How to Filter a CSV File

by Bonnie Conrad
computers image by Olga Chernetskaya from

CSV files provide a convenient way to transfer data back and forth between many different types of programs. Since a CSV file can be read by a file editor, word processor or a spreadsheet program, it is often used to send mainframe information into a spreadsheet program or mail merge letter, or to send data from an Excel spreadsheet to a text file. Once the CSV file is created, it can be filtered and sorted to meet the needs of the end user.

Step 1

Log on to your computer and open your spreadsheet program. Click on the "File" menu and choose "Open" from the list of options.

Step 2

Click the "Browse" button to locate the CSV file you want to filter. Highlight the file and click "Open."

Step 3

Go to the "Data" menu and choose "Filter" from the drop-down list. Choose the "Auto-filter" option.

Step 4

Click the drop-down box in the column you want to sort and choose "Sort Ascending" or "Sort Descending." The ascending option places the lowest values at the top, while the descending option places the highest values at the top.

Choose other filtering options from the drop-down list by clicking on the arrow. Highlight the filter you wish to use and wait for the data to be sorted. Save the CSV file to preserve your changes.


Photo Credits

  • computers image by Olga Chernetskaya from

About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.

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