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Read CSV file to array

yan_er04 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
I know how to read a file.
But how to split the content? Beside being separated by comma, the actual data also contains comma. What should I do?
I need to store the contents into a multi-d array too.
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The file is comma delimited and the data contains commas....

Comma delimitted is not a good option for you in that you will have to write a great deal of logic to determin true delimeters from data :(...

If possible could you delimit with different character...  Say a tilde ~ ...

That is the easiest answer and would simple use code similar to that provided by Mikal613 :)...

Good luck,

// semi-pseudo-code to change your delimiter
bool inString = false;
for(int x=0;x<strFile.Length;x++)
  if(strFile[x]=='\"')  //Character that indicates that the comma is not a delimiter, normally double quote
    inString = !inString;
  else if(!inString && strFile[x]==',')
    strFile[x]='~'; //Some character that is not used in your file.

// Add code to split by new delimiter, in my example ~

Give us a sample line that illustrates this.
> The file is comma delimited and the data contains commas....
Also illustrate any other special characters in the data.  What if it contains a single-quote?  A double-quote?   etc.

A simple regular expression will parse it easily (if it's parseable).

Also note that much of Mikal613's code for this example is VB6-style, instead of VB.NET style.
You may prefer to translate it to use the newer methods.

(I haven't tried this one, but it sounds promising.)
Parsing Comma-Separated Values or CSV files into a DataTable using Regular Expressions

--- --- ---

from:  http://www.3leaf.com/resources/articles/regex.aspx#Examples  [in C#]

Get Values of a CSV (updated by Arnold Bailey)
In conjunction with this code:

Regex r = new Regex(",(?=(?:[^\"]*\"[^\"]*\")*(?![^\"]*\"))");
string s = "\"a\",b,\"c, d, e\",,f";
string[] sAry = r.Split(s);
for(int i=0;i < sAry.Length;i++)

--- --- ---

from:  http://radio.weblogs.com/0117167/2003/02/18.html#a132  [in C#]

 CSV Regex
I haven't found a Regex that will extract just the values from a comma separated value file, but thanks to Joe Gulisano, I do have one that will find all the "real" commas:

So getting the values is just:

Regex r = new Regex(",(?=([^\"]*"[^"]*")*(?![^"]*"))");string s = "\"a",b,"c, d, e",,f";int start = 0;foreach (Match m in r.Matches(s)){  Console.WriteLine(s.Substring(start, m.Index - start));  start = m.Index + 1;}Console.WriteLine(s.Substring(start, s.Length - start));

"a"b"c, d, e"


I can't change the format of the file.

A sample data will be

I am using VB.NET.

Is there no other way beside regular expression?

Well, I have tried regular expression before but... let's just say I am not an expert in it. =D


I notice all the examples are using 1-d array.
How to change that to 2-d?
I seems to have problems adding data to a 2-d array.
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Odbc supports reading CSV:

string ConnectionString = @"Driver={Microsoft Text Driver (*.txt; *.csv)};DBQ=c:\";
OdbcConnection connection = new OdbcConnection(ConnectionString);
OdbcCommand command = new OdbcCommand("Select * FROM Subscribers.csv", connection);
OdbcDataReader reader = command.ExecuteReader();
while (reader.Read())
      // loop through every field
      for (int x = 0; x < reader.FieldCount; x++)
                // add code for puting fields into array....
            Console.WriteLine(reader.GetDataTypeName(x) + " - " + reader.GetValue(x));

                  // Close the connection

         This code takes a comma delimited xml flie and puts it into a table. The regex is slightly more efficient I think..

            Dim regEx As Regex
            Dim cMatch As Text.RegularExpressions.MatchCollection
            Dim m As Text.RegularExpressions.Match

            cMatch = regEx.Matches(line, "(?<=(?:^|,\s*)"")(?:[^""]|"""")*|(?<=(?:^|,))(?:\s*)(?=(?:,|$))")

            For Each m In cMatch
               i += 1
               dc = New DataColumn
               dc.ColumnName = IIf(m.Value.Length = 0, colPrefix & i + 1, m.Value)
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