Comma Separated Value (CSV) files pack lots of information into an easy-to-handle text format that uses commas to separate individual fields. CSV files make it easy to transfer large volumes of data between programs, such as transferring e-mail addresses between clients. CSVStar is a free tool that can create, edit, and manage CSV files.
CSVStar's interface uses colors to delineate functional sections, but it's unintuitive and uninformative in its layout and labeling, and we quickly turned to the PDF-based Help file to figure out how to get started. Using CSVStar involves creating templates, but the program doesn't go out of its way to let you know it, and many of the steps are opaque and actually counterintuitive. For instance, we had to return to the Help file to learn that we needed to right-click the middle of the blank field and select New from the pop-up menu to add items to the data field when creating a new template. However, it wasn't difficult to configure Headers and Trailers using simple wizards. Once we'd created our template, we were supposed to select it from the main interface; however, we couldn't find anything labeled as such. The Help file showed us the unlabeled yellow band with a drop-down arrow that accessed our list of templates. Once we'd selected our template, we clicked Add New to populate our template's fields with data. At this point, CSVStar crashed in 32-bit Windows 7.
While CSVStar seemed to work well enough in Vista, it proved balky in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, and we could not get it to open in a 64-bit edition of the operating system. Add in an unintuitive process and poor design, and it hardly adds up to our first choice for handling CSV files. Since it's free, it's worth a look, though; if you need something specific in a CSV tool, CSVStar might have it, if you don't mind its other issues.