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Background info

"Character-Separated-Values" files are broadly used on computers. It's an easy way to provide 2-dimensions structures of data - and 2-dimensions structures of data are so easily mentally or physically represented that  they are the first solution we think of, to capture information. Usually, simple Text editors are used to quickly edit Csv files, recreating the "columns" of information mentally. If the process becomes heavier, users then turn to spreadsheet software - Excel or OpenOffice "Calc", that are excellent to process such structures. However using these spreadsheet tools has some drawbacks :

  • they "translate" Csv files, interpreting values in datatypes (e.g. dates, numerics...).
  • they usually have limitations - 255 columns, 65536 rows for excel versions prior to excel 2007. Even with current releases, due to their powerful functionalities they are not dealing perfectly with huge files.
  • designed for calculation, they have limited Csv specific processing functionalities. They don't deal that well with Data profiling, Structure management (Columns-based processing), search/replace features.
  • their "native" format is not csv - you will need import/export activities each time you process such a file.

This simple tool is implemented to bridge the gap between the two types of software (Text editors and Spreadsheet processors) for processing Csv files. It is not replacing neither of them but you may find it useful for many tasks. In addition, a command-line processor, very simple to use, allows to automate some tasks you may need on such files.

Some more information on the "CSV" format... : CSV is in fact commonly defined as an acronym for 'Comma-Separated-Values' however the separator is not always a Comma - since it's not the most convenient separator and is quite often a source of issues ('Oops - the column 7 contains a comma on row 124...'). Hence my definitiion as 'Character-Separated-Values'. This format is not a very well-defined standard (at least many people "think" they are building csv files although not following a real standard), however you can look at RFC 4180 to get more info. Or of course your preferred search engine or wikipedia can help you to get tons of documents on the topic...

Some features of Charsep

Charsep is a java-developped multiplatform program, using a "Swing" user-interface - and therefore can run on MacOS, Linux, Windows...

Below is a non-exhaustive list of features provided in Charsep
  • Direct in-grid edition of data
  • Structure management (Change of columns order, removal/addition of columns, that can be automated - based on 'template structures')
  • Support of huge files (in number of columns or number of rows)
  • Simple change of column separator and Unix/Windows row separator
  • Support of different charsets including multibyte / unicode and quick conversion of charsets
  • Export into csv, html, or creation of XML, JSON or other structures
  • Profiling : Complete statistics on structure (Distinct values in cols, Min Max Avg size of values per col), easy view of the extreme values
  • Merge of files, Comparison ("Diff") of files with many options
  • Quick append / support of clipboard as a source or target
  • Support of headers / headerless files
  • Partial load of files (First n rows, Last n rows, from row n to m, from col n to m, only rows where a column contains/does not contain a specific value...)
  • Corrupted files detection / correction of files (Missing columns)
  • 1-click removal of all empty columns
  • Easy and Rich search functionalities : RegEx based or 'Starts with, contains, does not contain...)
  • Searches composition (And / Or) + Append to current set of search (Boolean operations for selection of search results)
  • Search on 1 column or all columns
  • Search/Replace and transform - to uppercase, lowercase, filter alpha/numeric chars..., or RegEx based
  • Rich selection of rows : odd/even rows only, distributed selection across the file, etc..
  • Quick sort ascending / descending
  • Search in Header labels
  • Transposition of files (Switch columns to rows)
  • Switch columns labels to columns nums or alphabetical columns ('Excel-format')
  • Command-line processing of files transformation
  • Generation of random files with many features of column definition

Please click here to get Help on Charsep


Please read carefully - Disclaimer

Upon installing, copying or otherwise using Charsep you accept to be bound to the terms and conditions of this license. If you do not accept the terms and conditions found in this license you have to uninstall and to not use Charsep.
This software "Charsep" is provided "as-is" without any warranty, either implied or expressed.

In no event shall Jacques Detroyat, the author of this software be held liable for any data loss, misconfiguration or any other damage occuring from the use of this software.

You are granted the right to install and use this software free of charge on any or your computer systems. You are granted the right to make an unlimited number of copies of this software

You are not allowed to decompile or patch the "charsep.jar" file shipped with this distribution without prior written
approval by the author of this software.

Jacques Detroyat reserves the right to license the same software to other individuals or entities under a different license agreement.

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