CSV file handling with Sublime Text

KC Müller
2 min readDec 6, 2018


In the life of a developer you are often confronted with CSV files in all kind of shapes. I was always struggling when changing some data in the files because depending on the software you use (MS Excel, Apple Numbers, Open Office, Google Sheets, etc.) it might change the file format (delimiters, separators) or even the character encoding (especially Excel is famous for that).

One of my favorite tools I use in my daily work is Sublime Text (available for Windows, Mac and Linux). Its a text editor that is super fast and can even handle very large files. There are a lot of possibilities to search and replace text with complex patterns. And the most important thing: It doesn’t mess with your data. You can be sure that what you see is what will be saved into your file.

So for me it was pretty clear that I want to use Sublime to work with CSV files. Which works perfectly fine, but it is a little inconvenient since you can not see the columns.

After some research I found two plugins for Sublime that improve the work with CSV files a lot and I can recommend them both.

No1: Rainbow CSV

This plugin will highlight each column in a different color which makes it way easier to navigate. On top of that you can filter the displayed rows easily using RBQL.

No2: Advanced CSV

As the name suggests, this plugin is much more advanced. It allows you to justify the columns within the editor to have a real column layout. Make sure that you deactivate word wrapping under “View > Word Wrap”. Then there are much more options like sorting, inserting and deleting columns, reformatting and more.



KC Müller