How to open TSV files on Windows 10

We are all familiar with CSV files ie, Comma Separated Values. It is a type of file format that integrates and opens easily in the most common spreadsheet applications. Values ​​that appear to be separated by commas are separated in columns and rows. TSV files are similar but support is less common.

open TSV files on Windows 10

TSV files on Windows

TSV files are tab separated values ​​where ‘tab’ is the place entered when you pressed the Tab key on your keyboard. The file has a TXT file extension and a TSV file extension is not just one other way different from a CSV file. All data sets will all be on the same line but will be divided by a ‘tab’ value.

Open TSV files on Windows 10

Technically, opening a TSV file on Windows 10 is easy as it is a text file. You can use any default text editor like Notepad to open.

  1. Right-click the TSV file and select Open With
  2. Select Notepad.
  3. Open the file.

This method works but the data is not easy to read. A text editor does not have a column and row grid that displays the data in an easy – to – read format. That’s why you need a spreadsheet tool to open it and make sense of it.

1. TSV Files – Microsoft Excel

Excel can open a TSV file but you need the delimiter character to define the TSV file when you open it in Excel.

  1. Open Microsoft Excel.
  2. Go to File> Open.
  3. From the File Type dropdown, select All Files.
  4. Select the TSV file.
  5. When prompted, select Tab as the delimiter value.
  6. The TSV file will open.

2. TSV Files – OpenOffice

Microsoft Excel is not a free application. You must subscribe to Microsoft 365 to use it. The web version of Outlook is free but does not support TSV files. For a free solution, use OpenOffice.

  1. Download OpenOffice.
  2. Select Calc during installation (if you do not want to install the full product line).
  3. Open Calc.
  4. Go to File> Open.
  5. Select the TSV file.
  6. Select Tab as the delimiter character and uncheck everything else.
  7. The TSV file will open.


There is little support for TSV files. Google Sheets does not support it. Instead, it opens the file as a document. You may find TSV file viewers online ie, apps that can display the contents of the file in rows and columns but if you want to be able to edit the file, you need either Excel or Calc used.

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