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Research Data Management Assistance at Virginia Tech: Posts - Data Management and Curation Services

Error When Using Microsoft Excel to Generate csv Files in a Mac OS

by Jonathan Petters on 2018-03-12T15:59:20-04:00 | Comments

Working with csv (comma-separated value) file types is a common practice, particularly for people dealing with large data processing projects or preservation. In fact we, VTechData repository administrators, highly recommend the use of open file formats when publishing research data for the sake of preserving and making that research more easily accessible.


Because the csv file format is so common, we wanted to make note of a common error that can occur when creating a csv file within a Macintosh Operating System. Csv files that are created by exporting data from Microsoft Excel within a Mac OS get corrupted. This issue does not present any obvious issues when using the csv in most applications. However, there are several applications that do have issues interpreting this type of csv including VTechData, our research data repository. The issue that arises in VTechData is once a file has been uploaded to the repository, a user becomes unable to download that file.


Our current recommendation to resolve this issue is to either use a Windows Operating System when dealing with Excel csv files or to export files as tab delimited txt files when possible.


For more information about this issue see here and here.


-Shane Coleman

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