csv files are directly associated with the creation of tables of contents.
Usually, the most common way is to read CSV files from Excel, since the program (although not in the older versions) automatically identifies the separators and forms the table without having to do anything else. There are different separators, used more or less frequently depending on the region we are in.
History of the CSV in America and Europe
Like other popular formats, the CSV file has a long history within the computer world. To discover its history, we must go back to 1972, when IBM began using a system similar to the current one, but more rudimentary. At that time, memory cards containing different values separated by commas or blank spaces were used. That way, the computers of the time could read the data in a correct and orderly way.
Later, and thanks to the massification of computing, this type of system ended up being digitized. Therefore, the data was introduced in a virtual file and the physical cards were left aside. The CSV format began to be used to exchange information between databases hosted on machines with different architectures. The main reason is that the stored data is unformatted and written in plain text. Thanks to this feature, its compatibility is maximized.
However, we must make a temporary jump to the year 2005 to talk about true standardization. It is from that year when the CSV format becomes a MIME content type. From 2013, some deficiencies will be corrected to improve its compatibility. To date, the comma separated value system is still frequently used, especially when transferring data between non-compatible applications. However, there are still conflicts between the decimal formats of Europe (which are used commas) with comma separators. That’s why in Europe the semicolon is usually used, while in the USA and other English-speaking countries the comma is usually used, since it uses the point as a decimal format.
Why Use a CSV File?
In conclusion, CSV files are used to handle a large amount of data in grid format, without incurring any computational cost, and making it more accessible to everyone.
How to Convert a Column to CSV in Excel
To create an Excel comma-separated list, just follow these instructions. There are several ways to create comma-separated lists in Excel. Try whichever one works for you.
Using TEXTJOIN in Excel
If you have Microsoft 365 or Office 2019, you are lucky enough to be able to use the TEXTJOIN function that simplifies concatenating ranges with a delimiter.
Just enter the following:
=TEXTJOIN(delimiter, ignore_empty, text1, [text2], …)
text1 can be text or a range.
For a demonstration, watch this video below:
Using Excel and Notepad++
- Have your text ready in one column in Excel.
- In the column next to the column you want to convert to a comma-separated string, enter the cell reference and (&”,”) without the paratheses. If your first data is in cell A2, your formula will look like this:
- Copy the formula down the column.
- Copy this new column into Notepad++.
- Open the Search and Replace Window by typing CTRL+H.
- Select “Extended” under the “Search Mode”
- First type in \n to the “Find what:” box and put nothing in “Replace with:”. Press “Replace All”.
- Then type in \r to the “Find what:” box and put nothing in “Replace with:” and press “Replace All”.
- Copy the string wherever you want.
Use a Module in Excel to Convert a Column to Comma-Delimited List
Another great way to create a comma-separated list is to create a reusable formula in Excel with a module. A user on Stack Exchange posted this great module. Once you create it, you will be able to enter the formula
=csvRange(A1:A27) into Excel to create a comma-delimited list.
Function csvRange(myRange As Range)
Dim entry as variant
For Each entry In myRange
If Not IsEmpty(entry.Value) Then
csvRangeOutput = csvRangeOutput & entry.Value & ","
csvRange = Left(csvRangeOutput, Len(csvRangeOutput) - 1)
How to Convert a Python List to CSV
Python is a common language used for data manipulation so it makes sense that Python developers would want to convert data to CSV file formats. There are several different ways to do this.
1. Use the CSV Module
By importing the csv module in Python, you can easily write lists to CSV files using writerows() method.
2. Use Pandas
Pandas is an open-source Python library used for data analysis. The primary data structures are called DataFrame and Pandas makes it easy to write DataFrames to CSV files with the method DataFrame.to_csv(‘file.csv’).
Using the NumPy library, you can save text files as CSV using the numpy.savetxt(‘file.csv’, array, delimiter=’,’) method.
4. Python I/O
Python I/O can be used to implement your own way of creating CSV files.