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GENERAL TECHNICAL: Special Characters Appearing in CSV Reports

Table of Contents

Problem Overview
Solution Overview
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Problem Overview 

  • You exported data into a CSV file, but some of that data is appearing as special characters.

  • This problem can happen in programs like Excel because they use their own character encoding and sometimes misinterpret characters.

Solution Overview

Coursedog uses UTF-8 encoding when exporting to CSV, so the software you use to view the CSV (e.g. Excel) needs to be set to UTF-8 encoding to ensure non-alphanumeric characters appear as expected. 


This problem can occur wherever special characters are used, including apostrophes and dashes (among others). 

Blank/Empty Data


If a field is blank in Coursedog – in other words, if no value has been input for it – it will appear as a dash in both the user interface (UI) as well as in the exported file. 

Viewing the CSV

If you view the CSV report in software that isn’t set to UTF-8 encoding, that software might replace the dash with other special characters, as shown below. 

Apostrophes & Other Special Characters

Other characters, like apostrophes, might also be replaced with the wrong characters in CSV files.

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