In large datasets, data integrity or "cleanliness" is vital. See the best ways to fix the most common character encoding errors.
Batch uploads by CSV is available to all customers.
LearnUpon recommends UTF-8 character encoding when dealing with batch uploads. Your uploaded file is more likely to import cleanly when encoded in UTF-8, rather than ISO or equivalent formats.
These errors crop up when your data comes from multiple sources, and you then upload data to create and invite users. Use the methods described to check how "clean" your data is, and remove characters which cause errors.
Save as UTF-8 format
Whatever the source of your CSV file, your first choice is to save as UTF-8 format. This format resolves most errors, and makes any remaining issues easier to spot.
Check the encoding in a text editor or source code editor
Character encoding on a file can change without the creators' knowledge, when using word processors. The change can go unnoticed until you try to upload your file to LearnUpon.
To spot these changes, you need to view your data in a text editor or source code editor, like
- Notepad++: free source code editor which works in Windows environment
- TextPad: general purpose editor for plain text files for Windows
- Brackets: an open source code editor which works on Mac, Windows and Linux
- Open your .CSV file with a text editor and check the bottom of the window for the encoding.
- If the encoding is not set as UTF-8, find the encoding controls in the text editor.
- Set the encoding to UTF-8.
- Save the file to finish.
Note: Byte Order Mark (BOM) can have an adverse effect on character encoding for batch uploads. LearnUpon recommends that you encode in UTF-8 without BOM.
The following screen shot shows the edge of a Brackets window, and its encoding info.
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Extra characters and "invisibles"
Applications like Microsoft Word/Excel can add extra formatting to data that you may not be aware of. Use a text editor to open your .CSV file, to look for
- extra characters added to the data.
- strange formattings introduced like extra comma characters ","
- invisible characters: use "show invisibles", to view additional characters, like binary data
Check for whitespace
When creating your lists of users, be aware that whitespace is considered a character during the upload process.
Whitespace is the blank space between words and individual characters. Most words have a single space between them.
Human readers view whitespaces as blank, but for text processing whitespace is a character in its own right. So you must remove any whitespaces in your lists in strange places.
For batch upload processing purposes, these two addresses are different, because one has whitespace between it and the comma.
If the space shown is not produced by a spacebar keystroke, and is a binary whitespace instead, then it can cause the batch user upload to fail as the whitespace is treated as its own individual character.
LearnUpon can "catch" and remove some whitespace characters, but sometimes you need to remove these manually using a text editor.
Ensure that your spreadsheet has no "empty" lines: open your spreadsheet in a text editor and delete any rows with "empty" data.