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How to change delimiter when saving Excel file as CSV?

Author: Zhoumandy Last Modified: 2022-09-30

CSV stands for comma-separated values, which means a text file that uses a comma to separate values. But a CSV file also can use a semicolon character as a list separator. Sometimes, the comma-delimited file is not what you want, instead, you want a semicolon-separated file. Here in this tutorial, we will talk about how to change the file separator while exporting Excel file as CSV.
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Change delimiter when saving Excel file as CSV

In countries such as the USA and UK, the default list separator is a comma, so the CSV file is comma delimited. While in many European countries, the semicolon is used as a default list separator because the comma is set to be the decimal symbol. It means the CSV file is usually semicolon delimited in Europe. To change the delimiter when saving Excel file as CSV, please do as follows.

Please note that in our example, the default list separator is a comma.

1. Open Excel. To change the list separator from comma to semicolon, click File > Options. The Excel Options dialog pops up. Click the Advanced option.
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2. In the Editing options section, uncheck the Use system separators box.
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3. Set the Decimal separator to comma (,) and set the Thousands separator to period (.). Click OK.
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4. Open the Excel file you want to save as CSV. Click File > Save As.

5. The Save As dialog box pops up. Change the Save as type to CSV (Comma delimited) in the drop-down list.
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6. Open the CSV file you just saved with Notepad. You will see this CSV file is semicolon delimited.
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  1. If you want to change the list separator back to comma, you can check the Use system separators box. Or set the Decimal separator to period (.) and set the Thousands separator to comma (,).
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  2. In European countries, to change the delimiter from semicolon to comma, you also should uncheck the Use system separators box. Then set the Decimal separator to period (.) and set the Thousands separator to comma (,).

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