Topic: Special characters are not correctly shown after data import from an MS Excel file  (Read 26200 times)

We imported a list of users from an Excel list / from a previous conference, but noticed that some names containing special/foreign characters were imported incorrectly. What can we do to fix this problem?

We are trying to import an MS Excel file to ConfTool Pro that was saved in CSV format with UTF-8 encoding, but still special characters are not shown in the right way. What is the reason for this problem?

To import data into ConfTool Pro the source file has to be in CSV format (Comma Separated Values). If your spreadsheet was for instance created using MS Excel, OpenOffice or LibreOffice, you need to save the data as CSV file first, before you can start your import of users, reviewers or invitees.

Please note that you should use UTF-8 as character encoding format if your file contains any special characters. Other 8-bit encodings like ISO 8859-1 support only 256 different characters, while UTF-8 encoding allows representing all characters of the international Unicode Standard.

Unfortunately even with recent versions of MS Excel, the export to a CSV file in UTF-8 encoding does not work: You always get a file in 8-bit ISO format, even if UTF-8 was chosen as export format. Therefore, please use OpenOffice or LibreOffice to open your Excel file and then export your data in CSV format with UTF-8 encoding. The import of your lists containing user or invitee data should work properly now.

Example: If you use LibreOffice, please choose 'Save as …' [Image 1], set file type 'Text CSV' and tick the box 'Edit filter settings' [Image 2]. As soon as you click on the button to save the spreadsheet, a window opens in which you have to confirm your selection by clicking the button 'Use Text CSV Format' [Image 3]. Another window opens in which you can choose for the option 'Character set' the setting 'Unicode (UTF-8)' [Image 4].

If you still have problems, please send us your source file and we will try to convert it correctly.

More information on data import to ConfTool can be found in the documentation How to Import Users (ConfTool Pro) and in the ConfTool Support Forum in the entry Importing reviewers with their priority topics.