|Internet media type||
|Type of format||multiplatform, serial data streams|
|Container for||database information organized as field separated lists|
|Standard||IANA MIME type|
A tab-separated values file is a simple text format for storing data in a tabular structure (e.g. database or spreadsheet data). Each record in the table is one line of the text file. Each field value of a record is separated from the next by a tab stop character – it is a form of the more general delimiter-separated values format.
TSV is a simple file format that is widely supported, so it is often used to move tabular data between different computer programs that support the format. For example, a TSV file might be used to transfer information from a database program to a spreadsheet.
TSV is an alternative to the common comma-separated values (CSV) format, which often causes difficulties because of the need to escape commas – literal commas are very common in text data, but literal tab stops are infrequent in running text. The IANA standard for TSV achieves simplicity by simply disallowing tabs within fields.
- IANA, Text Media Types, text/tab-separated-values, Paul Lindner, U of MN Internet Gopher Team, June 1993
- Tab Separated Values (TSV): a format for tabular data exchange, Jukka Korpela, created 2000-09-01, last update 2005-02-12.