I was assuming that Google spreadsheet exports UTF-8 encoded CSVs. However, this does not seem to be the case — my German Umlauts, etc. (äüöß, etc.) are not recognized, i.e., when opening the file in XLS.

Here is an example file: Link

  • Hi Kay, wasn't able to reproduce your findings. The äüöß were nicely exported and on my Chromebook, the Office extention that allows my to edit Excel files, was able to show them also. – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Mar 6 '16 at 7:42
  • Thanks, @JacobJanTuinstra.. Sorry, fixed the link! Strange.. Excel, Wordpad, Dropbox Doc Viewer show umlauts wrong, Txt-Editor shows them alright.. When saving file in TXT-Editor also the other programs show them right.. I'm really stuck here and desperately need this for work:( – Kay Mar 7 '16 at 8:27
  • Ruben, many thanks! Sorry for the broken link (fixed it: Header row has special character in <Größe>).. Assuming it is the win-default coding - do you know of a way to get around this issue? – Kay Jun 7 '16 at 8:29
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    Perhaps the following Q&A on Super User Stack Exchange site could help to understand the "real problem": - Windows 7 UTF-8 and Unicode - Setting UTF8 as default Character Encoding in Windows 7 – Rubén Jun 7 '16 at 19:44
  • that helped! Thanks, @Rubén! Maybe you want to add this also to the answer.. – Kay Jun 8 '16 at 7:36

Actually, Google Sheets exports to CSV using UTF-8.

In Excel, instead of using double-click to open a CSV file, use the Text Import Wizard as it allows to select the "File origin".

On the "File Origin" field, select 65001: Unicode (UTF-8).

Excel's Text Import Wizard

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  • Thanks, this makes things clearer! However, as I understand it, I have no option to fix it, without manipulating each CSV I deal with.. What really puzzles me is, that my Windows editors don't recognize the encoding - I'd assume that the UTF-8 encoding is saved in some sort of meta-data?? – Kay Jun 8 '16 at 7:38
  • Your options "to fix it" depends on your environment (operative system and on your applications) by the other hand how file encoding works is offtopic on this site. Consider to post your question about file encodings, Windows and Windows Apps on Super User. If you do so include be specific about your environment by including name, edition and version, i.e. Windows 10 32 bits. – Rubén Jun 8 '16 at 10:40

I question that Google is exporting CSVs as UTF-8. I exported a sheet as csv and ran the following bash command:

file -I "file_name.csv" 

and it returns...

file_name.csv: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Not sure if it matters, but used a Chrome browser for this.

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