How to Compare and Merge CSV or Tab Limited Files

CSV or comma-separated value files and limited tab files are one of the most common formats used for exporting and importing data in applications like Outlook, Gmail, etc.  That said, they are equally annoying when you want to read them in raw format, and the whole thing is a mess when you get two of such files and need to figure out what is the difference between them. Table text Compare is one such utility which will help you compare two of these types of file and lets you find the difference between two CSV or Tab Limited files. In this post, we will share how you can compare and merge CSV or Tab Limited files.

How to Compare and Merge CSV or Tab Limited Files

Let’s assume you lost all your contacts and request your friends to share it. They send it through CSV files, which you can just import and start using. However, importing all of them will result in duplicate contacts. Though it is possible to detect them both in Gmail and Outlook, then it’s extra work.

At this point, you can think of using Table Text Compare. Now the software can compare even if the order is not the same in both the files, but to take advantage of this; you will have to have column headers for those files. It helps the software to compare even if they are indifferent header. Useful when files are coming from different export tools. So ask you, friends, to make sure you have a column header option.

Use Table Text Compare to compare CSV or Tab limited files.

To start using, you need to have two files, and for best results, make sure they have a header column. Select files, mark them if they have a header, and then wait for results. This tool will give a report explaining how many lines differed and details of the difference that was found. You can then save this report to utilize it properly.

How to Compare and Merge CSV or Tab Limited Files

Other Ways to Compare :

  • If you have applications like Office Excel or anything on similar lines installed, It is possible to open the files with them and then use their inbuilt comparison tool; Word has this inbuilt.
  • Save them into two different files and use Diff Doc Utility to compare.

How to merge CSV or Tab Limited Files

Now since you know that there is a difference, you would also think if you can merge both of them and then delete the duplicates. There are a couple of ways to do this.

Manual: You can first copy-paste the content of first CSV into second and then copy string nad search to find a duplicate. You should do this one by one, and it takes a lot of time.

CSVed: It is an excellent tool which I would recommend to handle your CSV files. This tool lets you do a complete CSV management, including support for Unicode files also. You can append and merge files using then and then later find duplicates using this tool itself.

How to Compare and Merge CSV or Tab Limited Files

Excel: In most Excel-like utility, you will be able to sort and fix these issues. Just define a header for each row and then use a data filter to sort by name. It will bring all the same names in one place.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here