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Supported Formats

filetype format VisiData_loader VisiData saver version_added created creator PyPI dependencies
csv Comma-Separated Values 0.28 displayed text 0.28 1972
json Javascript Object Notation (JSON) 0.28 typed 0.28 2001 Douglas Crockford
tsv Tab-Separated Values 0.28 displayed text 0.28
xlsx Excel spreadsheets 0.28 0.28 1987 Microsoft openpyxl
zip ZIP archive format 0.28 0.28 1989 PKWARE
hdf5 Hierarchical Data Format 0.28 0.28 199x NCSA h5py
sqlite sqlite 0.42 0.42 2000 D. Richard Hipp
xls Excel spreadsheets 0.42 0.42 1987 Microsoft xlrd
fixed fixed width text 0.97 0.97
postgres PostgreSQL database 0.97 0.97 1996
vd VisiData command log 0.97 0.97 2017 VisiData
vds VisiData Sheet 2.2 yes 2021 VisiData
mbtiles MapBox Tileset 0.98 0.98 2011 MapBox mapbox-vector-tile
pbf Protocolbuffer Binary Format 0.98 0.98 2011 OpenStreetMap
shp Shapefile geographic data 0.98 0.98 1993 ESRI pyshp
html HTML tables 0.99 displayed text 0.99 1996 Dave Raggett lxml
md markdown table displayed text 1.1 2008
png Portable Network Graphics (PNG) image 1.1 from png 1.1 1996 PNG Development Group pypng
ttf TrueType Font 1.1 1.1 1991 Apple fonttools
dot Graphviz diagram from pcap 1.2 1991
dta Stata 1.2 1.2 1985 StataCorp pandas
geojson Geographic JSON 2.2 yes (from shp and geojson) 2008
sas7bdat Statistical Analysis System (SAS) 1.2 1.2 1976 SAS Institute sas7bdat
sav SPSS statistics 1.2 1.2 1968 SPSS Inc
spss SPSS statistics 1.2 1.2 1968 SPSS Inc savReaderWriter
xpt Statistical Analysis System (SAS) 1.2 1.2 1976 SAS Institute xport
jsonl JSON Lines 1.3 typed 1.3 2013 Ian Ward
pandas all formats supported by pandas library 1.3 1.3 2008 Wes McKinney pandas
pcap network packet capture 1.3 1.3 1988 LBNL dpkt dnslib
pyprof Python Profile data 1.3 1.3
xml eXtensible Markup Language (XML) 1.3 from xml 1.3 1998 W3C lxml
yaml YAML Ain't Markup Language (YAML) 1.3 1.3 2001 Clark Evans PyYAML
frictionless Frictionless Data 2.0 2.0 OpenKnowledge Institute datapackage
jira JIRA/Confluence table markup displayed text 2.0 Atlassian
npy NumPy array format 2.0 typed 2.0 numpy
tar Unix Tape Archive 2.0 2.0
usv Unicode-Separated Value 2.0 displayed text 2.0 1993 Unicode
xlsb Excel binary format 2.0 2.0 Microsoft xlrd
mysql MySQL 2.0 1995 MySQL AB
pdf Portable Document Format 2.0 1993 Adobe
vcf Virtual Contact File (vCard) 2.0 1995 Versit Consortium
rec recutils database file 2.0 displayed text 2010 Jose E. Marchesi
eml Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) 2.0 1996 Nathaniel Borenstein and Ned Freed
ods OpenDocument Spreadsheet 2.7 2006 OASIS
lsv awk-like key-value line-separated values 2.7 v2.7
arrow Arrow IPC file format 2.9 2016 Apache Software Foundation
arrows Arrow IPC streaming format 2.9 2016 Apache Software Foundation
parquet Apache Parquet 1.3 2013 Apache Software Foundation

Extra notes about formats


  • loader-specific options
    • delimiter (default: '\t') field delimiter to use for tsv/usv filetype
    • row_delimiter (default: '\n') row delimiter to use for tsv/usv filetype
    • tsv_safe_newline (default: '\u001e') replacement for newline character when saving to tsv
    • tsv_safe_tab (default: '\u001f') replacement for tab character when saving to tsv


  • loader-specific options
    • csv_dialect (default: 'excel') dialect passed to csv.reader
      • Accepted dialects are excel-tab, unix, and excel.
    • csv_delimiter (default: ',') delimiter passed to csv.reader
    • csv_quotechar (default: '"') quotechar passed to csv.reader
    • csv_skipinitialspace (default: True) skipinitialspace passed to csv.reader
    • csv_escapechar (default: None) escapechar passed to csv.reader
    • csv_lineterminator (default: '\r\n') lineterminator passed to csv.writer
    • safety_first (default: False) sanitize input/output to handle edge cases, with a performance cost


  • loader-specific options
    • fixed_rows (default: 1000) number of rows to detect fixed width columns from
    • fixed_maxcols (default: 0) max number of fixed-width columns to create (0 is no max)


  • loader-specific options
    • json_indent (default: None) indent to use when saving json
    • json_sort_keys (default: False) sort object keys when saving to json
    • default_colname (default: '') column name to use for non-dict rows
  • Cells containing lists (e.g. [3]) or dicts (e.g. {3}) can be expanded into new columns with ( and unexpanded with ).
  • All expanded subcolumns must be closed (with )) to retain the same structure.


  • v show only columns in current row attributes
  • za add column for xml attributes


  • loader-specific options
    • pcap_internet (default: 'n') (y/s/n) if save_dot includes all internet hosts separately (y), combined (s), or does not include the internet (n)


  • loader-specific options
    • postgres_schema (default: 'public') the desired schema for the Postgres database
  • vd postgres://username:password@hostname:port/database opens a connection to the given postgres database.

using VisiData as a pager within psql

In psql:

\pset format csv
\pset pager always
\setenv PSQL_PAGER 'vd -f csv'
\pset pager_min_lines


  • supports saving for CREATE/INSERT (not wholesale updates)
  • z Ctrl+S to commit any add-row/edit-cell/delete-row


  • loader-specific requirements
    • working mysql / mariadb installation or at least the libmysqlclient-dev package (ubuntu; name might be different on other platforms)
    • mysqlclient python module in path or virtual environment (pip install mysqlclient)
  • vd mysql://username:password@hostname:port/database opens a connection to the given mysql / mariadb database.


  • loader-specific options
    • html_title (default: '<h2>{}</h2>') table header when saving to html
  • load all <table>s in a web page as VisiData sheets.


  • Can be edited in raw data form. Images can be plotted with . (dot).
  • .shp files can be saved as geoJSON.


  • Can be edited in raw data form. Images can be plotted with . (dot).


  • Can be edited in raw data form. Images can be plotted with . (dot).


  • Can be edited in raw data form. Images can be plotted with . (dot).


VisiData has an adapter for pandas. To load a file format which is supported by pandas, pass -f pandas This will call pandas.read_foo().

For example:

vd -f pandas data.parquet

loads a parquet file. When using the pandas loader, the .fileformat file extension is mandatory.

To load a hierarchy of parquet files located in folder data/, run

vd -f parquet data/

or rename the directory to data.parquet and run

vd data.parquet -f pandas

This should similarly work for any format that has a pandas.read_format() function.


  • Command history log format for a VisiData session.
  • Ctrl+D to save the current session's CommandLog.

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