I want to programmatically generate tsv files with multi-line cells that stay preserved when opened in Numbers app.
What newline character to use to enable multi-line cells?
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CSV is kind of standardized with RFC 4180. For multi-line fields the rules are
If this doesn't work with Numbers, you can also create a Numbers file, add some multi-line fields, export the file as CSV/TSV and verify the encoding/quoting used with TextEdit afterwards.
From the comment of @user3439894:
When Numbers exports to CSV it uses CR/LF between rows but uses LF for multi-line cells and the value is in double-quotes.