What to do with lots of CSV files

Aart Koelewijn aart at mtack.xs4all.nl
Thu Mar 6 11:26:08 UTC 2008

On Thu, 06 Mar 2008 10:45:44 +0000, damian wrote:

> Hello all,
> I've asked this on a couple of Open Office forums, and not received much
> help. I know it's not an Ubuntu question, but given the excellent
> responses to the "Getting addresses OUT of a spreadsheet" thread, I
> thought I should ask here.
> Every week, I receive a CSV file which has a between 3 and 50 people's
> names on it who I should contact. Some of these people have email
> addresses in there, some have snail mail addresses, most have relevant
> dates etc. At the moment, I'm finding these lists unusable and the
> thought of going through them all manually is just too intimidating.
> Is there a way to set up Base (or any other part of OpenOffice, or any
> other apps) that could make all of this information more user friendly?
> Could it, for example, just give me a list of all people to contact and
> all of their relevant dates? Which ones are to email and which to write
> to? Maybe even automate the mailing somewhat? And then do the same thing
> with the next file and create a big database of information?

If the CSV files have a standard field order and field separator, awk can 
be used to change them to query's with which you can insert the 
information into a database to your liking. Then again with query's you 
can extract from that database the information you want. That is the way 
I do it, but I'm sure there are many other ways. But in general awk is a 
very powerful tool to extract information from CSV files in a standarised 


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