How to export a spreadsheet to CSV in Open Office / Neo Office

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In this article, we will talk about how to export any Open Office / Neo Office spreadsheet into a CSV file. CSV format is a standard plain-text data feed format that has been around since 1960s. It can be used as a data feed with almost any software that has a file import feature. You can use CSV file format to transfer database information between several software products that support CSV file format. For Instance, you can export an Open / Neo Office spreadsheet with mailing list to a CSV file, then you can import this CSV file into Email Marketing Courier to send email newsletters.

CSV is always created in plain text, normally in unicode UTF-8 or UTF-16 text encoding. Every line of CSV file stores one entity (for example, a single customer). Data fields such as customer name, email address, phone number, and so on, separated by commas comprise the lines of a CSV file.

Below is an example of a spreadsheet with customer information. It has the following columns Order, Name, Email, Product and Website. We can put another way for clarity. This spreadsheet contains several rows (several customers) and every customer has order number, name, email address, product and a website.
CSV File Sample 1
CSV File Sample 2

Take a look at the second example. It contains quotes around the data fields. This is not for decoration purposes. The quote character is called Qualifier. You may have to add it for clarity in case if commas are used in the fields. Comma here is called Field Separation Character or Delimiter. It must be comma for CSV, but can be semicolon or TAB in case you want to produce a semicolon-delimited or tab-delimited file. By default Open Office / Neo Office uses commas as delimiters and quotes as qualifiers (the second example).

How to create a CSV file in Open Office or Neo Office

Open Office and Neo Office are identical in terms of making CSV files. I even think this is the same software built on the same engine. Below is the example for Open Office, but if you have Neo Office, simply make the same steps.

1. Start Open Office / Neo Office Spreadsheet application.

2. Open your spreadsheet file using the File->Open main menu item.

Open Office / Neo Office Spreadsheet

3. Execute the File->Save As... command from the main menu. This will open the Save dialog box.

Saving Open Office / Neo Office spreadsheet as CSV

4. In this Save dialog box, specify the file type as Text CSV (.csv) using the File Type combo box.

Save dialog box of Open Office / Neo Office

5. Enter file name and select location for your CSV file using the Save As and Location boxes in the Save dialog box. CSV file must have .csv extension.

Specifying file location in Open Office / Neo Office

6. If this window appears on the screen, press the Keep Current Format button on it.

Open Office / Neo Office Format dialog box

7. Click on the Save button and you will get another dialog box where you can fine-tune format of your CSV file.

CVS File Format specification in Open Office / Neo Office

You can leave the default format, but note you are using the quotes as a CSV qualifier (here it is called Text Delimiter). When you import such a file, you need to specify qualifier as double quotes. Using the Unicode UTF-8 or UTF-16 text encoding is a good idea since other encodings may not be imported correctly.

8. Click on the Ok button. In a few seconds a new CSV file is created at the location you have specified.

CSV File on File System

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

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