How to Create CSV Files (WooCommerce CSV Import Example)

This article answers the question that man has wrestled with since the days when fire was considered cutting edge tech- how to create CSV files to handle all the data. One way is to open a plain text editor and start typing. Another way is to use a CSV editor like Modern CSV. Finally, you can export a CSV file. By way of example, I’ll use WooCommerce, a popular e-commerce platform for WordPress. I’ll cover how to export a CSV from WooCommerce, build a product list in Modern CSV, and import the modified CSV back into WooCommerce. What is a CSV File? A CSV (comma separated value) file…

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Modern CSV’s Sort Algorithm

To sort a series of strings, you need a way to compare two strings to determine which is “less” and which is “more”. The lesser one comes before the greater one (or in an descending sort, after). Modern CSV uses a combination of numerical and lexicographical sort. Here is a super professional looking flow chart to show how it works: Lexicographical Sort Lexicographical sort is ill-suited for sorting numbers. If you have a series of numbers, say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and you apply a lexicographical sort, it’ll come up 1, 10, 11, 12, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8,…

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License Issues

If you’re having trouble with your license key, this blog post is for you. The main thing to check is that you’re copying the entire block (4 lines for personal, 5 for business licenses). Here’s what the license manager should look like: In rare cases, copying and pasting might not work. In that case, you can drag and drop the license file attached to the email into the License Manager window (be sure to drop it in there and not the table editor). The License Manager window will copy the contents of the file like so: One more possible issue is if you’re trying to use a cracked…

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A Text Editor for CSV Files

I’m a huge fan of some of the best text editors out there- Sublime Text, Atom, and Visual Studio Code. I even used them to code up Modern CSV. I felt there should be a similarly great text editor specifically for CSV files. Of course, you can use them to edit CSV files. In fact, they each have plug-ins specifically for CSVs. However, they still can’t overcome the fact that straight text editors really aren’t equipped to handle columns. On the other hand, Modern CSV handles columns just as well as rows. Here are three characteristics these text editors and Modern CSV have in common. 1. Command Palette…

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Transpose CSV Files

Why would you ever want to transpose a CSV file? One good reason is that CSV files usually have their records arranged in rows and they sometimes have wide columns. That means you have to do a lot of horizontal scrolling if you want to view the fields in a single record. That’s annoying. One remedy is to transpose the whole CSV with the Transpose Table command. The default keyword is ctrl+alt+t. The records are now arranged in columns with the fields shown vertically. Rather than showing just a few at a time, you can view dozens at a time. Now, you can easily scan your eye over…

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Leading Zeros in Excel vs. Modern CSV

Everyone knows that disappearing leading zeros in Excel is a problem, yet Microsoft never bothers to address this. It is a giant headache, but Modern CSV will never ever ever do that to you, promise! Here are some visual aids with bad fake data. Excel hides leading zeros Modern CSV always shows them Leading zeros in all their glory (oh yeah, plus Modern CSV has a dark theme, which Excel doesn’t because Excel is old). Adding leading zeros in Excel Now, what if you want to add leading zeros in Excel? Say, every number should be 10 digits long and zero-padded if necessary. Well, you can Google it…

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Editing PLC-exported CSVs with Flexible Data Headers

Most CSV editors assume that the first row of your table will be your data headers. That assumption often holds, but not always. I’ve come across many CSV files where the first few rows are metadata and the data headers are several rows down. For instance, I used to work in industrial automation programming PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers). These are computers that control the equipment in factories, buildings, oil and gas pipeline stations, etc. I often exported program data to CSVs to quickly make changes and import them back in. Here’s what a typical CSV looks like. Obviously, we want the data header to be row 6 rather…

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Why Excel Sucks and Modern CSV is Awesome (at least for CSVs)

Using Excel for CSV files is like using Word for developing code. You could do it if you like suffering and mostly program in Malbolge, but for everyone else, it’s just the wrong tool for the job. Let’s first cover the main functionality Excel has that Modern CSV does not: Figure plotting Formulas Macros Pivot Tables Individual cell formatting (font, color, etc.) Embedding pictures, videos, etc. As a general spreadsheet tool, Excel is great when you need these things, but it’s a poor tool for dealing with CSV files. Here are the main complaints people have about it: Automatically formats data in undesirable ways Limits you to 1,048,576…

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COVID-19

I’m not a virologist or medical researcher, so there’s not much I can do to help in that respect. I have noticed some Modern CSV users are data scientists and there is a lot of data science going on with tracking the spread of COVID-19, so I’m giving away free personal licenses to anyone who wants to use Modern CSV for that purpose. Just go to the contact page and request one while briefly describing what you plan to do with it. By the way, the raw data behind the Johns Hopkins coronavirus interactive map can be found here. Stay safe out there.

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