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The CSV file I exported looks strange, what can I do?

FAQ: CSV settings can be different depending on the version of Excel you have.

Once you have exported a CSV file from Vainu and opened it in Excel, you may come across data in the wrong format depending on your Excel settings. Here are two of the most common settings that can affect how CSV files are displayed and instructions for sorting the data: 

More detailed instructions: Modify CSV -file to be compatible with Excel

All the information is in one cell 

If all the information is in a single cell instead of divided to correct columns, the problem has to do with the separator that breaks the data into columns. The file is in CSV format, and it varies from country to country, excel version to another, what the default separator is. 

  1. First, select the whole column with the data you want to split into columns (in most cases, Column A). The easiest way to sort the data inside this column is by using the Text to columns function, which is typically under Data. 

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 14.39.10

2. Choose Delimited

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3. Select Semicolon and check that the data looks correct in the preview (make sure not to have Space, Comma, or other selected.).


Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 15.14.45


...And you are good to go! 💪

Please note that the settings might look slightly different depending on whether you use Windows or Mac. If you are using Windows, you can find instructions here

Special nordic characters (ä, ö, å) shown incorrectly?

If special characters are shown as question marks or something else, the problem has to do with opening the CSV file with the wrong type of character encoding. Learn how to fix it! ✅

For Windows users: 

1. Create a blank workbook in Excel. 
2. Select a column →  Go to Data tab and select From the text: 

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 16.30.42

3. Choose the option for Delimited and file origin: ISO 8859-1 (The text in the preview window should refresh and show the correct characters. If this does not work you can also test Windows (ANSII) or Western (ISO Latin 1))
4. Go to the next page and choose Semicolon as the delimiter. Check that the data looks correct in the preview (make sure not to have Space, Comma, or Other selected.).

5. Go to the next page and keep the column data format general.
6. Done! You can now continue working with the file in Excel and save it, e.g., as  .xls file if needed.

>> More specific instructions here.

For Mac users: 

1. Create a blank workbook in Excel.
2. Select a column → Click on Data → Get external data → Import text file: 

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 15.21.32

3. Choose the correct CSV file from your computer.
4. Pick Delimited, and choose a file origin. The same file origin does not always fix the text, so try a few options, for example, Western (ISO Latin 1) and Windows (ANSI). You will see in the preview if the text has been fixed.

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 15.24.35


5. Go to the next page and choose Semicolon as the delimiter. 

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 15.27.52

6. Click next and choose the column data type (General works fine). 
7. Done! Save the file, e.g., as .xls file if needed.

If you have any questions, please contact us through Vainu chat or by sending an email to support@vainu.io  💬