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I had entered some data in Microsoft Excel file in regional language. I did not have any language pack installed previously. The data was displayed correctly. I saved the file and exited Excel. After some time I reopened that file but the text was gone and the cells were containing garbage values. What should be done?

Edit: I had saved it in csv format.

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  • IF you open the CSV file with Notepad, do you see garbage or the language? Nov 30, 2015 at 20:10
  • i see garbage only. Dec 1, 2015 at 5:02
  • What is the language you are entering into Excel. The problem likely has to do with the encoding when you save it. Dec 1, 2015 at 10:43
  • i entered "Hindi", then I had to reconstructed the data, but it could have been worse, now I am using xlsx format to save and it working ok, but this is very bad problem. Dec 1, 2015 at 15:21
  • Well, at least you have a method that works for you. Glad to help. Dec 1, 2015 at 16:18

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The problem most likely is the fact that Excel saves CSV files in ANSI format, and your "regional language" has Unicode characters. There is no way to recover the existing CSV file.

In the future, there are a variety of solutions which you can find by doing a search of the internet or Stack Overflow. Some simple methods include:

  • Save in an xl format (e.g. xls, xlsx, xlsm, xlsb)
  • Save as Unicode Text. This will create a Tab-delimited file. If you cannot work with that, you can open it with a text editor and replace the tabs with commas.
  • Open the xls file in LibreOffice which is free, and has an option to save as CSV with UTF-8 or UTF-16 formatting.
  • There are also VBA solutions, but I have not tried them. You will find them when you search the net.

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