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3 Types of Delimited Text File

 , updated on May 19, 2017
A delimited text file is a method of representing a table of data in a text file using characters to indicate a structure of columns and rows. This is typically used to provide an import/export function for services, software and databases that represents data in a neutral format. The following are common types of delimited text file.

Comma-separated values (CSV)

The use of commas to separate fields. The end of each row is indicated with a newline character. Often given the file extension ".csv". In some cases, semicolons are used at the end of a row as opposed to a newline character. It is common to place data that includes commas in double quotes and to use an escape sequence when data includes a double quote.

Tab-separated values (TSV)

The use of tab characters to separate fields and newline to indicate a new row. Common in regions where commas are used as decimals in numbers making commas an extremely bad choice as a delimiter. Tab characters are rarely used in data.

Other

Commas are common in data and tabs characters look much like spaces creating a sense of ambiguity for human editing. As such, it is common to use any character that isn't common in data to delimit files. For example, the pipe character "|" is a common choice to delimit fields.
Overview: Delimited Text File
Type
Definition
Representing a table structure in a file using characters to delimit fields and rows.
Also Known As
Delimited data
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