Is it possible to export an excel file to CSV with Excel online?

I know it is no problem to do it using the desktop but cannot find the equivalent function in the online version.

  • 1
    I found one online method to convert Excel file to CSV Please try it and hope it works for you. convertio.co/xls-csv – SolveProblem Aug 1 '16 at 11:01
  • for the record I have tried with Google Drive and it did not work because my file is to large to be read in Google Sheets... seems I'll have to install Excel on my machine – John Aug 1 '16 at 11:04
  • You can delete it from there. It's not paid. I tried converting some of my images and it worked. So you can try it. – SolveProblem Aug 1 '16 at 11:05
  • I am providing you offline steps to convert excel to csv : support.office.com/en-us/article/… – SolveProblem Aug 1 '16 at 11:08

To answer and close this question:

Check Office Help https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Differences-between-using-a-workbook-in-the-browser-and-in-Excel-f0dc28ed-b85d-4e1d-be6d-5878005db3b6: "Workbooks in other formats, such as .csv format, are generally not supported in Excel Online."

Looks like there is no way around an offline conversion.


I teach college and one of the assignments I give to student in exploring files and structure is to output a spreadsheet I supply as .xls as a .csv file, then examine how the conversion process surrounds data containing commas with quotation marks so as not to confuse the "data" commas from the data delimiting commas. A student ran into this same problem and claimed that he couldn't do the assignment since he used the online version of Excel. In my case the "cure" was simple--the course is designed to also explore free alternative software and an upcoming assignment is to download and install LibreOffice from www.libreoffice.com and try it out, comparing it to MS-Office. I suggest that you do the same. The LibreOffice "Calc" spreadsheet program is quite capable and easily converts a spreadsheet to .csv format with a "save as." LibreOffice is available free for Windows PC and Macs.


Although it is not possible directly, the answer is

Yes, by semi-manual process, using the clipboard and plain text editor.

Follow these steps:

  1. Select a range to export in Excel online.
  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy it into the clipboard.
  3. Paste clipboard content into Notepad++ editor.
  4. Press Ctrl+H to open Replace window
  5. Replace all " with "" in Extended mode (if none were present, 0 replacements is OK).
  6. Replace all \t with "," in Extended mode.
  7. Replace all \r\n with "\r\n" in Extended mode.
  8. Add " to start of the file.
  9. Add " to end of the file.
  10. Save your result with csv extension. Your CSV file is now ready.


  • Steps 1-3 produce TSV content (Tab-separated values) in text editor.
  • Step 5 doubles any double quotes (") in the content because "" is their valid expression in CSV file.
  • Steps 6-9 surround the values by quotes and separate them by commas instead of tabs.
  • This is rather Windows-centric, but the basics work the same on other platforms. I was able to copy/paste an Excel sheet into Emacs on a Mac and ended up with tab-delimited data. This is already valid TSV, though if you want to save as CSV, obviously s/"/""/g;s/(^|$)/"/g;s/\t/","/g with further requirements if the data contains multi-line fields as verbosely instructed (but not really explained) in this answer. – tripleee Jan 3 at 7:53
  • @tripleee – Thank you for the comment, I added the explanation. I believe the steps are quite readable for most standard editors (hopefully even on Macintosh). For my understanding of Emacs (user base of which is coming from old mainframe computers) Emacs part is not needed in the answer because any such user is proficient enough to do the conversion right away instead of searching the internet. :) But maybe short awk script can be more useful outside Windows platform to shift depenency from Emacs to standard tool. – miroxlav Jan 3 at 15:42
  • You don't need a mainframe to appreciate a decent editor, but this should work fine for any editor. There are existing tools for converting TSV to CSV so just the copy/paste and save really needs to be manual. – tripleee Jan 3 at 15:52
  • Perhaps I should add that just cmd-C didn't work, I had to pay tribute to Microsoft's bold and intelligent UI designers by clicking open the Home tab on the top bar abomination and find the symbol which represents "copy" (it's an icon with like two documents on top of each other). – tripleee Jan 4 at 7:04

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