How to Convert CSV File to Excel

By Nina Nixon

CSV file type (known as comma-separated values or comma delimited text files) is one reliable, conversion-friendly file format. Converting a CSV file to an Excel spreadsheet can expand the ways in which you manage your data. For example, you can create pivot tables and charts, or you can import records such as name-and-address contact lists in other software programs for further analysis. This is very useful, since these types of records are typically a continuous work in progress that require updating at various times.

Things You'll Need

  • Excel 2003 version or later

Save CSV File as Excel Spreadsheet

Step 1

Open Excel and click "File" and then click "Open."

Step 2

Click the down arrow next to "Look in" to locate the folder containing the CSV file.

Step 3

Use the down arrow next to "Files of type" and select "Text Files (*.prn; *.txt; *.csv)."

Step 4

Double-click the CSV file to open it.

Step 5

Click "File" and then select "Save As."

Step 6

Use the down arrow next to "Save as type" and select your desired Excel version format; click "Save."

Import CSV File to Excel

Step 1

Open Excel and click "Data" and then point to "Import External Data."

Step 2

Click "Import Data."

Step 3

Use the down arrow next to "Files of type" and select "Text Files (*.txt; *.prn; *.csv; *.tab; *.asc)."

Step 4

Click the down arrow next to "Look in" to locate the folder containing the CSV file and then click "Open."

Step 5

Click "Next" three times, using the wizard default settings. Next, click "Finish" and then click "OK."

Tips & Warnings

  • Since you are converting a CSV file into another format, test the new Excel file before deleting the original CSV.
  • As indicated in the section "Save CSV File as Excel Spreadsheet," in Step 3, it is important to select "Text Files (*.prn; *.txt; *.csv)," in "files of type" instead of "All Files (*.*)" to narrow down your selection and find your CSV file fast.
  • These steps apply to Excel 2003 using Windows XP.