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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Change a Microsoft Word Document to a CSV File

How to Change a Microsoft Word Document to a CSV File

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A comma-separated value (CSV) contains comma separated characters (and sometimes other characters) and is generally used to swap data from one application to another. If you have a list of data in a Word document, you can integrate it into other apps by converting it to a CSV file.

Let's say you've organized all your email contacts in a Word file and I want an online application to clean them up for you. You probably need a CSV file to accomplish this. In fact, some of these applications you find online may only support CSV files because the file works on all Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms. Pretty efficient.

Open the Word file containing the data to be imported. This example displays a very small list of emails.

 Small Email List

As you can see, all of our data is separated by commas and is in separate lines. Similar to the row / column structure in Excel. The structure of a CSV file can be a bit complicated, but this is a very simple example.

When you're done, click on the "File" tab in the top left corner of the window.


In the left pane, select "Save as".

 Save as

Select the "Text Only" file type from the list of options. This saves your file as a TXT file. Click on "Save".

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After saving, a warning message appears stating that saving as a text file causes formatting, images, and objects in your system file to be lost. With a simple file like this we need not worry. Leave everything as it is and click "OK."

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Let's open Microsoft Excel. When opening Excel, select "Open" in the left pane.

 Open Excel file

Locate the file last saved as .txt file. Note that when browsing, you may need to select "Text File" from the File Option Type drop-down list, otherwise the file will not be displayed. By default, Excel displays only Excel files.

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Once you have selected the file and clicked "Open", the window of the Import Text Wizard will appear. Make sure that the option "Limited" is selected. You can also select the line where your data starts. We will keep ours in the first row. When finished, click "Next".

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Make sure "comma" is selected in the next window. You will notice a change in the preview window. When finished, click "Next".

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In the last window, you must specify the column data format. We reserve ourselves "General". Depending on the type of data you are importing, you may want to choose another option. When finished, click on "Finish".

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Our data should now be successfully imported into Excel and properly organized.

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Now you only have to save the file as a CSV file. Switch to the "File" tab.

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In the left pane, select "Save as".

 Saving as Excel

In the Files of type box, you've probably noticed that there are three different types of CSV files. They are as follows:

  • CSV UTF-8
  • CSV (Macintosh)
  • CSV (MS-DOS)

The first and third options hardly differ. You want to select the second option if you are a Mac user. However, in this example, the option "CSV (MS-DOS)" is selected.

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