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How to solve problems with non English characters (å ä ö) in data merge

Community Beginner ,
Dec 19, 2022 Dec 19, 2022

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Hi, do any else have problems with (for example) å, ä, and ö being replaced with nonsense when doing a data merge on InDesign? Does anyone know of any solution to this?

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Bug , InCopy workflow , Performance

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Community Expert ,
Dec 19, 2022 Dec 19, 2022

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Save your data file with UTF8 or UTF16 encoding. What application are you using to save/export csv or txt?

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 19, 2022 Dec 19, 2022

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Thanks Jeffrey!I will check this out (and how to do it 🙂

We're using Google spreadsheets of Excel. Same problem with both apps. What do you think is the best to use for data merges?

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 19, 2022 Dec 19, 2022

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We use both Macs and Windows.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 19, 2022 Dec 19, 2022

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In which case, you probably want to check the Import Options button when selecting the CSV for the merge. This will allow you to pick encoding, and there are only three options. UTF-8 is what you want (even if you picked UTF-16 in Excel). You can also select platform here, as Mac and Windows handle raw text files differently. (Mac uses LF only for newline, but Windows uses CR-LF. I think. It's been a little while since I needed to sort out a cross-platform raw-text issue, so the details are a bit foggy.) 

 

As far as exporting CSV from Google Sheets, the last time I did it it was as simple as File -> Download -> Comma-separated values.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 19, 2022 Dec 19, 2022

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I don't see any export options for csv from Google Sheet. You may need to open data in excel and save CSV UTF-8

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Engaged ,
Dec 19, 2022 Dec 19, 2022

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the same "nonsense" character should be consistantly represent the actual character you intended-- a find/replace might not be the ideal solution, but should be an accurate way to fix the data merge file.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 19, 2022 Dec 19, 2022

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Hi Chris, yes, that's a solution we've used. But as you say, not ideal... And the nonsense text actually differs a bit from doc to doc, so we cannot use any preset find/replace. And would love to find a solution to the root problem. Thanks!

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Explorer ,
Jan 23, 2023 Jan 23, 2023

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If you are on Mac give MyDataMerge a try. It can directly merge from Excel files and handles all encoding stuff for you. https://mydatamerge.com

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Thanks, looks interesting! Will check it out. Hope it does å, ä, and ö as well 🙂

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