tab-delimited to csv

John Almberg jalmberg at
Mon Feb 16 10:10:50 PST 2009

On Feb 16, 2009, at 12:55 PM, Roland Smith wrote:

> On Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 11:55:50AM -0500, John Almberg wrote:
>> Can anyone suggest a way to convert a tab-delimited file to csv using
>> standard unix utilities? I could whip up a Ruby script to do it, but
> As long as the files don't contain commas themselves,

Right, that's the tricky bit. I could use tr otherwise.

>> I hate to reinvent the wheel.
> I'd whip up that script. There is a shareware tab2csv utility for
> windows for $49.95: 
> i31827.html

I'm working on it, right now.

I also saw that windows utility, but doesn't help me much.

> OTOH, if you have a spreadsheet program like Gnumeric or OpenOffice
> installed, you might be able to script those to import from tab- 
> delimited
> and export to CSV. Admittedly that is like using a nuke to kill a fly.

Actually, the problem arises because I have a client who is exporting  
a 'database' file from Excel 2000 (don't ask), to .csv, and Excel is  
so stupid that it is not putting quotes around a field that contains  
commas. Duh.

Excel seems to export to tab-delimited format without making any  
fatal errors, but I need a real .csv file for import.

Thus my need to convert from tab to (real) csv.

-- John

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