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A lightweight, high performance, zero dependency, streaming CSV reading library for CSharp.
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This library is a series of unit tested, thoroughly commented CSV parsing functions which I have developed over the past eight or nine years. Extremely small and easy to implement; includes unit tests for the majority of odd CSV edge cases. Library supports different delimiters, qualifiers, and embedded newlines. Can read and write from data tables.

Why use CSharp CSV Reader?

A few reasons:

  • Full compatibility all the way back to C# 2.0 - easy to integrate into legacy projects.
  • Between 16-32 kilobytes in size, depending on framework
  • No dependencies
  • Handles all the horrible edge cases from poorly written CSV generating software: custom delimiters, embedded newlines, and doubled-up text qualifiers
  • Reads via streams; which means if you have a 16GB .csv.gz file it can be streamed into memory


Want to get started? Here are a few walkthroughs.

Custom CSV Settings

Do you have files that use the pipe symbol as a delimiter, or does your application need double quotes around all fields? No problem!

var settings = new CSVSettings()
    FieldDelimiter = '|',
    TextQualifier = '\'',
    ForceQualifiers = true
s = array.ToCSVString(settings);

Iterate Through A Massive File

When you receive a gigantic 20GB file that is formatted CSV, you obviously can't parse it all into memory at once. Maybe you want to deserialize a ZIP file and the CSV within it at the same time - here's how you do that:

using (CSVReader cr = new CSVReader(myfilename)) {
    foreach (string[] line in cr) {
        // Do whatever you want with this one line - the buffer will
        // only hold a small amount of memory at once, so you can 
        // iterate at your own pace!

Serialize and Deserialize

You can serialize and deserialize between List and CSV arrays. Serialization supports all basic value types, and it can even optionally support storing null values in CSV cells.

var list = new List<MyClass>();

// Serialize an array of objects to a CSV string
string csv = CSV.Serialize<MyClass>(list);

// Deserialize a CSV back into an array of objects
var newlist = CSV.Deserialize<MyClass>(csv);

Data Table Support (for older DotNet frameworks)

For those of you who work in older frameworks that still use DataTables, this feature is still available:

// This code assumes the file is on disk, and the first row of the file
// has the names of the columns on it
DataTable dt = CSV.LoadDataTable(myfilename);

// Save a datatable to a file
dt.SaveAsCSV(myfilename, true);

Hand Roll Your Own

The class CSV contains a lot of useful functions for hand rolling your own CSV related code. You can use any of the functions in the CSV class directly.

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