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Typically Pandas: Save CSV without index

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When you come from R, the default for saving to a CSV or an Excel file is that row line numbers are not stored in the file. In Python’s Pandas, that is a whole other story. By default, the indices will be included in your export. Let’s get rid of that.

Turning a CSV into a Pandas data frame is done using the to_csv method. If we don’t want to include the index (or “row names”, two arguments are of relevance:

  • index: which defines if we want indices to be included.
  • index_label: which defines the column header of the included index

In brief, simply setting the index argument to False will omit the index, as follows:

df.to_csv(index = False)

There is a particular thing to be noted in the Pandas documentation. The index_label description contains the following lines.

If False do not print fields for index names. Use index_label=False for easier importing in R.

This is likely a mistake because setting index to True, but index_label to False will make loading the CSV into R even harder. Because the indices will be printed, but they will not have a header.


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