CSV formats in CRM.

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CSV formats in CRM.

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Hello All,

Today I'm going to explain the differences between the two CSV formats available in Sage CRM.

When you are: generating reports,  exporting find results to file or exporting group list to file you can find two CSV file formats:

  • 'CSV',
  • 'Excel CSV'.


'CSV' file format is an almost pure CSV file:

  • the file is encoded in UTF-8,
  • there is no BOM at the beginning of the file,
  • fields that contain a special character (comma, newline, or double quote ), are enclosed in double quotes,
  • user can choose a field delimiter in preferences.

More information about CSV file format can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma-separated_values


Example of a CSV file:


First Name,Last Name,Company Name,Phone Full Number

Francis,Pitford,Accounting Inc.,1 312 666 7381

Ɓukasz,Kowalski,Sage, 1 222 444 555 666

Bill,Jones,Advanced Human,1 606 344 2428

Carol,Newton,Afb Services,1 202 293 9421

Keith,Tarsey,Agrosciences Inc.,1 301 594 8404



'Excel CSV' is a special type of CSV file that loads in Excel without problems:

  • the file is encoded in UTF-16,
  • there is BOM for UTF-16 encoding so Excel knows how the file is encoded,
  • fields that contain a special character (comma, newline, or double quote), are enclosed in double quotes,
  • fields are delimited by tabs.

This screenshot shows an example with the BOM and double byte characters contained in an 'Excel CSV' export.



'CSV' file format is better when you want to process the exported file via e.g. command line programs; on the other hand 'Excel CSV'  file format is better when you want to load the file in Excel and then process it.

  • Hi Andrzej,

    Great article, thanks. Community members can download the 7.0 SP1 release notes, which include information on the Enhanced Spreadsheet Import/Export feature, from here: community.sagecrm.com/.../4631.aspx

    thanks, Diana

  • Hi Andrzej,

    New to Sage CRM and I am looking for a sample csv file that I can use to clean up several lists of contacts I have which are currently in Excel files. I am just looking for a file that I can follow with all the headings on it. Any chance you have one or can send me to a location to find it.

    We are just getting our 7.0 version going and the export function is giving me an error reading - we are in the process of upgrading but it will take a while until we get to it so in the mean time I am trying to prepare some lists of customers and companies.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.