Tcl Library Source Code

EuroTcl/OpenACS 11 - 12 JULY 2024, VIENNA

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csv - Procedures to handle CSV data.

Table Of Contents


package require Tcl 8.5 9
package require csv ?0.8.1?

::csv::iscomplete data
::csv::join values ?sepChar? ?delChar? ?delMode?
::csv::joinlist values ?sepChar? ?delChar? ?delMode?
::csv::joinmatrix matrix ?sepChar? ?delChar? ?delMode?
::csv::read2matrix ?-alternate? chan m {sepChar ,} {expand none}
::csv::read2queue ?-alternate? chan q {sepChar ,}
::csv::report cmd matrix ?chan?
::csv::split ?-alternate? line ?sepChar? ?delChar?
::csv::split2matrix ?-alternate? m line {sepChar ,} {expand none}
::csv::split2queue ?-alternate? q line {sepChar ,}
::csv::writematrix m chan ?sepChar? ?delChar?
::csv::writequeue q chan ?sepChar? ?delChar?


The csv package provides commands to manipulate information in CSV FORMAT (CSV = Comma Separated Values).


The following commands are available:


The format of regular CSV files is specified as

  1. Each record of a csv file (comma-separated values, as exported e.g. by Excel) is a set of ASCII values separated by ",". For other languages it may be ";" however, although this is not important for this case as the functions provided here allow any separator character.

  2. If and only if a value contains itself the separator ",", then it (the value) has to be put between "". If the value does not contain the separator character then quoting is optional.

  3. If a value contains the character ", that character is represented by "".

  4. The output string "" represents the value ". In other words, it is assumed that it was created through rule 3, and only this rule, i.e. that the value was not quoted.

An alternate format definition mainly used by MS products specifies that the output string "" is a representation of the empty string. In other words, it is assumed that the output was generated out of the empty string by quoting it (i.e. rule 2), and not through rule 3. This is the only difference between the regular and the alternate format.

The alternate format is activated through specification of the option -alternate to the various split commands.


Using the regular format the record

123,"123,521.2","Mary says ""Hello, I am Mary""",""

is parsed into the items

a) 123
b) 123,521.2
c) Mary says "Hello, I am Mary"
d) "

Using the alternate format the result is

a) 123
b) 123,521.2
c) Mary says "Hello, I am Mary"
d) (the empty string)

instead. As can be seen only item (d) is different, now the empty string instead of a ".

Bugs, Ideas, Feedback

This document, and the package it describes, will undoubtedly contain bugs and other problems. Please report such in the category csv of the Tcllib Trackers. Please also report any ideas for enhancements you may have for either package and/or documentation.

When proposing code changes, please provide unified diffs, i.e the output of diff -u.

Note further that attachments are strongly preferred over inlined patches. Attachments can be made by going to the Edit form of the ticket immediately after its creation, and then using the left-most button in the secondary navigation bar.


matrix, queue


csv, matrix, package, queue, tcllib


Text processing


Copyright © 2002-2015 Andreas Kupries