How to Convert XLSX/XLS to CSV


CSV, with the full name of Comma-separated Values, is a kind of file format that can be used to save tabular data (which is numbers and text) in a plain format. Using CSV format, the data files can be managed and then presented more clearly. CSV is a universally supported format that can be opened on many programs or applications.

Another convenience brought by CSV is that the data stored in the CSV document can be edited very easily if you discover a problem hidden in the original data content. This should thank to the plain text attribution that CSV owns.

Regarding all these features of a CSV file, some people may want to convert XLSX/XLS to CSV. But how can we do that? For relief, this is not a complicated matter, and we bring several methods for you to adopt for converting an XLSX or XLS file to CSV. Now, check the article and try to handle the problem by yourself!

1. Directly Convert XLSX/XLS to CSV in Microsoft Excel

Actually, for people who want to save the XLSX or XLS file to CSV format, Microsoft Excel has provided this function in its app for use freely. But actually, a few people exactly know about it. So here, I will take you to go through the steps. And you should pay attention that this is workable for Excel 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007.

Step 1. Open the XLSX or XLS file with your Microsoft Excel program. From its menu bar, you should go to "File" and then select "Save As". Then the Save As window will be popped up.

Microsoft Excel Save As

Step 2. Move to the "Save as type" under "File name", where you need to drop down the menu and select "CSV" as the option to encode your XLSX/XLS file. There are several CSV encoders you can choose to save the file, which includes:

  • CSV (comma delimited), which allows the saved CSV file can be opened in another Windows program or device with Windows operating system.
  • CSV (Macintosh), which enables the CSV file can be successfully opened on Mac operating system.
  • CSV (MS-DOS), which allows your CSV file can be used on the device with an MS-DOS operating system.

Microsoft Excel Select CSV Format

Step 3. After selecting the suitable CSV format as the output format for your XLSX/XLS file, you can also choose a folder. Then hit "Save" and a notification will be prompted by Microsoft Excel, warning you that the selected file type can't be used to save as workbooks that contain multiple sheets. Choose to press "OK" to continue if you just want to save the active sheet. But if you want all of them, you should choose "Cancel" and divide the sheets into different files for repeating these steps to convert them to CSV format one-by-one.

Microsoft Excel Save Notification

Step 4. If you choose "OK", another notification window will pop up to inform you that some features of your original file will be removed if you choose to save it in CSV format. Click just click "Yes" and you can convert the XLSX/XLS to CSV file successfully.

Microsoft Excel Convert to CSV File

2. How to Convert XLSX/XLS to CSV If It Contains UTF-8 or UTF-16 Encoding

Sometimes you may find that the above method is not workable for converting your XLSX/XLS files to CSV format. Why? I assume that this is possible because the content of your XLSX/XLS files contains some special characters, which are not ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange). Two main codes that will stop your XLSX or XLS files being converted to CSV using Excel successfully, which are UTF-8 (more complicated encoding that contains 1 - 4 bytes for each symbol), and UTF-16 (applies 2 - 4 bytes to store each symbol). So now, I will show you how to convert XLSX/XLS to CSV if the file has UTF-8 or UTF-16 encoding in it.

Convert XLSX/XLS with UTF-8 to CSV

Step 1. Like the first two steps stated in the above method, you need to open the XLSX/XLS file in Microsoft Excel and then go to "File" > "Save As" to save the file in "Unicode Text (*.txt)" format on your computer.

Microsoft Excel Select .txt

Step 2. Then you need to open the .txt file. Then go to "File" > "Save As". In the window, select "UTF-8" as the encoding method and press "Save".

Microsoft Excel Select Encoding

Step 3. After doing that, back to the desktop and rename the file with .csv at the end of its name. Then you can convert the file into CSV document.

Convert XLSX/XLS with UTF-16 to CSV

For XLSX and XLS with UTF-16 encoding, it is much simpler to convert the file into CSV format for the reason that Excel will automatically use UTF-16 format while you choose to save the file in .txt.

So, you just need to go to "File" > "Save As" in Excel, the output the XLSX/XLS in .txt format, then use Windows Explorer to change the file format from .txt to .csv. Then all is done!

3. Use Google Sheets to Easily Convert XLSX/XLS to CSV

Many people know that Google also has a suite of powerful Office functions to help manage all kinds of documents both online and using hardware. Actually, using the Google Sheets tool is also possible to convert XLSX/XLS to CSV.

Step 1. Use your browser and go to Google Sheets platform. You need to use a Google account before starting to use its function.

Google Sheets Add A Blank Sheet

Step 2. Open a blank file and from the toolbar, select "File" for choosing "Import...". Then turn to "Upload" and press "Select a file from your computer" to add your XLSX or XLS file to the platform.

Google Sheets Upload File

Step 3. When a notification window shows up, you should tick the "Replace spreadsheet" then submit "Import data".

Google Sheets Replace Spreadsheet

Step 4. When the content is all uploaded on Google Sheets, you can begin to convert the file to CSV format. Just by going to "File" > "Download as" > "Comma separated values (.csv, current sheet)". After selecting this option, the XLSX/XLS file will be uploaded to Sharesight in CSV format.

Google Sheets Save As CSV

4. Convert XLSX to CSV without Cost Online

Another online way you can try to convert XLSX to CSV freely and very easily is to use a popular online file converting platform, called Zamzar, which directly provides an XLSX to CSV converter for people to do this simply.

Step 1. Go to the XLXS to CSV converter on Zamzar, and directly hit the "Add Files..." button in green color to select to upload for XLSX file to the platform.

Step 2. Zamzar has selected CSV as the output format for you, so you just need to press "Convert Now" and the file will be converted to CSV format.

Zamzar Convert XLSX to CSV

Step 3. Then you just need to click the "Download" button and you can save the converted CSV file offline.


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These four ways are completely workable for you to convert XLSX or XLS files to CSV format when you are in need. They are not difficult to master. If you know other simpler ways to convert XLSX/XLS to CVS, share with us by commenting below!

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