I am using a variety of tools to regularly prepare data for the web. One stage requires me to open a CSV in Excel, make changes and save the file.
Is there a way to force Excel to accept UTF-8 encoding, and to save its files with that encoding?
I answered a similar question at Default character encoding for Excel Text Wizard?.
I found my answer at Changing default text import origin type in Excel.
Like Vasille says in the comment to this question, if your file is not actually in UTF-8 format, you may technically want to convert the characters within the file to the encoding you want before opening in Excel. For my purposes, though, UTF-8 does a good enough job of displaying non-corrupted characters.
It seems that Byte Order Mark is required by Microsoft Office software.
Using Notepad++, convert the CSV using menu: Encoding -> Convert to UTF8-BOM.
sed -i '1s/^/\xef\xbb\xbf/' file.csv
You need to use the
File > Import option and start with blank document and specify
but this is far from optimal to make this a default setting for all files, anyway it is unnecessary to rotate the files around Google Drive or LibreOffice. The defaults are just badly chosen and the disability to change that is irritating.
How to set character encoding when opening Excel but does not find the option to change the defaults such that all files are automatically opened with UTF-8 instead of Macintosh format in OSX
I solved similar problem before. Unsuccessfully, but you can use LibreOffice, which is UTF-8 in default.
There's an Excel addin available here to work with Unicode CSV files that should help you.
Here's the developer Jaimon Mathew's note:
Excel treats .csv files as text files and will replace all Unicode characters with “?” when saved normally. If you want to preserve the Unicode characters, you would need to save the file as “Unicode text (*.txt)”, which is a Tab delimited file. Since I couldn’t find any existing solution to preserve Unicode characters in CSV format, I thought I’ll give it a go in creating an Excel Addin to do just that.
Assuming you have a unix shell available (Cygwin), I append to the front of the csv file a little 3 char unicode ID (UTF-8) and then it reads fine into Excel and more importantly it is properly processed as input using VB Excel automation.
EFBBBF << hex edit into a 3 char file.
cat UTF-8.txt file-to-use.csv > new_file.csv