Way to include commas in CSV columns without breaking the formatting

csv

I've got a two column CSV with a name and a number. Some people's name use commas, for example Joe Blow, CFA. This comma breaks the CSV format, since it's interpreted as a new column.

I've read up and the most common prescription seems to be replacing that character, or replacing the delimiter, with a new value (e.g. this|that|the, other).

I'd really like to keep the comma separator (I know excel supports other delimiters but other interpreters may not). I'd also like to keep the comma in the name, as Joe Blow| CFA looks pretty silly.

Is there a way to include commas in CSV columns without breaking the formatting, for example by escaping them?

Best Solution

Enclose the field in quotes, e.g.

field1_value,field2_value,"field 3,value",field4, etc...

See wikipedia.

Updated:

To encode a quote, use ", one double quote symbol in a field will be encoded as "", and the whole field will become """". So if you see the following in e.g. Excel:

---------------------------------------
| regular_value |,,,"|  ,"", |"""   |"|
---------------------------------------

the CSV file will contain:

regular_value,",,,""",","""",","""""""",""""

A comma is simply encapsulated using quotes, so , becomes ",".

A comma and quote needs to be encapsulated and quoted, so "," becomes """,""".

Related Question