Tue. May 21st, 2024

Microsoft’s Excel web app is a great way to manage spreadsheets in your browser, but it’s still missing a few basic features that have been present in the native desktop Excel applications for years. CSV export was one of those missing features, but now it’s finally available.

Comma-separated values, or CSV for short, is a text file format often used for spreadsheets, tables, and other types of data. It’s commonly used as an intermediary format to move data between applications. For example, Excel can’t open a spreadsheet created in Apple Numbers, but it can open a CSV file exported from Apple Numbers.

The desktop version of Excel has supported CSV files for years, and Google Sheets can also import and export in CSV format, but the web version of Excel hasn’t had the feature until now. Microsoft said in a blog post, “We know that many of you rely on the ability to export CSV files in both Excel for Windows and Excel for Mac, and wished you could also do so in Excel for the web. The wait is over! Take advantage of this lightweight file format in Excel for the web to exchange and use data between apps and across platforms.”

You can try out the functionality by opening the File pane in Excel on the web, then clicking “Export” and finally “Download this sheet as CSV.” The current spreadsheet will then be saved to your device in CSV format, where it can be opened by most other spreadsheet applications (like LibreOffice or Apple Numbers), a regular text editor, or anything else that accepts CSV data.

It’s worth noting that Excel doesn’t export formulas, graphs, text formatting, or any other rich data when exporting a file to CSV. You just get the raw data, and for cells with formulas, only the final data is included. That’s still helpful for moving the final data to another application, but you’ll still need to use Excel’s native file format if you want to retain formulas and other data.

Microsoft says the feature is now available for everyone using Excel on the web, but we’re not seeing it on all our accounts just yet.

Source: Microsoft 365 Insider Blog

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By John P.

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