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How to open a CSV file

This article explains CSV files and guides you on opening them using Excel and free alternatives like Google Sheets.

Saad Saeed avatar
Written by Saad Saeed
Updated over a week ago

🎯 For admins and HR managers. See how to customise your payroll exports or get an overview of reports you can make in Planday.

In Planday, you can expect to come across files in CSV format when exporting payroll, generating reports on employee data, or exporting the schedule data. To make it easier to see your info, we suggest downloading a PDF first to check your data, then exporting it as a CSV file before importing it into your integration. However, if you need to view or edit your CSV file, you can do this by opening the CSV file in one of these programs.

What is a CSV File?

CSV (Comma-Separated Values) files store data in a simple text format, where each line represents a data row, and commas separate values within each row.

These files offer a lightweight and widely compatible format for transferring data between different systems.

You can export information as a CSV file to get raw data, run statistical analysis in spreadsheet software, or exchange data between Planday and other integrations.

How to open a CSV file Using Microsoft Excel

  • Open Microsoft Excel on your computer.

  • Create a new Excel file and click 1️⃣ Data > 2️⃣ Get Data (Power Query).

  • Select the option 3️⃣ Text/CSV, navigate to your CSV file's location, and open it.

  • Preview the resulting table and make any changes to the delimiter (choose Semicolon) and set encoding type if necessary and press 4️⃣ Load.

Excel will automatically detect and display the data from your CSV file in columns. screenshot.001.png

Read more on how to Import or export text (.txt or .csv) files in Excel on

How to open a CSV file Using Google Sheets

  • Open Google Sheets in your web browser.

  • Open a blank spreadsheet.

  • Click on File in the top menu and choose Import.

  • Select Upload and choose your CSV file from your computer.

  • Click Open to upload the CSV file to Google Sheets.

  • Press Import data to let Google Sheets automatically detect the CSV format and display the data in a spreadsheet.

How to open a CSV file on Mac using Finder or Numbers app

  • View a CSV file in Finder:

    • To preview a CSV file, go to the location of your downloaded file.

    • Select the CSV file and press the space bar on your keyboard to open a preview.

  • Edit a CSV file using the Numbers app:

    • Open the Numbers app on your Mac.

    • Click on File in the top menu and choose Open.

    • Please navigate to the location of your CSV file and select it.

    • Numbers will automatically detect the comma-separated values and show them in columns.

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 11.56.43.png

Viewing or editing CSV Files

Once you've opened a CSV file in Excel or Google Sheets, you can view and edit the data like any other spreadsheet. You can perform tasks such as sorting, filtering, and formatting to analyse the data as needed. Additionally, you can save any changes to the CSV file using the same software or export the modified data back to a CSV format if required.

For example, you can sort the employee data by number of worked hours:

Sort by descending order on Total hours, minus breaks to see which employees worked the most when exporting a payroll export.

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