Convert CSV to XLS Without Excel-Fast Easy & Accurate

CSV to XLS Converter Command Line Tool - Batch Conversion of CSV Files to/from XLS, XLSX, Fixed Width Text, HTML

Faster Software

'Convert XLS' is 10-20 times faster than using Excel. It also allows for the saving and restoring of complex 'conversion jobs'. Specify a 'conversion job' within the command line or Windows scheduler and take a break. 

'CONVERT CSV to XLS' — BATCH — 80x25
C:\>Working demo.bat files
   are installed for quick
   testing and modification.


C:\>See detailed examples of
converting csv to xls by command line
at bottom of this page

Powerful Command Line

Power users: Command line capability is fundamental to ALL of our software tools. Example batch files are installed ready for testing and modification. We are always here to help you implement our software.

Easy to use
File Conversion Features

Moving or deleting files while converting CSV to XLS files is not a problem. This makes unattended conversion of whole folders easy to do.

Convert CSV to XLS Files with 'Convert XLS'

'Convert XLS' Features

If you need to manipulate CSV, XLS, XLSX, TXT file types, 'Convert XLS' comes with many features and special processes including:


Conversion Tool Extras
  • Convert up to 10-20 times faster without using Excel.
  • Automate 'Convert XLS' using the command line or the COM/ActiveX interfaces.
  • Move or delete files after processing. Skip files already processed.
  • Save and restore complex conversion configurations.
  • Batch can be stopped midway and resumed at a later time.
  • Special processing of files including appending/concatenation, removing extra lines, search and replace strings and much more.
  • Can be adapted for all languages.
  • Launch (Run) a third party program

CSV Conversion

Conversion and Manipulation of CSV Files

    Many CSV manipulation features are included:

  • Surround field with quotes
  • Pad field with spaces
  • Change the delimitation character (e.g. from comma to tab)
  • Remove Empty Lines
  • Created Fixed Width Fields
  • Include specified ROWS, discard all others
  • Include specified COLUMNS, discard all others
  • Trim excess commas
  • Pad field(s) to a fixed length
  • Remove control characters

More info on specific CSV file conversions

Excel (XLS, XLSX) Conversion

Excel Conversion Features
  • Specify:
    • Sheets to convert
    • Create a single or multiple files
    • Skip empty worksheets
    • Range to convert (e.g. "B4:J10")
    • Use double quotes
  • Convert Excel files to and from Text/CSV/HTML/XML without needing MS Excel to be installed.
  • XLSX Conversion supported. Convert CSV to XLS, XLSX, TXT, HTML, XML etc.
  • In most cases it is possible to retain leading zeroes (e.g. 0000123213012)

More info on specific Excel file conversions

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Converting CSV to XLS?

About 'Convert XLS'

NOTE: A CSV file can be any character delimited file, see CSV File Definition if you are not sure what CSV file is.

Do you need software to convert CSV to XLS (or convert XLS to CSV)? Yes? Perfect, you've come to the right place! 'Convert XLS' can convert CSV to XLS (as well as XLSX, a fixed width text file, HTML or XML) 10 to 20 times faster than using MS Excel. You can specify the delimitation character used in the CSV file (most often the comma character). Furthermore, Unicode and other text encodings (ASCII, ANSI, UTF8 etc.) are no problem at all.

MS Excel is not needed, although you can optionally specify to use it. For those planning on using a server, this can be especially helpful for security enhancement.

All our conversion tools allow you to automate by using:

You can even move/delete the input files after conversion. Skipping files already processed is another popular feature that is included.

'Convert XLS's complete documentation is available on-line for review. Continue reading below for specific instructions on how to use the user interface and command line specifically for CSV to XLS conversion. Of course please do download it and try it for free.

Converting CSV to XLS

  • Select the Convert Files Action To Do.
  • Select the input file path. For a whole folder be certain to use the *.ext format. For example if you want to convert the folder of CSV files located in "C:\in folder\" then use "C:\in folder\*.csv".

    Choose a conversion method (MS Excel or the built in 'Convert XLS'), say 'Convert XLS' in this case. The 'Convert XLS' conversion method can be much faster than the 'MS Excel' conversion method. If you are using something other than a comma for the delimitation character pick the 'Convert XLS' conversion method.

    Specify the Input File Format. In this case it may be one of three choices, "Character Separated (*.CSV)", "Character Separated Unicode (*.csv)" or "Character Separated UTF-8 (*.csv)". Click on the OPTIONS button and then the "CSV, TSV…" tab to choose what character you are using to distinguish each piece of data within each record. By default the comma is used.
  • Now specify the Output file path. If you are doing a whole folder, then specify the whole folder using the "*.ext" format (for example "c:\output\*.XLS"). Finally, specify the "Convert To File Format" output file type. In this case it is "Microsoft Excel Workbook (*.XLS)". Note that you will have more choices available if you choose the 'MS Excel' conversion method.
  • Click the CONVERT button (or F5) on the tool bar to begin converting.
Repeating the use of a 'Conversion Job' with 'Convert XLS'

If you click the ADD button, a 'Conversion Item' is added to the 'task list' at the bottom of the user interface.  You can add as many 'conversion tasks' as you want, and save the 'Conversion Job' file for use at a later time.  See the File menu for saving and restoring 'Conversion Jobs'.
'Convert XLS' can be especially helpful if you require complicated file conversion jobs done regularly. By saving and recalling a conversion job file, 'Convert XLS' instantly remembers all the file conversion tasks and their details.

Note: The same 'conversion job' file discussed above can be specified in the command line by using the /J switch. For example:
ConvertXLS.exe /J"C:\Conversion Jobs\Convert-CSV-to-XLS-Command-Line.SII"

It is the fastest CSV to XLS conversion tool you've never used... till now! Click here to download a free trial.

 Still not sure how to use it? See an online video. video showing how to convert CSV to XLS

convert CSV to XLS command line

NOTE: After installation, you can find simple batch files (e.g. CSVtoXLS.bat or CSVtoXLSX.bat) for quick and easy use by going to Start\All Programs\Convert XLS\Example Batch Files. These will work without modification provided the installation was in the default folder. Email us at  if you have any questions or need additional examples. We will get you up and running fast!

Although we'll discuss the use of the command line here, it's only to give you a taste. For the full, accurate, and up to date information see the 'Convert XLS' command line documentation. If you have trouble running these examples see Helpful Hints For Creating a Command Line.

There are two approaches to using the command line:

  • Specify one or more conversion tasks in a conversion job
  • Specify a single conversion task in detail

A 'Conversion Job' is easily built using the 'Convert XLS' graphical user interface. All the details of the job are saved in a single conversion job file (e.g. 'c:\myjobs\Do-Multi-Step-Conversion.SII). Specifying a conversion job file with the command line is very easy by using the /J switch. You can have hundreds or thousands of tasks specified in the conversion job file, all of which will get executed in one fell swoop. For example:

ConvertXLS.EXE /J"D:\Job Files\Convert CSV to XLS.SII"

Specifying a single conversion task requires a bit more effort, but does not require the prior creation of a 'Conversion Job' file.
The first example shows how to convert the most popular form of a CSV file, a comma delimited file, to an Excel file. The second example shows how to convert any character delimited (tab, bar, semicolon etc.).
Each switch shown in blue is described in detail at the bottom of this page. It is highly recommended you review each switches description before implementing the example, thereby giving you the full power of 'Convert XLS'.

Example 1 (Comma Delimited CSV File to XLS)

To convert a single comma delimited CSV file, "C:\in\input.CSV" to an Excel (XLS) file located in the "C:\Out\" folder, the following syntax would be used:

ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\input.CSV" /T "C:\Out\output.XLS" /C-4143 / F6 /M2 /V

To convert a whole folder (and sub-folders) of comma delimited CSV files, C:\in\*.CSV to XLS files located in the D:\Out\ folder, the following syntax would be used:

ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\*.CSV" /T "C:\out\*.XLS" /C51/F6 /M2 /R

The /G switch can be used to tell 'Convert XLS' to place each output file in the same folder as each input file. Therefore the command line above is equivalent to the command line below:

ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\*.CSV" /G /C-4143 /F6 /M2 /R

You may want to convert a whole folder and its sub-folders and place the output into a separate folder/drive. In which case use this syntax:

ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\*.CSV" /T "C:\Out\*.XLS" /C-4143 /F6 /M2 /R

Example 2 (Any Character Delimited CSV File to XLS)

The next example can be adapted to convert any character delimited text (CSV) file. Say we have a bar "|" delmited text file that looks like this:




Our goal is to convert it to an Excel Workbook (XLS) file. The bar character has an ASCII equivalent of 124 therefore they syntax would be like this:

ConvertXLS.EXE /S"C:\in\bar_delimited.txt" /T "C:\Out\Final.XLS" /C-4143 /F6 /M2 /N"^^124"

If we had a tab delimited file we would change the 124 in the above examples with ASCII equivalent of the tab character, 9. If you are not sure what the numeric equivalent of your separation character is, go to the Options button and click on the "CSV,TSV…" tab within the user interface. Of course the examples above can be adapted to do whole folders and sub-folders similar to what we did in Example 1.

  • The /S and /T switches above specify Input and Output path respectively and are both required when converting a single file. It is always a good idea to use double quotes around the path especially if there are space characters within the path.
  • The /C-4143 switch specifies that the target (output) file to be an Excel (XLS) file whereas the /F6 switch specifies the input file is a CSV file. See Excel Conversion File Type Constants for all possible values for /C and /F.
  • The /M2 switch tells it to use the 'Convert XLS' conversion method which is exceptionally fast. Note the /M1 switch could have been used to specify the 'MS Excel' conversion method which is a bit slower and requires MS Excel.
  • The /R switch tells it to search the input folder and its sub-folders for files to convert.
  • /G switch can be used to tell 'Convert XLS' to place each output file in the same folder as each input file.
  • /N"{Sheet^Range^DelimChar^FixedWidth^X}" Is used when converting to/from an Excel, CSV or fixed width text file. It specifies which Sheets to convert, what Range to convert and what delimitation/separation character to use, and the method to import export to a fixed width text file. The syntax for this parameter is critical, the items are separated by a carrot character "^". If you do not include Sheet, Range or DelimChar by leaving them blank they will default to all sheets, all used ranges and the comma delimitation character. Be certain to include the double quotation character around this parameter like: /N"Apples,Oranges^A2:B20^9"
  • The /V (for Verbose) switch is used to give instant feedback by having the program report the status of the conversion with a message box. You can remove this once you have perfected your command line specification. You can also (or instead of /V) create a Log file that will contain the results of the conversion by using the /L switch.

Note: It is highly encouraged that you use the Verbose (/V) switch initially to see what the status of your conversion is and to help you perfect your command line. When in verbose mode the program will tell you what went wrong or right with your command line using message boxes.

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"Your wonderful utility took a mere ten minutes to append all 22,000 files into one gigantic 2 gigabyte file. For comparison purposes, the program that wrote the files took approximately 30 hours to write out said 22,000 files. System: 1GHz Pentium/512 Meg RAM Laptop"  'Convert XLS' 


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