Tad, a cross-platform tabular data viewer

Martin Brinkmann
May 31, 2017
Updated • May 31, 2017

Tad is a free, cross-platform tabular data viewer for Windows, Mac and Linux to improve how you work with comma delimited files.

While you can load most csv files in Office programs like Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, and online services like Office365 or Google Docs, doing so may not offer the greatest of experiences.

This is especially the case when the data set is medium large or very large, as many solutions tend to lag a lot.. While you do get a tabular view of the data, these programs may not provide you with functionality such as advanced filtering.

Tad tabular data viewer

tad data viewer

Tad is available for Windows, Linux and Mac devices. It is an Electron application, which means that its download size is quite large (around 50 Megabytes).

The program may be used to load csv or tsv files, and files saved in the program's own tad format.  The loading is quite fast, even for larger (read 200 Megabytes or more) CSV files. It may take a couple of seconds to load though (or more) depending on the size of the input file, but it should be fairly acceptable.

Tad's Quick Start guide mentions that it takes about 13 seconds to load a 228 CSV file with 420,000 rows on a late 2013 MacBook Pro.

The data is displayed in tabular format right away in the main interface. This is not super spectacular, as you get the same layout when you import it in other local or online Office software or applications.

Tad opens the CSV file in an in-memory SQLite database.

You can open a general sidebar which enables you to show or hide columns, and enable pivor or sort on top of that.

  1. Use the checkboxes under Pivot in the main column selector to choose columns for the pivot hierarchy.
  2. Use the checkboxes under Show in the main column selector to determine what columns are shown / hidden.
  3. Set the Sort columns using either the checkboxes under Sort the main column selector or by clicking on column headers in the main grid.

The second major feature that Tad supports is filtering. You may enable individual filters, or combine multiple filters. You can use the functionality to show only data sets that match all criteria that you have selected.

You pick a column, operator (e.g. starts with,  contains, or >=), and a value, and may use all of (and) or any of (or) to return hits if all criteria or just one matches.


Tad is a handy software to have. It is cross-platform, quite fast, and designed especially for data engineers and data scientists who work with large CSV files. It can be used by anyone however, and if you are a webmaster who has to deal with CSV files as well, or a broker or finance guy, then you may find Tad more suitable for the task than the Office solution that you usually work with.

software image
Author Rating
no rating based on 0 votes
Software Name
Software Category
Landing Page

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Dave said on June 2, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Tried downloading the Windows program, Symantec immediately quarantined it as Malware.
    I sent them an email to let them know.

  2. CSV options said on May 31, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    There is also CSVed [http://csved.sjfrancke.nl/], which is much smaller and also allows editing.

    1. Anonymous said on June 1, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks / love portable stuff anyway

  3. Clairvaux said on May 31, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    That’s interesting. Importing csv’s into Excel has always seemed a bit clunky to me (but I use an ancient version ; maybe things have improved since). I’m annoyed however by the proprietary format.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.