Export ranges from Excel to CSV with any delimiter and any character encoding

(Note: the video may not reflect the latest upgrades. Please use the guide below.)

Widespread popularity of plain text CSV files is easily explained – this format is supported by majority of applications. So saving Excel spreadsheets as comma-delimited CSV files is a familiar operation. But what if you need to export not an entire worksheet, but only a selected range, or apply a different delimiter? Besides, saving as CSV automatically closes Excel workbook – and it becomes tiresome when you have to export data repeatedly.

Export to CSV add-in simplifies this routine operation:

  • Convert selected ranges from XLSX (XLS) to CSV
  • Choose a delimiter: comma, semicolon, tab or vertical pipe bar
  • Set any character encoding: UTF-8, ISO or other
  • Save as CSV without closing the original Excel file
  • Export merged cells accurately

Before you begin, add Export to CSV to Excel

Export to CSV is one of the 20+ features within XLTools Add-in for Excel. Works in Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, desktop Office 365.

– free trial gives you 14 days of full access to all features.

How to export a selected range from Excel to CSV

  1. Select a table or a range of cells.
  2. Click theExport to CSVbutton on the XLTools tab A window will open.
  3. Set CSV file options.
  4. Click OK Save the CSV file to your computer Done.

How to change standard comma to a semicolon, tab or pipe delimiter

  1. Select the range Click theExport to CSVbutton.
  2. Choose a suitable separator between values in the output CSV file:

    • Comma
    • Semicolon
    • Tab
    • Vertical line (pipe)
  3. Click OK Save the CSV file to your computer Done.

How to set character encoding for the resulting CSV file

  1. Select the range Click theExport to CSVbutton.
  2. Choose the necessary encoding for the output CSV file:

    • UTF-8
    • ISO
    • ISCII
    • Unicode, or any other
  3. Click OK Save the CSV file to your computer Done.

How to export values vs formatted values from Excel to CSV

You can define, how to display data in the resulting CSV file, without modifying the source Excel data.

  1. Select the range Click theExport to CSVbutton.
  2. Set the options of how you want the values in CSV to display:

    • SelectSave the formatted value The exported values will match your Excel formatting, e.g. 10%, 12-MAR-2016, $40.
    • SelectSave the value The values will export in default format, e.g. 0.1, 3/12/2016, 40.00.
  3. Click OK Save the CSV file to your computer Done.

How to export to CSV a range with merged cells

  1. Select the range with merged cells ClickExport to CSV.
  2. Check the boxDuplicate values when exporting merged range The add-in will duplicate values from merged cells into the corresponding places of the CSV text string.
  3. Click OK Save the CSV file to your computer Done.

How to save Excel data as CSV without closing Excel file

When you convert Excel files using "Save As…CSV", a message appears: "Some features in your workbook might be lost". Next, it seems that your source XLSX file is replaced by the CSV file. What actually happens, is that your original Excel file gets automatically closed. Instead, a newly generated CSV file opens in Excel interface. So after each conversion you have to reopen the source Excel document again and again. It is time consuming and brings risk of losing unsaved changes to source data.

The Export to CSV add-in streamlines the XLSX-to-CSV routine:

  1. Select the range ClickExport to CSV Set CSV file options.
  2. Click OK Name and save the file on your computer.
  3. Done. Note that the original Excel file remains open. Its extenstion did not change.
  4. If necessary, make changes and proceed – uninterrupted – exporting other ranges.

You can alsoOpen CSV file after exportto preview the result immidiately. The file will open in a new Excel window.

Any questions or suggestions?
Tracy BarberHi - It seems that the underscore (underline) formatting doesn't get saved when exporting to .CSV. I have tried so many different ways to get this done and none were successful. I want to import the .csv file into MySQL. All are set up to use UTF-8 but it doesn't seem to matter. Any ideas?
March 4, 2020 at 11:42
Tracy BarberBTW, I am trying to export underlined r, o, t and a few others that would take days to try to do a markup process and use css to underline the letters. The letters are parts of words. I have seen MySQL import such situations, it's just that middle step that is causing grief. Am I to understand that there is no >File Save As for .csv, Unicode, UTF-8 although many people claim that this works in posts found on Google. Clues, hints, HELP! would be appreciated. Thanks...
March 4, 2020 at 11:48
Maria BalobanovaHi Tracy, exporting formatted values should be no problem. Let us investigate why the format is not saved. We will need some more details from you (I’ve sent you an email). You are right, there is no native Excel functionality to quickly “Save file as…” csv with another encoding. There are workarounds for sure, but we wanted to develop something more intuitive. We use the Export to CSV feature ourselves quite often, that’s actually how the add-in appeared.
March 4, 2020 at 13:14
Robert SchoneThis is a great tool. :) But there is one more question left: I would like to export just specific rows to csv. In my first colum is specified which rows. I learned that I can do that with "Split Table". But that is not exactely what I am looking for. Isn't it possible to export just the rows which I can see (after filtering) and which are not empty?
March 25, 2019 at 12:57
Maria BalobanovaThank you for the kind feedback! Regarding the possibility to export only specific rows – this functionality is not yet supported. But that is a great idea for a future release. Thank you! In the meanwhile, here is what I can suggest: filter the table by your first column > copy the visible rows into a new sheet > export to CSV.
March 25, 2019 at 20:34
Scott HardwickIs it possible to set the qualifier? ex 100,900.83,,Hello instead appears as "100","900","83","","Hello"
February 25, 2019 at 21:51
Maria BalobanovaHi Scott, thank you for the question! Qualifier will be automatically applied 1) only to the data in cells that contain commas, 2) if you choose comma as a delimiter: E.g. cells in Excel (pipes represent cells): |100|900.83||Hello|Doe, John| When you use Export to CSV with a comma delimiter, you'll get: 100,900.83,,Hello,"Doe, John" Do you have a use case when a special option to set qualifiers to all data would be useful? If so, we can pin to our development pipeline.
February 26, 2019 at 13:45
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