read csv error question

rdmurray at rdmurray at
Mon Feb 23 18:42:39 EST 2009

Vincent Davis <vincent at> wrote:
> I am trying to read a csv file from excel on a mac. I get the following
> error.SystemExit: file some.csv, line 1: new-line character seen in unquoted
> field - do you need to open the file in universal-newline mode?
> I was using the example code
> import csv, sys
> reader = csv.reader(open('/Volumes/vincentdavis
> 2/match/data/matchdata2008.csv', "rb"))
> try:
>     for row in reader:
>         print row
> except csv.Error, e:
>     sys.exit('file %s, line %d: %s' % (filename, reader.line_num, e))
> I think this has to do with the end of line character but I am unsure how to
> fix it. I don't what to change the actual csv file I would like to fix the
> code.

You could try reading the error message and looking at the documentation
of the 'open' function.  Pay particular attention to the keywords
'universal-newline mode'.

Hint: 'rb' is almost the opposite of universal newline mode, and
it is very rare that you'd want to use 'b' to read a text file.


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