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How can we improve Excel for Mac?

Support UTF-8 for .csv import/export

UTF-8 is the dominant character encoding in the Western hemisphere.

At present when importing and exporting .csv files UTF-8 is not supported and non-standard characters become garbled!

This is a massive wtf!

P.s. regex support in find and replace would also be super useful!

137 votes
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Matt shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
completed  ·  Dan Battagin [MS XL] responded  · 

= 2016-12-12 =
Hi all,

Just wanted to share the news that we’ve added support for UTF-8 encoded CSV files to Mac Excel.

Once you install Excel 2016 build 15.29 or later (which hit’s the streets shortly), you should have a working UTF-8 CSV option as one of the file types (and of course, we load them too).

Dan [MS]

PS – You may notice the option in Save As UTF-8 CSV in 15.28 as well. We had a couple bugs in it then, which is why we didn’t announce it. Please wait for 15.29 before using it.

= 2015-11-26 =

Thanks for the suggestion Matt. We’ll be taking a look at CSVs all up (there’s been a number of requests around them) and we’ll make sure we consider Mac as well. As always, to help us prioritize, keep the votes coming! We’ll be factoring those in as we work our way down the stack.

John [MS XL]


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  • Tommy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    When will you fix opening a csv in utf 8 on PC. I double click .xls files and it open replacing all my letters with accents with symbols...

    Very annoying!

  • Gustav Broberg commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thanks for implementing this, but why did you chose to use CR line endings in the UTF-8 CSV? The use of CR line endings should have died with Classic Mac OS back in 2002. Mac OS X (now macOS) has always used LF newlines ( CR+LF (which you use for regular CSV) would also be acceptable as it's widely supported, but not CR.

    (Tested with 15.28 and 15.29)

  • Maneesh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It is a pity that Microsoft in 2016 does not have UTF-8 support in Excel 2016 for Mac. You should write "Microsoft is unable to support UTF-8" outside the Office 365 box and the same in a big top banner on webpage. That way, we can avoid the unbelievable.

  • Daniel Hoffmann commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    If I import (Get external data from text) a csv file in UTF-8, columns with line break will start a new row instead of a multi-line string. If I first save the file in UTF-8 with BOM in e.g. Notepad++, I can instead open it correctly (with correct line breaks) by double clicking the file in Explorer. But there is a bug when importing as data (with or without BOM).

  • Andrew Macrae commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Dear Microsoft: MacRoman has not been the default text format on the Mac for decades. The default is Unicode UTF-8. This has been an issue for, well, decades. Why do you expect us to keep forking over for upgrades that are so fundamentally ignorant of the platform on which it operates?

  • Tim commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    A little quote from Wikipedia:

    "UTF-8 is the dominant character encoding for the World Wide Web, accounting for 85.1% of all Web pages in September 2015 ... The Internet Mail Consortium (IMC) recommends that all e-mail programs be able to display and create mail using UTF-8, and the W3C recommends UTF-8 as the default encoding in XML and HTML."

    Yet I still cannot use my UTF-8 data in Excel. Staggering!

  • Mark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have been waiting for this feature since 2000 on Windows or Mac. Neither version gets it.
    And each release it is the first thing I check. Totally baffles me that this is not corrected version after version. And saving Unicode TXT file to tab-delimited UCS-2? Completely misses the usability mark.

  • Andreas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's the year 2015 and Microsoft Excel for Mac still does not support a pre-Millenium encoding standard... without words... This is just embarrassing - nothing else....

  • Craig Kovatch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's unbelievable that this isn't a top-priority issue. I frequently avoid Excel just because its Unicode support is so poor. It's not 2003 anymore!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    As a big data company (CrowdFlower) we have to tell our users to download OpenOFfice because excel doesn't work for CSVs.

  • Phillip Jones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This same issue has been Broken in Office 2011 and perhaps even 2008 yet not one effort has been made to fix this in Mac Version and BTW: still dead in 2016. Oh by the: Must contain BOM information.

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