csv format

This doc is for version 1.3.99.

NAME

CSV - how hledger reads CSV data, and the CSV rules file format

DESCRIPTION

hledger can read CSV files, converting each CSV record into a journal entry (transaction), if you provide some conversion hints in a "rules file". This file should be named like the CSV file with an additional .rules suffix (eg: mybank.csv.rules); or, you can specify the file with --rules-file PATH. hledger will create it if necessary, with some default rules which you'll need to adjust. At minimum, the rules file must specify the date and amount fields. For an example, see Cookbook: convert CSV files.

To learn about exporting CSV, see CSV output.

CSV RULES

The following seven kinds of rule can appear in the rules file, in any order. Blank lines and lines beginning with # or ; are ignored.

skip

skipN

Skip this number of CSV records at the beginning. You'll need this whenever your CSV data contains header lines. Eg:

# ignore the first CSV line
skip 1

date-format

date-formatDATEFMT

When your CSV date fields are not formatted like YYYY/MM/DD (or YYYY-MM-DD or YYYY.MM.DD), you'll need to specify the format. DATEFMT is a strptime-like date parsing pattern, which must parse the date field values completely. Examples:

# for dates like "6/11/2013":
date-format %-d/%-m/%Y
# for dates like "11/06/2013":
date-format %m/%d/%Y
# for dates like "2013-Nov-06":
date-format %Y-%h-%d
# for dates like "11/6/2013 11:32 PM":
date-format %-m/%-d/%Y %l:%M %p

field list

fieldsFIELDNAME1, FIELDNAME2...

This (a) names the CSV fields, in order (names may not contain whitespace; uninteresting names may be left blank), and (b) assigns them to journal entry fields if you use any of these standard field names: date, date2, status, code, description, comment, account1, account2, amount, amount-in, amount-out, currency, balance. Eg:

# use the 1st, 2nd and 4th CSV fields as the entry's date, description and amount,
# and give the 7th and 8th fields meaningful names for later reference:
#
# CSV field:
#      1     2            3 4       5 6 7          8
# entry field:
fields date, description, , amount, , , somefield, anotherfield

field assignment

ENTRYFIELDNAME FIELDVALUE

This sets a journal entry field (one of the standard names above) to the given text value, which can include CSV field values interpolated by name (%CSVFIELDNAME) or 1-based position (%N). Eg:

# set the amount to the 4th CSV field with "USD " prepended
amount USD %4
# combine three fields to make a comment (containing two tags)
comment note: %somefield - %anotherfield, date: %1

Field assignments can be used instead of or in addition to a field list.

conditional block

if PATTERN
    FIELDASSIGNMENTS...

if
PATTERN
PATTERN...
    FIELDASSIGNMENTS...

This applies one or more field assignments, only to those CSV records matched by one of the PATTERNs. The patterns are case-insensitive regular expressions which match anywhere within the whole CSV record (it's not yet possible to match within a specific field). When there are multiple patterns they can be written on separate lines, unindented. The field assignments are on separate lines indented by at least one space. Examples:

# if the CSV record contains "groceries", set account2 to "expenses:groceries"
if groceries
 account2 expenses:groceries
# if the CSV record contains any of these patterns, set account2 and comment as shown
if
monthly service fee
atm transaction fee
banking thru software
 account2 expenses:business:banking
 comment  XXX deductible ? check it

include

includeRULESFILE

Include another rules file at this point. RULESFILE is either an absolute file path or a path relative to the current file's directory. Eg:

# rules reused with several CSV files
include common.rules

newest-first

newest-first

Consider adding this rule if all of the following are true: you might be processing just one day of data, your CSV records are in reverse chronological order (newest first), and you care about preserving the order of same-day transactions. It usually isn't needed, because hledger autodetects the CSV order, but when all CSV records have the same date it will assume they are oldest first.

CSV TIPS

CSV ordering

The generated journal entries will be sorted by date. The order of same-day entries will be preserved (except in the special case where you might need newest-first, see above).

CSV accounts

Each journal entry will have two postings, to account1 and account2 respectively. It's not yet possible to generate entries with more than two postings. It's conventional and recommended to use account1 for the account whose CSV we are reading.

CSV amounts

The amount field sets the amount of the account1 posting.

If the CSV has debit/credit amounts in separate fields, assign to the amount-in and amount-out pseudo fields instead. (Whichever one has a value will be used, with appropriate sign. If both contain a value, it may not work so well.)

If an amount value is parenthesised, it will be de-parenthesised and sign-flipped.

If an amount value begins with a double minus sign, those will cancel out and be removed.

If the CSV has the currency symbol in a separate field, assign that to the currency pseudo field to have it prepended to the amount. Or, you can use a field assignment to amount that interpolates both CSV fields (giving more control, eg to put the currency symbol on the right).

CSV balance assertions

If the CSV includes a running balance, you can assign that to the balance pseudo field; whenever the running balance value is non-empty, it will be asserted as the balance after the account1 posting.