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How do I view .csv files IN Firefox in a nice fixed-width column format?
April 15, 2009 10:11 AM   Subscribe

How do I view .csv (comma-separated values) files IN Firefox in a nice fixed-width column format?

By default Firefox asks me what to do when I ask it to open a .csv file (some may have it set to open in Excel). I downloaded the lovely Open in Browser Firefox extension , and this lets me open the file as source in Firefox, so I'm halfway there.

However the top row containing the fields doesn't match up with the values since it's being displayed as plain text, as opposed to a spreadsheet-like format. My question is: is there any way to view .csv files inside Firefox, in text, with nice grid-like formatting?

Why do I want to use Firefox and not Excel or some other application? Because I'm monitoring a long-running process that's outputting a .csv file and I want to periodically be updated on its progress, check the values, etc. without causing read-write conflicts. While there's probably things outside of Firefox, I would prefer to keep it inside the browser.

Thanks!
posted by shmooly to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Since CSVs are just text files, probably not. There may be a better way to do this, though, with some simple scripting. What read-write conflicts are you talking about?
posted by odinsdream at 10:18 AM on April 15, 2009


It's been my experience that Excel places a lock on file I/O when viewing files (probably some god-awful setting changes this?). Mainly it's a personal preference to keep it in Firefox, though maybe I'm being too stubborn.

Now that you mention it I'll look at GreaseMonkey scripts, see if there's anything there.
posted by shmooly at 10:27 AM on April 15, 2009


I'd highly recommend CSVed for working with CSVs rather than Excel. It was mentioned in a previous AskMe that I can't find at the moment.
posted by odinsdream at 10:31 AM on April 15, 2009


CSVed + View Source With is perfect! Thanks odinsdream.
posted by shmooly at 10:36 AM on April 15, 2009


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