I would like to find a CSV viewer that has the following features:

  • Runs on Linux.
  • Handles very large files. I mean it should not try to load the entire file in memory at any time (unlike LibreOffice Calc).
  • Allows to read anywhere in the file with a scrollbar or something equivalent.
  • Displays a tabular view of the data (columns are vertically aligned) and allow the user to resize the columns (unlike regular text editor).
  • Ideally makes a sensible guess about the delimiter and the quotechar.
  • Ideally guesses the encoding.
  • Do you want a pager like less or do you have specific line ranges you want to pull out? Oct 22, 2015 at 15:32

2 Answers 2


You could try reCsvEditor, a CSV file viewer/editor which supports a wide variety of field delimiters, very large files and Unicode Files. Files are displayed in a table format.

It seems to match all your requirements, it's written in Java, and it has a SourceForge project portal too (where the program can be downloaded from).

Here is a list of features, taken from its website:

  • Supports for very large Files
  • Supports just about any character being used as a field separator
  • Columns can be added, moved and copied
  • Field Separator / Quotes can be changed
  • Fields can be both hidden and Fixed in position
  • Multiple File Views are Supported including
    • Record View - Display a single record with fields going down the page.
    • Filtered View - Select Records / Fields to be displayed.
    • Sorted Tree View - Gives a Sort / Summary of the file with individual records as leaf's in the tree
    • Column View - Rows / Columns swapped.
  • Files can be exports as Fixed Width Text or Xml or Html or via Velocity Template (needs separate velocity Download).

A few screenshots to give you an idea of how it looks:

CSV file preview

CSV record edit view

CSV big file options

  • The sourceforge page states that it is a "Editor for simple (only one record) Csv Files". Do you know what the "only one record" means? Oct 25, 2015 at 17:04
  • @RockPaperLizard I've read that as well, no idea what it means... I've used the program and you can definitely edit more than one record of a CSV file.
    – mguassa
    Oct 25, 2015 at 17:15
  • LOL. Yes, it seems like a very odd thing to be able to only edit one record! Perhaps it is a translation error. Glad to hear it does not have that limitation. ;) Oct 25, 2015 at 19:39
  • It seems to be the perfect tool. Unfortunately the window doesn't show properly on ubuntu 14.04.3
    – mbl
    Oct 27, 2015 at 12:52
  • This is the perfect tool ! Besides, it is actively maintained.
    – mbl
    Nov 9, 2015 at 11:22

Another option to consider is loading your CSV file into a analytics-oriented DBMS, like MonetDB, then using its simple command-line client or any ODBC/JDBC/MAPI-based tools - to view only those parts of the data you're interested in. With SQL you can easily apply all sorts of complex, or simple, filters - on the columns and the rows.

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