Read and Write CSV files with PapaParse in Node.js

Read and Write CSV files

Table of Contents


Working with CSV files is a common task in web and application development. Parsing and generating CSV data can be streamlined with the help of libraries, and PapaParse is one of the most powerful and versatile CSV parsers available for Node.js. It makes it easy to read and write CSV files in Node.js, handling a variety of scenarios from simple to complex data structures. Let’s learn how to implement this in your projects.


Before starting this tutorial, ensure that you have the following:

  • Node.js installed on your machine.
  • Basic knowledge of JavaScript and Node.js.
  • A text editor or IDE for writing and executing your code.

Installation of PapaParse

First, you need to install PapaParse in your Node.js environment. This can be done using npm, Node.js’ package manager. Open your command line and type the following to install it:

npm install papaparse

Reading CSV Files

Reading CSV files with PapaParse is straightforward. Let’s create a function to read a CSV file and call it to see the results.

const fs = require('fs');
const Papa = require('papaparse');

function readCSV(filePath) {
  const fileContent = fs.readFileSync(filePath, 'utf8');
  Papa.parse(fileContent, {
    header: true,
    complete: (results) => {
      console.log('Parsed CSV Data:',;
    error: (error) => {
      console.error('Error parsing CSV:', error);

// Call the function with the path to your CSV file


<Parsed CSV Data: Array of Objects with the CSV data>

Writing CSV Files

To write a CSV file using PapaParse, we’ll format the JavaScript object into CSV string and write it to a file.

function writeCSV(data, outputPath) {
  const csv = Papa.unparse(data);
  fs.writeFile(outputPath, csv, (err) => {
    if (err) {
      return console.error('Error writing CSV:', err);
    console.log('CSV file saved:', outputPath);

// Sample data to write to CSV
const dataToWrite = [
  { "name": "Alice", "email": "[email protected]" },
  { "name": "Bob", "email": "[email protected]" }

// Call the function to write data to a file
writeCSV(dataToWrite, 'path/to/output/file.csv');


<CSV file saved: path/to/output/file.csv>

Troubleshooting Tips

When working with CSV files, you might encounter some typical issues:

  • Encoding problems: Ensure your CSV files are encoded in UTF-8 to avoid unexpected characters.
  • CSV Format: Make sure your CSV file follows the standard format – commas for separators and double quotes for text that contains commas.
  • File Paths: Always provide the correct file path relative to the node.js file you are executing.

Conclusive Summary

PapaParse is an excellent library for handling CSV files in Node.js with ease. This tutorial has covered how to read from and write to CSV files using PapaParse. Experiment with PapaParse’s additional options to cater to your specific data requirements and leverage its full potential.