I have a UTF8 TSV file that contains text in various languages. If I start Excel 2016, then go to Open and then select the file, Excel will ask me about the encoding of the file, at which point I can choose UTF8 and open the document properly.

However, if I simply double-click on the TSV file, it opens it up without asking me about encoding, guesses it wrong and garbles the foreign-language text. How can I force it to ask me about encoding when opening a file this way?

Windows 10, in case it matters.


It seems that you should be able to make it work if your TSV file has a BOM. It essentially add encoding information in a few bytes at the beginning, which many programs can read correctly (or skip).

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  • So this means I need to add BOM to every TSV file before opening it. Unfortunately, this is not really a viable option for me: rather than having 1 file that I have to open many times, I have many files that I open once or twice. So messing with the BOM will take more time for me than just opening the doc manually as I described above. – I Z Jun 27 '19 at 13:39
  • There are tools that let you at least add the BOM easily (first hit on google radyakin.org/progs/bomtools), though it's definitely an extra step to take. Unfortunately without BOM Excel defaults to the system locale's codepage... – vlumi Jun 27 '19 at 14:24

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