Tab-separated values

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Tab-separated values
Filename extension .tsv, .tab
Internet media type text/tab-separated-values
Type of format multiplatform, serial data streams
Container for database information organized as field separated lists
Standard IANA MIME type

A tab-separated values (TSV) 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.

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