CSV spec and the failure that is MSDN

Alex Tweedly alex at tweedly.net
Sat Dec 4 18:04:05 EST 2004

At 13:43 03/12/2004 -0800, Richard Gaskin wrote:

>Anyone know where I can find the official spec for the CSV formats used by 
>Micro$oft Access, Micro$oft Excel, and the the spec used by the rest of 
>the world?

As far as I know, there is no official spec. (at least, not publicly 
available). I looked pretty hard about 6 years ago and couldn't find 
anything official.

>All three differ from one another, and according to some Micro$oft has 
>changed how CSV is implemented in Excel at least once, maybe twice, so it 
>would be good to find historical specs as well.
>So far the best I can find is this page:
>Nice, but doesn't cover the change, nor Access at all, and if from a third 
>party so I have no way to know how current or thorough it is.  At least 
>with Micro$oft-published specs I can point customers to the source if they 
>have a problem.

Perhaps useful to you would be http://python.shopinator.com/peps/pep-0305.html

This also doesn't specifically describe Access, but it does have a wider 
description of the known variations, as well as having a more 
"authoritative" appearance if you need to quote it customers.

-- Alex.

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