How to convert XLS and JSON files to CSV in Linux with csvkit

Sometimes you just need a quick means of converting a spreadsheet to a comma-separated values file. When you don’t have a GUI to take care of the task, Jack Wallen has the perfect command for the job.

Image: GettyImages/Edwin Tan

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to work to upload data to a new system (be it a CMS, CRM, HRM … you name it), only to find out the platform wouldn’t accept the file format I had available. I might have a spreadsheet or JSON file with tons of data, but the system would only accept a CSV file.


You know what it is: Comma-Separated Value. It’s a flat file of data, each entry separated by a comma. Now, some applications make it possible to export a file to CSV format. Even Google Docs allows for such an action with Sheets. But not every application can take care of that export….

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