What's the difference between - CSV (MS-Dos), CSV (Macintosh), CSV (comma delimited) file types in excel 2010? They are all listed as a save file type, but ultimately are Comma Separated Value files.

1 Answer 1


The difference between [them] is if you have certain special characters in text fields; for example, an accented (foreign language) character. If you export as Windows CSV, those fields are encoded using the Windows-1252 code page. DOS encoding usually uses code page 437, which maps characters used in old pre-Windows PCs. If you export as one and then import with a tool that expects the other, most things will look fine but you'll get unexpected results if, for example, you know someone with an umlaut (or other foreign character) in their name.


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    The mac options also should convert the windows CR/LF to the mac CR only standard.
    – Lamar B
    Feb 2, 2012 at 18:39
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    What about Csv comma Delimited?
    – Daniel Beck
    Feb 2, 2012 at 18:49
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    @Raystafarian OK, so that's the default format. But regarding CSV means comma separated: If it only were so easy. Localized variants of the CSV format use semicolons as delimiters.
    – Daniel Beck
    Feb 2, 2012 at 19:20
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    @LamarB: The CR only format applies only to MacOS before OSX. OSX is Unix-based, and uses LF as the line terminator. Does Excel ise the old MacOS format? Feb 2, 2012 at 19:54
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    @KeithThompson CSV (Macintosh) saves with CR as the new-line character, whereas CSV (Comma delimited) and CSV (DOS) both use CR/LF. I found this out by saving a small spreadsheet and opening it in Notepad++ with "Show All Characters" enabled.
    – Ky -
    Feb 3, 2012 at 5:44

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