I'm working with Moodle to export a csv file. The file is encoded as UTF-8 but Excel doesn't recognise it and so displays odd characters.

I've modified the code to insert a BOM as per https://stackoverflow.com/a/16231345/1603711

But I am unable to test it because I haven't got Excel installed.

I was hoping to use Excel online at https://office.live.com/start/excel.aspx but I can't find a way to import a csv file.

Is this possible?

6 Answers 6


Is this possible?

Nope. The Excel Online App currently does not support importing/opening CSV files.

You'll have to convert it to XLSX first, which you could do using Libre/OpenOffice, or one of many online file converter services.

  • Besides making sure the file works with Excel. Why doesn't he just not use Libre/OpenOffice instead of Office?
    – Ramhound
    Sep 4, 2014 at 17:38
  • @Ramhound Why are you asking me? :) Maybe he just REALLY wants to use the Excel Online app. :)
    – techie007
    Sep 4, 2014 at 17:41
  • I was just curious the reason you didn't suggest it.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 4, 2014 at 17:43
  • 4
    Ahh gotcha... It was because the question was "How do I import CSV into Excel Online?". That and the fact that he first says Excel shows odd characters, followed by "I don't have Excel installed", so I'm assuming he needs it working in Excel because that's what the person he's preparing it for is using... :)
    – techie007
    Sep 4, 2014 at 17:46
  • 1
    Yep, I use Linux and LibreOffice - everything recognises that its a UTF-8 file except Excel :) The client uses Excel and is saying there are odd characters but I can't test it.
    – Russell England
    Sep 4, 2014 at 19:53

The following steps worked for me:

  1. open csv file in notepad++
  2. replace all commas with tabs (you may have to enable search mode extended with \t)
  3. Select all and copy to the clipboard.
  4. open a blank excel file online
  5. copy contents of the clipboard.
  6. Excel should properly separate the tabs into separate cells

Not really a solution per say, but if you can open your CSV file locally, you can just copy-paste it into Office Excel Online and it will properly format all the columns.


you can do it by uploading the CSV file to your drive and then drive will detect the format for you and open it with excel


I just upload the csv to OneDrive, then open it up. It will automatically be converted to Excel and saved as an .xlsx. It is pretty easy.

  • 1
    Did you do this using a web browser? Was you able to open the.xlsx file in Excel Online?
    – Rubén
    Feb 25, 2021 at 22:27

You can copy the CSV file contents and paste it on your online sheet and then use the "Text to column" feature. It is pretty easy actually.

using text to columns feature

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