Arguments common to all utilities


All utilities which accept CSV as input share a set of common command-line arguments:

                      Delimiting character of the input CSV file.
-t, --tabs            Specifies that the input CSV file is delimited with
                      tabs. Overrides "-d".
                      Character used to quote strings in the input CSV file.
-u {0,1,2,3}, --quoting {0,1,2,3}
                      Quoting style used in the input CSV file. 0 = Quote
                      Minimal, 1 = Quote All, 2 = Quote Non-numeric, 3 =
                      Quote None.
-b, --doublequote     Whether or not double quotes are doubled in the input
                      CSV file.
                      Character used to escape the delimiter if quoting is
                      set to "Quote None" and the quotechar if doublequote
                      is not specified.
                      Maximum length of a single field in the input CSV
-e ENCODING, --encoding ENCODING
-v, --verbose         Print detailed tracebacks when errors occur.
                      Specify the encoding the input file.
-l, --linenumbers     Insert a column of line numbers at the front of the
                      output. Useful when piping to grep or as a simple
                      primary key.

These arguments may be used to override csvkit’s default “smart” parsing of CSV files. This is frequently necessary if the input file uses a particularly unusual style of quoting or is an encoding that is not compatible with utf-8.

Note that the output of csvkit’s utilities is always formatted with “default” formatting options. This means that when executing multiple csvkit commands (either with a pipe or via intermediary files) it is only ever necessary to specify formatting arguments the first time. (And doing so for subsequent commands will likely cause them to fail.)


Convert the 2000 census geo headers file from fixed-width to CSV and from latin-1 encoding to utf8:

$ in2csv -e iso-8859-1 -f fixed -s examples/realdata/census_2000/census2000_geo_schema.csv examples/realdata/census_2000/usgeo_excerpt.upl > usgeo.csv

Add line numbers to a file, making no other changes:

$ csvcut -l examples/realdata/FY09_EDU_Recipients_by_State.csv

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