How to create csv file out of an Apple iWork Numbers spreadsheet

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In this article, I am going to explain you what CSV file is, and what you need it for. I will also teach you how to export any Apple iWork Numbers spreadsheet into a CSV file. CSV format was invented long time ago in 1967 and is pretty standardized by now. It can be used with almost any database and spreadsheet processor that has a file import or export feature. One of the real life applications is to use CSV file to transfer database or spreadsheet information between several software products, for instance, Apple iWork Numbers and Email Marketing Courier for Mac.

CSV is always a plain text file, used to be in ASCII 7bit text encoding. Now CSV file is almost always created in unicode UTF-8 or UTF-16 text encoding. Every line of the file represents a single entity or record (a single customer for example) that contains information about your customer in the form of data fields (such as name, email address, phone number, etc.) separated by a comma(normally), semicolon or TAB.

If your iWork Numbers spreadsheet contained customers with Order, Name, Email, Product and Website columns, your CSV file would look as pictured below:
CSV spreadsheet sample featuring CSV file format
CSV spreadsheet sample as unsaved CSV file

Note that the second example contains quotes around the data fields. Such a quote character is called Qualifier. Sometimes, it is added for clarity in case commas are used in the fields. Normally only double quotes are used as qualifiers despite in rear occasions apostrophes can be used. Commas in our examples delimit data fields. Every comma is called Field Separation Character or delimiter. In most of the cases delimiter is comma but can also be semicolon or TAB. In the last case, the file would be called Tab-Delimited Text File. By default Apple iWork Numbers uses comma as delimiter and does not use any qualifiers.

How to create a CSV file in Apple iWork Numbers

Suppose you have a spreadsheet with customer database, something like the one shown below. In this example, every customer has an order number, name, email address, product ordered and a website he or she ordered it from. This example will be used through this article in order to demonstrate you the whole process.
iWork Numbers spreadsheet sample we will be using to create CSV file

1. Start Apple iWork Numbers spreadsheet processor.

2. Open your spreadsheet file.

3. Use the File->Export... command in the main menu to open the Export dialog box.

iWork Numbers Export dialog used to create CSV file

4. Click on the CSV tab and select UTF-8 text encoding in the Export dialog box.

Specifying UTF-8 or UTF-16 text encoding for CSV file we create

Below is shown the Export dialog box with the details on what should be clicked and in which order.

Exporting spreadsheet to CSV file

5. Press the Next... button and a Save dialog box will appear on the screen. Here you will need to specify name of your CSV file and location.

Saving CSV spreadsheet will create CSV file on your hard drive

6. Press the Export button and a new CSV file will be created at the location you have specified.

CSV file created on your file system after you finish CSV spreadsheet export

Create CSV file and use it to send mass email with Email Marketing Software

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