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Expanding on several questions asked 10 years ago on Stack Overflow, I'd like to elaborate what's the best CSV Viewer Editor in 2021.

What makes a good viewer (for me):

  • Displays CSV in Grid view, not as plain text (as it would be in Notepad++)
  • Has CSV centric features, like skipping the first x rows, define headers, etc.
  • Allows editing of the file
  • Allows advanced searching and find / replace
  • Bonus: Allows advanced editing like column splitting, date / locale transformations, filters, ...
  • Saves the CSV without additional whitespace
  • Handles different codecs well (UTF-8, ANSI, ISO, different line endings, etc) and allows conversion
  • Is open source!
  • Runs on Windows (for me) or is cross-platform
  • Probably more, feel free to suggest features.

Software I have looked into:

  • CSVed (powerful, but really slow and old)
  • "Edit CSV" Plugin for VS Code (nice, but sometimes a bit notchy)
  • Excel (urgs)

Old questions:

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  • 1
    Welcome Harper! The title of your post was for a CSV viewer, but the contents of your post indicated an editor. I've adjusted the title accordingly. Again, welcome! Aug 30 at 23:07
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I like OpenRefine.

According to the documentation :

OpenRefine is a Java-based power tool that allows you to load data, understand it, clean it up, reconcile it, and augment it with data coming from the web. All from a web browser and the comfort and privacy of your own computer.

TSV, CSV, *SV, Excel (.xls and .xlsx), JSON, XML, RDF as XML, and Google Data documents are all supported. Support for other formats can be added with OpenRefine extensions.

The latest stable release of OpenRefine 3.4.1, released on September 24, 2020. The first beta release of OpenRefine 3.5, released on May 29, 2021.

Not sure for all functions.

  • [x] Displays CSV in Grid view, not as plain text
  • [x] Has CSV centric features, like skipping the first x rows, define headers, etc
  • [x] Allows editing of the file
  • [x] Allows advanced searching and find / replace
  • [x] Bonus: Allowes advanced editing like column splitting, date / locale transformations, filters, ...
  • [x] Saves the CSV without additional whitespaces
  • [x] Handles different codecs well (UTF-8, ANSI, ISO, different line endings, etc)
    • [?] and allows conversion
  • [x] Is open source! OpenRefine is licensed under the BSD license.
  • [x] Runs on windows (for me) or is cross-platform It's availaible on Linux, MacOS and Windows.

Probably more, feel free to suggest features.

  • [x] regex search
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    This is not exactly what I was looking for, but instad so much more. I've been looking for a simple viewer, but this tool is a powerhouse for data cleaning, which I previously did in Excel Powerquery or Pandas. I'll definetly give this one a closer look, thank you for the recommendation.
    – Harper
    Sep 1 at 11:41
2

AlternativeTo.Net lists a bunch of alternatives to CSVed but they all seem to be VERY VERY unmaintained/outdated.

Since you mentioned Notepad++, There is a maintained plugin for it called CsvQuery

Although you specified a GUI application, in case a command line solution might interest you, you can use PowerShell's built in ConvertTo-CSV and ConvertFrom-CSV which might be useful, as well as an interesting command line too named csview

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    The NP++ plugin is really interesting, I'll keep that one. A shame that it can't alter the files, but looking at it is sufficient, most times.
    – Harper
    Sep 1 at 11:29
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LibreOffice would check all your boxes I suppose.

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  • Specifically, LibreOffice Calc, the spreadsheet. Aug 31 at 14:27
  • Doesn't Calc have the same problems as Excel? For instance, formatting numbers based on the locale and not displaying the plain text? In Germany, we use a "," as decimal sperator and a "." as thousands seperator, this is often a problem when dealing with non-localized sql-exports...
    – Harper
    Sep 2 at 6:54
  • 1
    LibreOffice Calc allows specifying the separators when importing a CSV, as well as other option like e.g. single or double quotes to delimit strings. In addition it has various other global formatting options. I suggest trying it with your specific use case, as I have no idea what issues you consider blocking or not.
    – Sebastian
    Sep 2 at 19:08

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