CSV Import Parameters

The CSV import page enables you to easily fill your product catalog when you have a very large amount of products, or to import data that you exported and converted from another e-commerce tool.

CSV is an acronym of "Comma-separated values". It is a popular plain-text format when there is a need to import, export or simply store data in a non-proprietary format. Almost all data handling tool support CSV format, in various incarnations. You can read more about the CSV format on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma-separated_values.

The import process requires preparation, and starts with a form made of primary settings:

When changing the Entity setting, the section on the right, titled "Available fields", changes to present the expected data fields. Although the importing tool helps you by taking care of matching your file's fields with PrestaShop's, you should strive to make your data more import-friendly by following the naming scheme and order of the presented fields. If not, the import will be more tedious, but not impossible.
Some fields have a little information popup available (represented by a "i" logo), which you can display by hovering the mouse cursor over it. They mostly pertain to PrestaShop's multistore or advanced stock management features. Make sure to read them all in order to better build/edit your data files.

Data format

Imported data file must be in text-file, using a CSV-based format and the accompanying .csv file extension. We recommend using a semicolon ";" as a field separator. If you textual data (product description and such) contains semicolons, you should either remove them, or choose another separator in the "Field separator" option.

You can create a CSV file using any text editor (we recommend Notepad++: http://notepad-plus-plus.org/), but we do advise you to use a spreadsheet program, then save your work in the CSV format. Using a spreadsheet program enables you to have an easier and more visual grasp of your data, in comparison to the plain text file. You can use the commercial Microsoft Excel (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/ or the free OpenOffice.org http://www.openoffice.org/ Calc.

Here is a sample import file, with a list of products:

"Enabled";"Name";"Categories";"Price";"Tax rule ID";"Buying price";"On sale";"Reference";"Weight";"Quantity";"Short desc.";"Long desc";"Images URL"
1;"Test";"1,2,3";130;1;75;0;"PROD-TEST";"0.500";10;"'Tis a short desc.";"This is a long description.";"http://www.myprestashop/images/product1.gif"
0;"Test 02";"1,5";110;1;65;0;"PROD-TEST2";"0.500";10;"'Tis also a short desc.";"This is a long description too.";"http://www.myprestashop/images/product2.gif"
1;"Test 03";"4,5";150;1;85;0;"PROD-TEST3";"0.500";10;"'Tis a short desc. again";"This is also a long description.";"http://www.myprestashop/images/product3.gif"

Note that this is only a regular sample files built for this demonstration; it is purposefully not optimized for PrestaShop importation. If you need a sample file you can learn from, use the ones you can download from the "Upload" button's form.

The first row should be a descriptive name for the data column (you will be able to skip it during the import process). There must be the same number of columns on each row.

You should remember that:

Uploading the file

Once you have all your data in CSV format, you can upload them to your store's database using the form in this page.

You have two ways to register files to import:

Once your files are all listed in the "Select your CSV file" section, you can proceed with the rest of the form:

  1. Select the type of data contained in your file, using the drop-down list named "What kind of Entity would you like to import?". Once you have selected the type of data, the list of the available fields appears on the right, which helps you refine your CSV file – at least for the order of the columns, which will soon prove handy.
  2. Select the language of the imported content. If the target language is not available, you must install it first, in the "Languages" page under the "Localization" menu.
  3. Select the file encoding. Simply indicate if the file uses ISO-8859-1 or not. If not, then it is assumed the files use UTF-8.
  4. Select the field separators. We suggest that you leave the default values ("field separator" with a semicolon ";", "multiple value separators" with a comma ","). But obviously, if your CSV file is built differently, you should change these values accordingly.
  5. If you want to remove all the products in your catalog before importing, select the appropriate option.
  6. Once all your choices have been made, click "Next step".

All import files are uploaded directly in the admin folder's /import sub-folder. If the CSV File drop-down menu gets too crowded, you can delete old imports directly using your FTP client.

When clicking the "Next step" button, the page reloads with the data mapping tool. This interface helps you map you file's data columns with the ones required by PrestaShop.

Presented in this table are the rows from your CSV file, placed under arbitrary columns matched to PrestaShop's database needs. It is up to you to make sure that all the columns from your CSV file are matched with the correct column header, using each header's drop-down selector, so as to import your content correctly.

For instance, with our sample file:

The screen cannot contain more than 6 columns, so click the ">" and "<" buttons to see the other columns, and make sure to match them all correctly.

In our example, we used the first row as for column names. Since we do not want these imported, enter "1" in the "Lines to skip" text-field.

Once you are done matching your columns, click the "Import .CSV data" button (bottom right-hand corner of the screen), and PrestaShop will start the importing process. When the process is done, you are sent to the main screen, which should either confirm that everything has indeed been imported, or give you a notice of all the encountered problems. In this second case, you should review your CVS file and make sure to correct everything.

Mapping configurations

The mapping process can be a tedious task if you cannot customize your CSV files columns order according to that used by the PrestaShop importer, and even more so if you have to do that repeatedly or frequently. That is why PrestaShop includes a small tool to save the current mapping order that you have set up using all the headers drop-down selectors.

The tool is a simple field at the top of the matching tool. You can do the three basic actions (only one if there is no mapping configuration saved yet):