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What is a TSV file?

Q&A

TSV and CSV are both text files used to store data. The apparent distinction between them is in their default field delimiter: TSV uses TAB, and CSV uses a comma.

TSV stores data in tables, while CSV allows you to store data in rows, each containing one or more columns of information. For example, a text file could include students' names and grades (one column per student) or an inventory of items with their ID numbers and descriptions (one column per item).

Like TSV, CSV files can be opened by most spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. However, unlike TSV, CSV files can't be opened by most word processors like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages because they lack formatting abilities.

A tab-separated values (TSV) file is a text format used primarily to store data in a table structure.

Each record in the table is recorded as one line of the text file, and tab characters separate the fields' values in each record.


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