I’m corrupted

Why do I get random symbols instead of my international characters when importing my CSV into Excel?

I exported my dataset as CSV, but when I import it into Excel my data looks corrupted. I get random symbols instead of the international characters I was expecting. It looks like this:



How do I fix this?
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  • Excel doesn't do a very good job of detecting that a file contains international characters when importing a file. Many files containing international languages are encoded in what is called "Unicode" encoding, and that is what Socrata encodes its exported datasets in.

    To import a Unicode file using Excel, you'll need to do the following:

    1.) Open Excel

    2.) Click on File -> Open (or the "Office Button" then "Open", depending on your version)

    3.) Select the file you want to import

    4.) You'll then be presented with the "Import Wizard". Select "Delimited" from the "Original data type" and make sure "65001: Unicode (UTF-8)" is selected under "File Origin":



    5.) After clicking "Next", deselect "Tab" and select "Comma" under "Delimiters". Then click "Finish" to complete the import.

    Your file should be imported correctly using Unicode, and your international characters should be correct:

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