pelamfi / pelam-scala-csv

CSV reading and writing in Scala. Offers both low level streaming and a higher level APIs.

Version Matrix

Pelam's Scala CSV Library

Build Status

Scala library for reading and writing CSV data with an optional high level API. Supports structured access to tabular data and a form of CSV format detection.

Please send me feedback on bugs and features you find useful, problematic or missing.


A recent build of the ScalaDoc is available here.

Main points

There are other CSV reading libraries and writing a CSV parser from scratch is not very difficult.

However, the specialty of this library is the higher level table oriented API.

The higher level API helps in processing complex spreadsheets as well as detecting and handling differences in the CSV syntax. Such differences are common because the CSV is not a standardized format.

  • Two levels of APIs for both input and output
  • First API is a simple streaming api for converting a CSV file to and from a stream of StringCell objects.
    • Reading a CSV file is done with a Scala Iterator interface
  • Second higher level API is richer and is based on the Table class.
    • Supports attaching type information to rows and columns
    • Allows having regions represented with custom Cell types; for example a date cell.
    • Autodetection of CSV format details
    • Pluggable functions for defining Row, Column and Cell types.
    • Management of locales. Office apps change CSV format based on locale.

Version History

  • 1.3.0 Deploy with SBT and support 2 scala version Scala 2.11 and 2.12 (instead of just 2.11)
  • 1.2.0 Added table projection features and table resizing features.
  • 1.0.0 Initial release


Pelam's Scala CSV library is distributed under the Apache 2.0 license which is available in the included file LICENSE.txt and online.

Maven coordinates

The Maven Central Repository entry is here.


compile 'fi.pelam:pelam-scala-csv_2.12:1.3.0'


libraryDependencies += "fi.pelam" %% "pelam-scala-csv" % "1.3.0"



Quick examples

Stream parsing

This is the most basic way of accessing CSV data. See later examples for a more structured approach. The parsing is done through Scala's Iterator API in a streaming fashion.

This example code will pick the second column from the csvData and print the toString of each Cell from that column. Note the use of throwOnError to bypass the Either normally returned by the reader.

   import fi.pelam.csv.cell._

   val csvData =
       "apple,0.99,3\n" +
       "orange,1.25,2\n" +

   val pickedCol = ColKey(1)

   for (cell <- new CsvReader(csvData).throwOnError; if cell.colKey == pickedCol) {

   // Running the code above will print the cells from the second second column:
   // Cell containing '0.99' at Row 1, Column B (1)
   // Cell containing '1.25' at Row 2, Column B (1)
   // Cell containing '0.80' at Row 3, Column B (1)

Parsing to a table object

This example demonstrates the higher level API. The CSV is parsed into a Table object that provides various methods for accessing regions of the table. Also the cells containing numeric data are converted to the appropriate Cell sub type.

    import fi.pelam.csv.table._
    import fi.pelam.csv.cell._
    import TableReaderConfig._

    // Create a TableReader that parses a small bit of CSV data in which the
    // column types are defined on the first row.
    val reader = new TableReader[String, String, SimpleMetadata](

      // An implicit from the object TableReaderConfig converts the string
      // to a function providing streams.
      openStream =
        "product,price,number\n" +
        "apple,0.99,3\n" +
        "orange,1.25,2\n" +

      // The first row is the header, the rest are data.
      rowTyper = makeRowTyper({
        case (CellKey(0, _), _) => "header"
        case _ => "data"

      // First row defines column types.
      colTyper = makeColTyper({
        case (CellKey(0, _), colType) => colType

      // Convert cells on the "data" rows in the "number" column to integer cells.
      // Convert cells on the "data" rows in the "price" column to decimal cells.
      cellUpgrader = makeCellUpgrader({
        case CellType("data", "number") => IntegerCell.defaultParser
        case CellType("data", "price") => DoubleCell.defaultParser

    // Get values from cells in column with type "product" on rows with type "data."
    table.getSingleCol("data", "product").map(_.value).toList
    // Will give List("apple", "orange", "banana")

    // Get values from cells in column with type "price" on rows with type "data."
    table.getSingleCol("data", "price").map(_.value).toList)
    // Will give List(0.99, 1.25, 0.8)

Parsing with a format detection heuristic

This example builds upon table object parsing in previous example, but adds a heuristic format detection process on top of it. This may be useful in applications that need to deal with CSV exported from different Spreadsheet programs with different locale settings.

    import fi.pelam.csv.table._
    import fi.pelam.csv.cell._
    import TableReaderConfig._

    val validColTypes = Set("header", "model", "price")

    // Setup a DetectingTableReader which will try combinations of CSV formatting types
    // to understand the data.
    val reader = DetectingTableReader[String, String](

      tableReaderMaker = { (metadata) => new TableReader(

        // An implicit from the object TableReaderConfig converts the string
        // to a function providing streams.
        openStream =
          "header;model;price\n" +
          "data;300D;1,234.0\n" +
          "data;SLS AMG;234,567.89",

        // Make correct metadata end up in the final Table
        tableMetadata = metadata,

        // First column specifies row types
        rowTyper = makeRowTyper({
          case (CellKey(_, 0), rowType) => rowType

        // Column type is specified by the first row.
        // Type names are checked and error is generated for unknown
        // column types by errorOnUndefinedCol.
        // This strictness is what enables the correct detection of CSV format.
        colTyper = errorOnUndefinedCol(makeColTyper({
          case (CellKey(0, _), colType) if validColTypes.contains(colType) => colType

        cellUpgrader = makeCellUpgrader({
          case CellType("data", "price") => DoubleCell.parserForLocale(metadata.dataLocale)

    val table = reader.readOrThrow()

    // Get values from cells in column with type "name" on rows with type "data."
    table.getSingleCol("data", "model").map(_.value).toList
    // Will give List("300D", "SLS AMG")

    // Get values from cells in column with type "number" on rows with type "data."
    table.getSingleCol("data", "price").map(_.value).toList)
    // Will give List(1234, 234567.89)

Demo application


TODO list

  • TODO: Test with Java 9 and 10
  • TODO: Examples for projection API
  • TODO: Examples for new table updating methods/Users/pete/git-junk/pelam-scala-csv-2016
  • TODO: Some simple demo project
  • TODO: Configure Gradle to build binaries for multiple scala versions if necessary.
  • TODO: Some performance tests and profiling to at least have some idea of possible performance disasters.
  • TODO: Test the streaming api with massive data and document if it works.
  • TODO: A Gradle task to publish the built scaladoc to S3 into a sensible directory.


Build files for both Gradle and SBT are provided. Gradle is the main tool for development, but SBT is used to deploy the builds with support for more than one Scala version.

gradle test

Making a release

Using GPG version 1 is required due to SBT plugin having difficulties with the new keyring format. The passphrase needs to be input multiple times manually.

File ~/.ivy2/.credentials_sonatype needs to look something like this:
realm=Sonatype Nexus Repository Manager

The build is then deployed to a staging repository with a single sbt command:

sbt release

Tool versions used for 1.3.0 release

  • GnuPG 1.4.22
  • Gradle 4.7 or SBT 1.1.4
  • Java 1.8
  • Scala 2.12 / 2.11

History of this project

This CSV code was originally developed as an IO solution for a custom project called Ahma. I broke it off from Ahma as I felt that this had a tiny chance of becoming a generally useful open source Scala library. The history up to around June 28th 2015 is pretty broken (won't compile etc.) due to filtering of the git history. However what remains may still be useful for me at least if I need to recover my original rationale for some detail.