In this step-by-step tutorial, we are going to see how easy it is to convert CSV files to Excel files. We will walk you through two different methods that you can use to make the information in your CSV files readable, by importing it into columns in a normal Excel spreadsheet. No software required. No privacy issues.
What is a CSV file
When we download data from certain websites and from some software, we are often given a CSV file. This is a common practice in eCommerce websites. CSV stands for Comma Separated Values. In a CSV file, information is usually presented in multiple rows but in a single column. The data that you would see displayed in different columns in an Excel spreadsheet is separated by a delimiter, such as a comma or a semicolon, for example. The way the data is displayed makes it harder to read and impossible to analyze by the common user. That is why you might feel the need to convert your data from one column into multiple columns.
No Privacy Issues
The good news is you can convert CSV files to Excel workbooks using Microsoft Office Excel. This way you can avoid exposing sensitive data in websites that offer free CSV conversion.
The CSV to XLSX file conversion methods we are going to demonstrate are free, simple, fast, require no email address, and don’t even require being online. You just need to have MS Office Excel. You don’t need any special software or website so your files are secure.
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Step-by-step video tutorial
Watch the video tutorial below to see how to import files with the extension .csv. We are going to demonstrate two different methods. Both solutions are extremely easy to follow and they both automate the process of converting those CSV files to Excel workbooks in the .xlsx file format. If you prefer, you can read all the steps below.
Using the Text to Column Excel Feature
Double click your CSV file to open it.
(Double clicking only works if Microsoft Excel is set as the default app for .csv files. If your CSV files are set to open with another app, then right-click the file, and choose Open with… > Excel.)
Highlight or select the column where your data is gathered (usually, column A).
Go to the Data tab and click the option Text to Columns.
Select Delimited in the dialogue box and click Next.
In the new dialog box, check the delimiter used to separate the information in your CSV file, usually a Semicolon or a Comma (the Delimiter is the character that separates values in your file) and click Next. If the preview shows all data in one column, that means a wrong delimiter is selected. Change the delimiter, so that the values are displayed in separate columns.
In the new dialog box select, in Column data format, choose General and then click Finish.
When you are asked if you want to replace data, click OK. And your data will be converted into an Excel table that you can edit normally.
When you are done editing, go to the File tab and click Save.
When you are asked if you want to keep using a CSV format, you have to click No and then you choose the location where you want to save your file.
In the field File name type in a name for your file.
In the field Save as type, choose Excel Workbook from the drop-down list and click Save.
As you can see, the first step to convert a CSV file to Excel is opening your CSV file. You can open it directly by double clicking on it just like you would any other file. It is important to keep in mind though that when you open your CSV document by double clicking on it you are not changing the file format or the file extension from .csv to .xlsx or .xls. The file will retain the original .csv extension until the end of the process, when you are asked if you want to keep the file extension or change it. You should follow all the steps above to ensure you complete the process successfully.
Using the New Query Wizard to Import CSV Data into Excel
Create a new Excel file and name it.
Open your newly created blank Excel file.
In your Excel, head over to the Data tab and click New Query – From File – From CSV.
When the dialog box opens browse for your CSV file, select it, and click Import.
When the preview window opens, check if the preview shows all data correctly. If the data is displayed in one column, that means a wrong delimiter is selected. Change the delimiter, so that the values are displayed in separate columns. Then click Load, and your new excel table will be automatically generated.
Go to the File tab and click Save.
Notice that, in this method, you don’t just open the CSV file, your file will immediately open in a new Excel workbook and it will automatically be converted from .csv format to .xlsx or .xls depending on the version of MS Office you have in your computer.
This method works for Excel 2016 or higher. If you are using an older version you might need to use the Text Import Wizard which is a legacy feature that is no longer on display in the ribbon, so you have to enable it first.
I hope you this tutorial help you convert your CSV file to Excel easily. Please share it!
I would love to hear your feedback. Please share some words in the comment section below and stay tuned! We will keep adding new tutorials.