I have 3 local CSV files that I often need to check.
I don't like to have too many windows open, so tabs would be great.

Is there a spreadsheet program that would open the 3 CSV files as tabs of the same window?


  • Works on Ubuntu Linux
  • Free
  • Can open several CSV files from command line and show them in the same window
  • Preferably lightweight, like Gnumeric
  • No particular spreadsheet features needed except search, and copy (for pasting excerpts into Google Docs)
  • csv is just a text format, so are you open (ha) to opening them in a text editor rather than a spreadsheet type display? Notepad++ or Sublime (or probably half the other text editors on the planet) can easily do all of those. Jul 10, 2014 at 6:04
  • @NickWilde: That would work except for the 5th requirement: I need to copy/paste, for instance 30 cells of the R column. Very hard to do with a text editor.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jul 10, 2014 at 6:21
  • ah yes I wasn't thinking of columnar copy/past only row based. Definitely that would be hideous. Jul 10, 2014 at 15:43
  • Use KDE with its KWin window manager. That has the ability to put arbitrary windows together into tab groups. Jul 17, 2014 at 18:07
  • Regarding copy/paste, Geany allows you to select rectangles (columns) of text if you hold down Ctrl and Alt
    – Tymric
    Oct 9, 2014 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


If it's really just the copying and pasting you need, and viewing side-by-side, there's no GUI programme I'm aware of (unfortunately, I have to do the same as you rather frequently). However, I've found just the standard system utilities do what I need. I use the following in Terminator (a split window terminal emulator):

column -s, -t < a.csv | less -#2 -N -S

To install terminator:

sudo aptitude install terminator


sudo yum install terminator

Copying and pasting into spreadsheets works just fine on LibreOffice and OpenOffice, but I'm not sure about Google Docs unfortunately, but I can only imagine it would work in a similar fashion.


Sorry, I just realised it's columns rather than rows you're after, in which case the shortest command would likely be:

ruby -rcsv -e 'CSV.foreach(ARGV.shift) {|row| puts row[5]}' a.csv

Where 5 is the column you're after.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.