Excel vs CSV: Difference and Comparison

Excel and CSV are two data securing services that enable it to organize it into tabular form. Generally, such software is used to enter accounting, reporting, and contracting purposes.

The tabular form allows for giving a clear and straightforward calculating offer to its users. Even though both the software might sound the same thing, at the same time, there are many distinct differences between them.

Key Takeaways

  1. Excel is a spreadsheet application developed by Microsoft, while CSV (Comma Separated Values) is a file format used to store tabular data in plain text.
  2. Excel files can include various features, such as formulas, formatting, and charts, while CSV files store only basic data in a simple, easy-to-read format.
  3. CSV files are more universally compatible with software applications and platforms than Excel files.

Excel vs CSV

Excel is a spreadsheet software developed by Microsoft that allows users to create and manipulate spreadsheets. Excel file has a .xlsx or .xls file extension. CSV is a simple file format for storing data in a tabular form. In a CSV file, each line represents a row of data, and a comma delimiter or other delimiters separate the columns. 

Excel vs CSV

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The spreadsheet created to set the numerical data in an organized manner by Microsoft Corporation is known as Excel or Microsoft Excel. It is associated with mathematical or statistical data.

On the other hand, CSV is the abbreviation for the terms Comma Separate Values.

Therefore, by the complete form of the abbreviation, we can clearly say that it is a spreadsheet wherein the users can use commas (,) to separate the values while writing. And this is the main feature of CSV.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonExcelCSV
MemoryThe Excel files cover comparatively more memory. Only a minimal space is authorized by CSV.
ExtensionsGenerally, it has been noticed that the Excel files are saved as .xls/.xlsx..csv. is the file extension for CSV.
Speed Excel has a slower type of file format. CSV was introduced a few years ago, in October 2005.
Introduction YearIn 1987, Excel was first introduced to the market. CSV does not allow to securing the data in the charts.
FormatExcel represents a binary file format. CSV does not allow for securing the data in the charts.

What is Excel?

We all know the term Excel, and for those who came across the time recently, we can state that Excel is a tabular spreadsheet mainly used for calculating and accounting purposes.

In Excel spreadsheets, the mathematical and statistical data becomes easier to calculate. The file extensions for the Excel sheets are represented as .xls./ .xlsx.

Therefore we can identify the Excel files by these extensions. But, these sheets consume a more significant amount of space in the devices.

Also, setting the data on the Excel spreadsheet takes time, as the users need to be attended to while putting the values in the correct rows and columns.

Excel is the software that was released by the Microsoft Corporation in the year 1987. And since then, it has been considered one of the most helpful software by Microsoft.

Excel accepts external data as well and hence helps to work in a broader range. The data can even be stored in the form of charts.

It is not only used for professional work but for unprofessional accounting works as well. Therefore, it is a great way to keep the data in a systematic format.

The MS Excel doc is the only platform that can be used to operate Excel. Also, one can insert not only text but also charts, pictures, graphs, etc. The users can efficiently study the given data on the sheets, even if they are larger files.

This is because the data is divided into rows and columns.

What is CSV?

CSV is the abbreviation for a spreadsheet known for the writing and editing of the values therefore, CSV stands for Comma Separated Values.

Here, by the complete form, we can already make out its exact meaning; it is a spreadsheet where the values are separated by using commas.

The only exception of this spreadsheet is that it only accepts text data, and no other charts, pictures, etc can be used. C.SV came into force in October 2005.

Initially, after operating it, we notice that it is in a plain text format. CSV’s major advantageprimaryhat it can be operated using performed such as MS Excel, NotePad, MS Works 9, etc.

Also, it does not support any external data with it. Generally, CSV is used for accomplishing professional jobs.

The only drawback that affects extensively to its users is that when the CSV files become more extensive, the users find it difficult to read it, and this is them cause it is only separated using commas.

The CSV files are represented by using the extension as .csv. Also, it is mainly used for professional work because it comes with excellent speed capacity, and saves a lt of time.

Even the files consume lesser space, making them convenient to use.

Main Differences Between Excel and CSV

  1. A more excellent space is ideal for an Excel File, while on the other hand, CSV files use less space.
  2. We can identify an Excel file if the extensions such as .xls/.xlsx. are present in it while on the other hand, CSV uses .csv. as its file extension.
  3. On the other hand, Excel takes a long time to process, while CSV does not take time.
  4. Excel was established around the year 1987, while on the other hand, in 2005, CSV was put forward to the market.
  5. The binary file format has been identified in Excel, while on the other hand, CSV can be said as a plain-text format.
Difference Between Excel and CSV
  1. https://academic.oup.com/bib/article-abstract/15/5/788/2422275
  2. https://arxiv.org/abs/2104.13600

Last Updated : July 3rd, 2023

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