There are multiple APIs available. Under the hood, they are all based on the same implementation. The stream API might not be the most pleasant API to use but is scalable. Use the callback style API or the sync API for simplicity, readability and convenience if you are sure that your datasets fit in memory.

Stream API

The main module exported by this package implements the native Node.js transform stream. Transform streams implement both the Readable and Writable interfaces.

This is the recommended approach if you need a maximum of power. It ensures scalability by treating your data as a stream from the source to the destination.

The signature is const stream = parse([options]).

In the stream example, CSV data is sent through the write function and the resulting data is obtained within the readable event by calling the read function.

const parse = require('csv-parse')
const assert = require('assert')
const output = []
// Create the parser
const parser = parse({
  delimiter: ':'
// Use the readable stream api
parser.on('readable', function(){
  let record
  while (record = parser.read()) {
// Catch any error
parser.on('error', function(err){
// When we are done, test that the parsed output matched what expected
parser.on('end', function(){
      [ 'root','x','0','0','root','/root','/bin/bash' ],
      [ 'someone','x','1022','1022','','/home/someone','/bin/bash' ]
// Write data to the stream
// Close the readable stream

Callback API

The signature is parse(data, [options], callback).

The callback example takes the CSV string in the first argument and a user callback in the second argument. The callback will received any error thrown by the CSV parser or an array of records object in the second argument. returns an array inside a user-provided callback.

const parse = require('csv-parse')
const assert = require('assert')

const input = '#Welcome\n"1","2","3","4"\n"a","b","c","d"'
parse(input, {
  comment: '#'
}, function(err, output){
    [ [ '1', '2', '3', '4' ], [ 'a', 'b', 'c', 'd' ] ]

Sync API

It accepts a full data set as text and returns the full result set as an array or an object.

This represent a regular direct synchronous call to a function: you pass records and it return a CSV text. Because of its simplicity, this is the recommended approach if you don't need scalability and if your dataset fit in memory.

The module to require is csv-parse/lib/sync and the signature is const records = parse(data, [options]).

The synchronous example illustrates how to use the alternative synchronous module. It is much easier to use at the expense of not being scalable.

This example is available with the command node samples/module.sync.js.

const parse = require('csv-parse/lib/sync')
const assert = require('assert')

const input = `
"value 1","value 2"
const records = parse(input, {
  columns: true,
  skip_empty_lines: true
assert.deepEqual(records, [{ key_1: 'value 1', key_2: 'value 2' }])