There are many reasons why you might want to save or export your Google Sheets as CSV files. Comma-separated value files are as simple as they are useful, and they can be imported to just about any data analysis software. Since data is stripped of any formatting, the file size is much smaller: a couple of MBs can contain hundreds of thousands of cells. While the comma is a standard separator in these files, hence the name, it is also possible to save it as a tab-separated value (TSV) file. However, if you would like to use a different or custom separator, it will require some scripting.
In this article, you will learn how easy it is to convert your Google Sheets to CSV files. You will also learn about some more advanced methods to automatically export your spreadsheet data to CSV. With Sheetgo, you can set up automatic workflows and synchronize your data to multiple formats, including CSV. If you’re looking to convert in the other direction, check out our article on How to Import CSV to Google Sheets Automatically.
Convert a Google Sheet to CSV Manually
- 1. Open the spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
- 2. Click on the tab you want to save as CSV.
- 3. Go to File > Download > Comma Separated Values (.csv).
CSV files contain no formatting or visualizations of any kind, just data in a highly structured format. When converting a Google Sheet to CSV format, remember that all your data has to be in one tab, as CSV doesn’t support multiple tabs. The steps below will show you how to select the tab and download it as a CSV file.
- 1. Open your spreadsheet in Google Sheets and click on the tab with the data you want to convert to the CSV format.
- 2. Go to File > Download > Comma Separated Values (.csv).
- 3. By default, the suggested filename for the CSV will be the same as the original file. If you want to save more than one tab in the same file, you might want to save with the name of the tab to avoid confusion.
How to Import CSV to Google Sheets Automatically?
If you need to open CSV files in Google Sheets, you can either do it manually or automatically. Here's how to import CSV files into Google Sheets.READ MORE
Export Google Sheets to CSV Automatically
While it’s very easy to manually export your Sheets tabs as CSV files, if this is a regular task, it’s time-consuming and error-prone. So how can you automate this process? Below, you will learn about some of the possibilities for automatic export to CSV from Google Sheets.
Export Google Sheets to CSV Automatically with Publish to Web
Using Google Sheets’ “Publish to Web” feature, you can publish a link to share your spreadsheet tab in the CSV format. By default, “Automatically republish when changes are made” is enabled.
- 1. Open your Google Sheet and go to File > Share > Publish to web.
- 2. In the “Link” tab, click on the right-hand drop-down and choose Comma-separated values (.csv).
- 3. From the left-hand drop-down, choose the tab you want to share as a CSV.
- 4. Click on “Published content & settings” to access additional options. As you can see below, you can restrict access to specific groups. Under “Published content” it says “None” because we have not yet clicked the “Publish” button.
- 5. Once you’re happy with the settings, click “Publish”.
- 6. That’s it. You’ve created a link that users can access to download a CSV of the data in the selected tab.
- 7. To stop publishing this content, click on “Published content & settings”. Under the name of the shared content, you’ll see a button that says, “Stop publishing”.
If you have data in several CSV files you can merge them into one file in Excel. Here's how to combine multiple CSV files in Excel.READ MORE
Export Google Sheets to CSV Automatically with Google Apps Script
If you’re familiar with APIs and have some programming skills, you can create complex scripts using Python, PHP, etc., to connect to your data and manipulate it in any way you wish. However, this is not an option for everyone.
As you have seen, it’s easy to save your Google Sheet tabs as CSV files. However, if this is a task you have to perform frequently, you may want to consider automating all or part of the process. You can do this by creating simple scripts or macros directly in Google Sheets, but there are limits to what you can do. More complex and powerful scripts require time and skill, so they’re not always an option.
You now know how to export your Google Sheets manually to the CSV format. You also know how to use the Publish to Web feature in Google Sheets to automate the conversion. For more advanced methods that allow you to choose the separator and other parameters, you can create your own scripts or use a third-party tool. By using Sheetgo, you can create automated workflows to ensure your data is automatically synchronized across multiple formats.