Convert CSV to an Excel (XLS) File

If you have trouble running these examples please see Using the Command Line and Helpful Hints For Creating a Command Line.

The first example shows how to convert the most popular form of a CSV file, a comma delimited file, to an Excel file. The second example shows how to convert any character delimited (tab, bar, semicolon etc.).

Each switch shown in blue is described in detail below the examples. It is highly recommended you review each switches description before implementing the example, thereby giving you the full power of ‘Convert XLS’.

Example 1 (Comma Delimited CSV File to XLS)

To convert a single comma delimited CSV file, “C:\in\input.CSV” to an Excel (XLS) file located in the “C:\Out\” folder, the following syntax would be used:


ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\input.CSV" /T "C:\Out\output.XLS" /C-4143 /F6 /M2 /V

To convert a whole folder (and subfolders) of comma delimited CSV files, C:\in\*.CSV to XLS files located in the D:\Out\ folder, the following syntax would be used:


ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\*.CSV" /T "C:\out\*.XLS" /C-4143 /F6 /M2 /R /V


The /G switch can be used to tell ‘Convert XLS’ to simply place each output file in the same folder as each input file. Therefore the command line above is equivalent to the command line below:


ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\*.CSV" /G /C-4143 /F6 /M2 /R /V


You may simply want to convert a whole folder and its subfolders and place the output into a separate folder/drive. In which case use this syntax:


ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\*.CSV" /T "C:\Out\*.XLS" /C-4143 /F6 /M2 /R /V


Example 2 (Any Character Delimited CSV File to XLS)

The next example can be adapted to convert any character delimited text (CSV) file. Say we have a bar “|” delmited text file that looks like this:






Our goal is to convert it to an Excel (XLS) file. The bar character has an ASCII equivalent of 124 therefore they syntax would be like this:


ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\bar_delimited.txt" /T "C:\Out\Final.XLS" /C-4143 /F6 /M2 /N"^^124" /V


If we had a tab delimited file we would simply change the 124 in the above examples with ASCII equivalent of the tab character, 9. If you are not sure what the numeric equivalent of your separation character is, go to the Options button and click on the “CSV,TSV…” tab within the user interface. Of course the examples above can be adapted to do whole folders and subfolders similar to what we did in Example 1.


·      The /S and /T switches above specify Source (input) and Target (output) path respectively and are both required when converting a single file. It is always a good idea to use double quotes around the path especially if there are space characters within the path.

·      The /C-4143 switch specifies that the target (output) file to be an Excel file whereas the /F6 switch specifies the input file is a CSV file. See Excel Conversion File Type Constants for all possible values for /C and /F.

·      The /M2 switch tells it to use the ‘Convert XLS’ conversion method which is exceptionally fast. Note the /M1 switch could have been used to specify the ‘MS Excel’ conversion method which is a bit slower and requires MS Excel.

·      The /R switch tells it to search the input folder and its subfolders for files to convert.

·      /G switch can be used to tell ‘Convert XLS’ to simply place each output file in the same folder as each input file.

·      /N"{Sheet^Range^DelimChar^FixedWidth^X}" Is used when converting to/from an Excel, CSV or fixed width text file. It specifies which Sheets to convert, what Range to convert and what delimitation/separation character to use, and the method to import export to a fixed width text file. The syntax for this parameter is critical, the items are separated by a carrot character "^". If you do not include Sheet, Range or DelimChar by leaving them blank they will default to all sheets, all used ranges and the comma delimitation character. Be certain to include the double quotation character around this parameter like: /N"Apples,Oranges^A2:B20^9"

·      The /V (for Verbose) switch is used to give instant feedback by having the program report the status of the conversion with a message box. You can remove this once you have perfected your command line specification. You can also (or instead of /V) create a Log file that will contain the results of the conversion by using the /L switch.

Note: It is highly encouraged that you use the Verbose (/V) switch initially to see what the status of your conversion is and to help you perfect your command line. When in verbose mode the program will tell you what went wrong or right with your command line using message boxes.