Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working with Tables
Figure 8-5 Because formatting characters are displayed here, you can see that we used tabs as
the separator character.
Comma-separated values files don’t convert properly
A widely used data interchange format is a comma-separated values file, or CSV file. A
CSV file is a plain-text file that uses a comma to separate each item in a row of data and
a paragraph mark at the end of each row. So far, perfect for conversion.
Problems arise when a data item that’s intended to go in a single cell contains a
comma. Programs that create CSV files deal with this situation by enclosing the item
in quotation marks. Unfortunately, Word doesn’t recognize this convention, so it ends
up splitting data at every comma (and erroneously preserving the quotation marks, to
You can work around this problem in either of two ways. If possible, use a different
separator character in your data file; many programs can produce a tab-separated values
file as an alternative to CSV. If that’s not possible, open the file in Excel, which properly
handles quotation marks. You can then use Excel to save the file as a tab-delimited file,
or simply copy the data from Excel and paste it into your Word document.