When saving/opening CSV files in Excel, the default separator is a semicolon ;, as I need it to be a comma , I tried to change it by changing the Language and Regional settings following several other posts about this issue (i.e. How to get Excel to interpret the comma as a default delimiter in CSV files?).

However, after changing the List separator in those settings, my Excel keeps saving CSV files with a semicolon. Is it because Excel was installed while my list separator was set as a semicolon? or is there another setting I am missing here?

  • Is the problem in reading existing CSV files or creating one using comma as the delimiter?
    – fixer1234
    Oct 28, 2014 at 15:33
  • Both, I have already done what @Raystafarian mentioned before saving a new file. My regional setting is correct. Then I open Excel and save as CSV and when I open the file in notepad I can see that it used a semicolon. If I open in Excel it does load correctly because Excel still uses a ; for separating the columns.
    – Sandra
    Oct 28, 2014 at 17:27

4 Answers 4


I found the problem. My decimal symbol in the Regional settings was also a comma (European) so, even when my List separator was a comma, the CSV was saved with semicolons. Now I changed my decimal symbol to a point and now the CSV file is created correctly with commas as separators. I tested this twice and now know that there must be an exception: if the decimal symbol is a comma, then the list separator will be a semicolon even is set otherwise.

  • 14
    Thank you for taking the time to update the post with an answer. Oct 28, 2014 at 18:14

For saving

You need to adjust the list separator in language and regional settings prior to saving the file -

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For opening

Go to Data - Get External Data - From Text

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select the file

Select delimited, press next enter image description here

and select the delimiter comma

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Click finish

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Or, pull it in and then use text to columns see here

  • If I read the question right, it looks like the problem is creating (saving), a delimited file using commas for the delimiter (2nd paragraph).
    – fixer1234
    Oct 28, 2014 at 15:29
  • @fixer1234 yeah that's how I read it at first. But then I thought the first paragraph was the important one. I've no idea which is correct. Either way, I have no solution for the creation other than what the OP mentioned they've already tried. Oct 28, 2014 at 15:30
  • Yes, I did change the regional settings before saving the file. It didn't help. When I receive CSV files from other people which are delimited with a comma, then I use your method for importing the data correctly, then I save and it goes to a semicolon. It's annoying because every time I need to go to notepad and replace all semicolons with commas before using my CSV as an import file.
    – Sandra
    Oct 28, 2014 at 17:27

Here is a very nice macro that works quite well:

Sub saveCSV()
File = Application.GetSaveAsFilename(InitialFileName:="file.csv", FileFilter:="CSV (*.csv), *.csv")
ActiveWorkbook.SaveAs Filename:=File, FileFormat:=xlCSV, CreateBackup:=False, local:=False
End Sub

This is a bit old, but I ran into the same problem:
Had a CSV delimited with semicolon (;). System separator settings (Windows) also set to semicolon.

  • If I opened the CSV manually, the file was separated correctly.
  • If I let VBA open it, it separated it incorrectly with a comma.

Using Delimiter:=";" apparently only works with .txt.

HOWEVER, using Local :=True solved the problem for me:

Workbooks.Open(Filename:=fullpath, Local:=True)

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