Command-Line CSV Viewer

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  1. Create a new file called csv in /usr/bin/ (or in /usr/bin/local/ if it exists in your distro):

    $ sudo vim /usr/bin/csv
  2. Paste the following code into the file (credit goes to Benjamin Noakes for this code):

    #!/usr/bin/env bash
    # Author: Benjamin Oakes <>
    set -o errexit
    function show_usage {
      cat <<EOF
    Usage: $0 [--help] [filename]
    View a CSV file at the command line.
      --help        Show this help text.
      filename      CSV file to be viewed
      exit -1
    if [ "$1" == "--help" -o "$1" == "" ]; then
    cat "$1" | column -s, -t | less -#2 -N -S
  3. Exit vim (good luck!). Make this script executable:

    $ sudo chmod +x ./csv
  4. All done! As long as /usr/bin/ is on your PATH, you should be able to nicely display CSV files in the command line with:

    $ csv my_file.csv

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