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Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

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    Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    Hi,

    I have converted an excel spreadsheet to a text file. A lot of the text in the columns is in French, causing characters such as "" and "" to come out as question marks. I have tried following the guidance in this article (https://support.office.com/en-gb/art...c-d536d42fd861) but I don't the "Confirm file format conversion on open" option that it advises.

    Thank you for your advice in advance.

    Eliot

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    Hi Eliot,
    What version of Excel and Office are you running?

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    This sounds like a font/language problem where some characters in the font that the document was created with don't exist in the font being used for the other language and a substitution is being made. A txt or csv file should be just ascii characters. Can you open this file in Notepad? If you can, are the characters correct? If the characters are not correct, when saving try clicking on the Tools button beside the Save button, click on Web Options, Encoding and choose Western European or ISO.
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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    Excel Version 14, 2010.

    Thanks

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    Hi Newdoverman,

    I did just try and open it in Notepad and the question marks still appeared. I then went back to the original excel file and saved the file again as a text file but this time saved it as "unicode text". This seems to have solved the issue. Does this seem like a good solution?

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    If Unicode text gives the results that you are looking for I would say that you have found the solution. Do several tests and if the results are consistently what you want then the problem should be considered solved. If that is the case please mark this thread as solved.

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    You might also check that you language translation properties are set properly.
    On the ribbon go to Review then click Translate, when the Research option box opens click Research Options (at the bottom), than make sure that French or any other language you might need is checked.

    If this answers your question, please mark your thread as Solved by selecting Thread Tools ( above your first post) and mark thread as Solved .
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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    Hi newdoverman,

    While unicode text did help solve the initial problem, the issue isn't solved as the portal I need to upload my file to does't recognize unicode text and therefore won't accept it. Please let me know if you have any other tips.

    Thanks

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    The surest way is to find out what they do accept. You can probably convert the Unicode txt to the format that is acceptable either using Word or Notepad.

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    I have looked into this, they only accept text (unlimited). Do you have an idea on how to fix the issue with the text file?

    Thanks

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    "Unlimited" really doesn't tell you very much that is useful. Try loading your file into Word and save as PLAIN TEXT and see how that is accepted.

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    I believe that by unlimited they mean "delimited tab". I have just tried your idea newdoverman and have still had no luck. It uploads fine and removes the question marks but there are still several characters not recognized.

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    If they mean tab delimited, that is a very poor way of describing it. Can you upload a sample problem file? At this point we are just guessing. Also, show the characters that are not being recognized.

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    Attached is an example excel file of how it should look in French, and a text file of how it looks once I save it as a text (tab delimited) file.

    Thanks for your advice so far

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    There were no attachments in your message.

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    Sorry newdoverman. Here are the attachments I was referring to.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    I was able to properly convert the excel file into these two txt files. The encoding is Western European (Windows). My computer Regional Settings are: Format: English (Canada), Keyboard: US

    CSV and DOS (text) files did not work properly.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    Thanks. I see that the tab delimited example doesn't come out right. The unicode version is fine but like I said, the place I upload them too doesn't seem to accept it. I feel that we are getting close though.

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    The only thing that I can think of is that your regional settings may be causing the problem. The encoding might also be a problem. Both files that I sent to you were Western European (Windows) encoded and they were both perfect here.

    The technical information that you were given was pretty well useless. You need to know the format and the encoding that they expect. The correct format with the wrong encoding will not work and visa versa. Unlimited, just doesn't mean anything so you need much better information than what has been given to you.

    I think that this is all that I can help you with for this problem.

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    Thank you for all your help. I will speak to them, but in the mean time please can you tell me how to change the settings to make it the same as yours?

    Thanks for your advice

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    The settings are in the Control Panel, Regional Settings.

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    Re: Question marks appearing when I convert excel spreadsheet to txt file

    Hi,

    Just to let you know I changed the settings and it finally worked. Thank you very much newdoverman!

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