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How to Convert a CSV File to Mac

by ContributorUpdated April 02, 2020
10'000 Hours/DigitalVision/GettyImages

Most database, word processing and spreadsheet programs provide the option to save a document in another format for compatibility across platforms and applications. The CSV, or comma-delimited, format contains a series of data fields in quotation marks separated by commas. Data, specifically numbers containing leading zeroes such as those for ZIP codes, lose the original field formatting when converted into this file format. Convert any fields containing numbers into a text format before converting to a CSV file to ensure Mac applications (such as iWork Numbers) imports the correct sequence.

Open the document containing data and select the categories that contain numerical values. For example, open an Excel spreadsheet and locate the columns that contain numbers, such as ZIP codes.

Screenshot of Excel spreadsheet with highlighted columns.

Format these records as text entries, instead of numbers. For example, select the column in the Excel spreadsheet for ZIP codes and select "Text" format for the data. The numbers in those cells will shift from right-aligned to left-aligned.

Screenshot of Excel spreadsheet with highlighted columns.

Save the document as a "Comma-delimited (.csv)" file format through the "Save As" function.

Screenshot of saving as .csv format in Excel.

Launch the target Mac application and select "Open" in the top menu bar.

Screenshot of opening Excel document.

Select the desired .csv file and click the "Open" button.

Screenshot of selecting .csv file in Excel.

Follow the Import wizard for the program to match the field formats for the .CSV file, if applicable. As you go through the Import wizard, confirm that the numerical values are preserved (especially those with leading zeroes).

Screenshot of Excel document.

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