.ECSV File Extension

A .ECSV file is a Enhanced Character-Separated Values, created by Tom Aldcroft.

Open with Microsoft Visual Studio Code. Available for Linux, Windows, and Mac.

What is a .ECSV file?

An ECSV file is a special kind of text file that is similar to a CSV (Comma-Separated Values) file but with some extra features. Like a regular CSV file, it stores data in a simple, plain text format where each line represents a row of data and each value in the row is separated by a special character, usually a comma. However, what makes ECSV files different is that they start with a section formatted in YAML, which stands for "YAML Ain't Markup Language." This YAML section is used to include metadata about the data in the file. Metadata is extra information that describes the data, like what each column represents. This feature allows ECSV files to be more descriptive and useful than standard CSV files.

To open an ECSV file, you can use several programs: 1. **Microsoft Visual Studio Code**: This is a powerful and free code editor developed by Microsoft. It can open many types of files, including ECSV files, and it provides tools for editing and managing your files.

2. **GitHub Atom** (Note: This program has been discontinued): Atom was a free and open-source text and code editor developed by GitHub. Even though it's discontinued, if you already have it installed, you can still use it to open ECSV files.

3. **Any text editor**: Because ECSV files are essentially text files, you can open them with any text editor you have on your computer, such as Notepad on Windows, TextEdit on macOS, or Gedit on Linux. However, using a simple text editor might not give you the best view of the data, especially the YAML metadata section.

4. **Astropy**: This is a bit different from the others because it's not just a program but a library for Python, a popular programming language. Astropy is designed for astronomy and includes tools for working with different types of data files, including ECSV files. Using Astropy, you can not only open and view ECSV files but also analyze and manipulate the data they contain.

In summary, ECSV files are enhanced versions of CSV files with additional metadata in YAML format. You can open them with various programs, including code editors like Microsoft Visual Studio Code, any basic text editor, or specialized libraries like Astropy for more advanced data manipulation.


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