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More Details

  • CSVJSON is a CSV-like text format where each line is a JSON array without the surrounding brackets.
  • For data made of numbers and 'simple' strings, CSVJSON looks just like CSV.
  • Parsing CSVJSON is done by processing one line at a time. Wrap a line with square brackets [] and use JSON.parse() to convert to a JSON array.
  • An explanation of CSVJSON and its benefits can be found at the specification website: csvjson.org
  • CSVJSON is ideal as a common format for dumping database tables because:
    1. Being based on UTF-8 it can reliably maintain text from different languages.
    2. It has a standard concept of nulls.
    3. It can deal with modern database features like objects and arrays.
    4. Being based on JSON, there is large variety of high quality formatters and parsers in virtually every programming language.
  • CSVJSON is more expressive than CSV (whose common use is documented by RFC-4180. As a result, there are many cases where products and libraries that can read CSV would fail to read CSVJSON due, for example, to escaping rules and embedded objects. Given CSVJSON's simplicity and utility more tools and libraries will support it over time.
  • To convert JSON back to CSVJSON format, use the companion tool JSON to CSV and toogle the Output CSVJSON variant switch.

The reason why we came up with CSVJSON was not to allow embedding of JSON objects in a CSV line, that's a nice benefit but our main reason was to have the very well defined encoding semantics of JSON (as per json.org) be used to describe CSV lines (just taking out the [ and ]).

Dror Harari, author of the CSVJSON format

Jan 26, 2019

Improvement: Removed 65k limit on download button.

Apr 6, 2016

Bug fixes and help text improvements.

Apr 2, 2018

First release.