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    Character encoding problem when mail merging submissions from excel export to word document.

    Asked by iowa4h on February 17, 2014 at 07:27 PM

    Hi,

    I need to create a document with the data collected through one of my jot forms. To do this I have exported the submissions as an excel file and then used Word's Mail Merge feature to pull the data into a word document. This all works great as expected except...

    Many time the data pulled in from the excel file imports into the word file as garbledigook. But it is completely readable in the excel file Here's an example of what it looks like:

    <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Arial; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536859905 -1073711037 9 0 511 0;} @font-face {font-family:Geneva; panose-1:2 11 5 3 3 4 4 4 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:7 0 0 0 147 0;} @font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-font-charset:78; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1791491579 18 0 131231 0;} @font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-font-charset:78; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1791491579 18 0 131231 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1073743103 0 0 415 0;} @font-face {font-family:Times-Roman; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-alt:Times; mso-font-charset:77; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-format:other; mso-font-pitch:auto; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:Times-Bold; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-alt:Times; mso-font-charset:77; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-format:other; mso-font-pitch:auto; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:"Adobe Caslon Pro"; panose-1:2 5 5 2 5 5 10 2 4 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-2147483473 1342185563 0 0 155 0;} @font-face {font-family:"Baoli SC Regular"; panose-1:2 1 8 0 4 1 1 1 1 1; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 135200768 0 0 262145 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} p.Questions, li.Questions, div.Questions {mso-style-name:Questions; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-unhide:no; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:0in; margin-left:14.0pt; margin-bottom:.0001pt; text-indent:-14.0pt; line-height:120%; mso-pagination:none; mso-hyphenate:none; mso-layout-grid-align:none; text-autospace:none; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Times-Bold; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-bidi-font-family:Times-Bold; color:black; font-weight:bold;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} -->

    Q: Describe your most important 4-H experiences, accomplishments, and contributions.

    I am who I am because I am a 4-H'er. I have been a 4-H member since the 4th grade. I remember the scary yet exciting feeling of standing up at my first meeting to introduce myself. Looking back on that day I can see how much I've grown. I went from a shy 4th grader to a 12th grader that has a strong knowledge of who she really is. I have held each office in my 4-H club, and I am currently serving as president for the 2nd year in a row. There have been many moments during my 4-H career that I have felt accomplished. Throughout my whole 4-H horse showing career I have grown immensely. While showing my horse at the Iowa State Fair I received  “Iowa State Fair Trail Champion 2009”, “Iowa State Fair Horsemanship Champion 2010”, “Iowa State Fair Reserve Trail Champion 2010”, “Iowa State Fair Trail Champion 2011”, “Iowa State Fair Reserve English Equation 2011”,  and “Iowa State Fair English Equation Champion 2012”. Through the Plymouth County Horse Program I have won Most Helpful, Junior High Point, Intermediate High Point, Senior High Point, and Overall Senior Horseman. Along with my horse, I also enjoy showing cattle. Even though I have not been showing cattle as long as I've been showing horses, I am still passionate about it. I love showing with my uncles and brother. Since I began showing cattle I have won Reserve Grand Champion Breeding Heifer and Grand Champion Breeding Heifer at the Plymouth County Fair. I am proud of each of these titles that I have received. I would say that these are some of my greatest accomplishments. My greatest accomplishment, however, would be receiving the title of Plymouth County䘠楡畑敥〲㌱癅牥猠湩散䤠眠獡愠氠瑩汴楧汲䤠栠癡潬歯摥甠潴琠敨映楡畱敥圠敨潹湵慷瑮摥琠敢琠敨映楡畱敥敢慣獵慷獹猠牰瑥祴桳湩祮挠潲湷愠摮琠敨猠慰歲楬杮猠獡䄠瑦牥爠捥楥楶杮琠敨琠瑩敬桴瑡琠敨敲潳洠捵潭敲琠敢湩慦物焠敵湥獁琠敨映楡畱敥慴敫琠敨倠祬潭瑵潃湵祴䘠楡楷桴洠癥牥桷牥癅牥瑹楨杮琠楨杮琠慨潤爠晥敬瑣湯琠敨映楡獩洠潴瀠潭整㐠䠭愠敷汬瑁映物瑳瑩眠獡猠慣祲楤湤琧氠歩牰獥畳敲琠慨敦汥湩䠠睯癥牥瑩愠祭戠敧瑳戠敬獳湩䈠楥杮琠敨映楡畱敥敢湩湩㐠䠭栠獡琠畡桧敭洠楢杧獥楬敦氠獥潳獮慨敶氠慥湲摥琠慨慨敶琠敢洠獹汥敢慣獵潮漠敮湡戠敭戠瑥整桴湡洠䤠栠癡潳氠慥湲摥琠敢愠朠潯硥浡汰癥牥睹敨敲䤠朠敢慣獵潹湵敧⁲ⴴ❈慷獹眠瑡档湩䤠栠癡敬牡敮桴瑡礠畯湡琧栠癡楷桴畯慨摲眠牯愠摮猠浯瑥浩獥栠牡潷歲搠敯湳琧攠摮⹳†慨敶氠慥湲摥琠敢猠牴湯渠瑯漠汮潴氠晩慢敬戠瑵猠牴湯湩洠慦瑩洠牯愠摮湯楦敤据敷敲愠歳摥眠慨祭戠獥硥数楲湥散眠獡潷汵慳楹杮戠楥杮ⴴ⹈桷汯⁥ⴴ慣敲牥栠獡戠敥硥数楲湥散栠獡愠摤摥漠潴琠敨氠獡湡渠瑯潨獯桷捩硥数楲湥散牧慥整瑳牯眠楨档愠浯汰獩浨湥桷汯慣敲牥眠獡琠敨朠敲瑡獥硥数楲湥散湫睯䤠眠慷獹氠潯慢正漠獡琠敨猠牴湯慢楳桴瑡氠摥洠潴愠猠捵散獳畦畦畴敲̘䈀楥杮慭敤洠慷瑮琠瑡整摮䤠睯瑓瑡湕癩牥楳祴楄晦牥湥牰杯慲栠癡敢湥栠汥瑡漠潉慷匠慴整慷獹洠摡敭映敥瑡栠浯❴⁳潣晭牯潺敮映牯洠䤠眠湡湯楴畮敦汥湩瑡栠浯桷湥䤠愠瑴湥潣汬来祭洠湡楶楳潉慷匠慴整湫睯琠慨敢瑳栠浯敂湩慰瑲漠⁦ⴴ潳栠摡琠敨戠敧瑳普畬湥散漠祭攠畤慣楴湯愠摮牡敥档楯散慷瑮琠敢愠瀠牡景愠牧捩汵畴敲戠捥畡敳洠慣敲牥栠獡洠摡敭氠癯条楲畣瑬匠潨楷杮愠楮慭獬琠牨畯桧㐠䠭栠獡洠摡敭朠浩敭獮汥獡愠瀠牥潳䤠猠瑥瀠牥潳慮楷桴愠汬洠楬敶瑳捯瑳瑡捩攠桸吠敨敲湳琧愠瀠摵牥洠浯湥桴湥爠捥楥楶杮愠瀠楲扢湯漠牰橯捥桴瑡礠畯瘧眠潨敬栠慥瑲䤠琠歡牰摩湩愠汬䤠瘧楬桳摥琠牨畯桧㐠䠭㔮 敇瑴湩潣汬来摥捵瑡潩椠灭牯慴瑮琠慷瑮琠潧琠潣汬来敢慣獵桴瑡猧眠慨癥牥潹敮猠祡敷栠癡潴搠晡整楨桧猠档潯䤠眠湡潴朠汯敬敧戠捥畡敳䤠眠湡潴洠歡潳敭桴湩景洠獹汥䜠楯杮琠潉慷匠慴整楮敶獲瑩獩朠楯杮琠楧敶洠潴汯敮摥琠湩洠畦畴敲慷瑮琠潧琠潉慷匠慴整愠摮氠慥湲攠敶祲桴湩桴牥獩琠湫睯愠潢瑵愠牧捩汵畴敲湥潪敹楨桧猠档潯戠瑵䤠洧爠慥祤琠潭敶漠瑮楢杧牥琠楨杮䤠愠祴数漠数獲湯琠楧敶甠䤠映敥楬敫䤠愠晩敩慣摮摩瑡捳潨慬獲楨敢慣獵浡渠瑯朠楯杮琠桴瑡洠湯祥朠潴眠獡整浡瀠牥楳瑳湥

    A friend of mine who is a programer says it looks like a character encoding problem. I'm not a programmer, and don't really know what that means or how to fix it. I have tried clearing all formatting from the excel file before conducting the mail merge, to no effect.

    I'm wondering if the problem is something to do with the export from JotForms, or if you have any idea what is causing this and how I might fix it.

    Thank you so much!

    Holly

    Page URL:
    http://www.jotformpro.com/iowa4h/Freshman

    Submissions problem excel character encoding
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    JotForm Support

    Answered by EltonCris on February 17, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Hi Holly,

    Do all the data displays accordingly on the excel file after downloading it from Jotform? I'm not sure, but it might be due to the conversion between the two formats. Have you tried checking and clearing data on your excel file first before pulling it over to the word document? There might be unknown symbols or formatting that might be carried over to word which has caused that problem. Tried checking those and let us know if we can be of further assistance. Unfortunately, I am not quite familiar with the method you are using, if my suggestion doesn't help, we'd appreciate if you could provide a step by step instructions on how to replicate this.

    Regards!

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    Answered by iowa4h on February 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    It is completely ledgable in the excel file. And if I manually copy and past it from the excel file to the word file it looks fine. The issue only arises when I use Mail Merge.

    I'm surprised you are not familier with the method, as it was through reading JotForms forum that I learned how to use this method of pulling responses from my JotForms form into a document.

    Also, sorry abou all the code before the pasted information in my original post. When I pasted it from the word document, non of that appeard. Only the Question and the answer with all the chineese characters. It's all those characters that appear in my word document that I am wondering how to get rid of.

     

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    Answered by Cesar on February 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    I am not fully aware of the Mail Merge option, but have you tried opening the exported excel data. Selecting all the data and performing a Paste Special as values only. Then saving the excel file again.

    https://shots.jotform.com/cesar/screens/pastevalues.jpg

     It appears the fault may lie on Mail Merge's side. If you are able to copy the data without problems with a simple cut and paste. In any case, like my colleague suggested, kindly provide a step by step explanation on how we can replicate the error on our side. Thank you.

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    Answered by Chantal  on February 04, 2016 at 02:21 PM

    I am having this exact problem. Hoping to follow and find an answer. If I solve it I will post back.