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How should a CSV file be formatted for importing?

Unfortunately, CSV is not a standardized format and there are lots of different CSV variants.

Wokabulary supports the most common CSV formats as used by most other flash card apps, as well as by Apple Numbers and Microsoft Excel.


The columns of each dataset must be in the following structure

Foreign Word Translation Comment (optional) Tags (optional)
house la maison La maison est rouge city
flower la fleur nature


A sample French-English CSV file should look like this in your text editor:

"house","la maison","La maison est rouge","city","lession 1"
"sun","le soleil","La soleil brille", "nature"
"flower","la fleur","","nature"
"sky","le ciel","","nature","lesson 2"

Technical Details

CSV data is expected to meet the following requirements:

  • data sets (= word pairs) are separated by new lines (Windows or Unix line breaks)
  • values (columns) are separated by comma, semicolon, or tab
  • the value separator may only be used within values if the value is set in quotes ("")
  • UTF-8 text encoding is recommended

You should be able to set these constraints when exporting your CSV file.


The easiest way to edit a CSV file is using Apple Numbers and then export them again. Numbers’ CSV export format is well tested with Wokabulary.

You can also modify your CSV file using any text editor. For example, you can use search and replace to change the separators to commas or semicolons. Most text editors also allow you to change the line endings and the text encoding.