Alt Code symbols are replaced with dash symbol when downloaded on Excel

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    Asked on January 07, 2016 at 05:23 PM

    The Excel report seems to be displaying UTF-8 characters correctly, which I am definitely glad for.  However, there are a few other characters that are properly saved and displayed when viewing submissions on the website, but get replaced with dashes when downloading the report.  This looks intentional to me, like the report generating script is substituting dashes for the characters.  Normally if it is the wrong encoding, a character will be replaced by several really strange looking characters.

    If the database weren't saving the characters properly in the first place, I wouldn't have a problem putting stricter controls on the content my users are inputting.  However, since the database does have the correct characters, surely there is a way to get them into an Excel or CSV file?

    Screenshot attached of what it looks like online vs. in the Excel file.  The smart quotes and alpha character show up fine, but the combined greater than/equal sign and the combined less than/equal sign show up as dashes.

    Thank you!

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    Answered on January 08, 2016 at 12:21 AM

    I was able to reproduce that problem. I think this is some sort of limit on the generation process for alt code symbols or the excel itself might have encoded it into something else. However, while I am not quite certain about it, I have forwarded this to our developers for further investigation.


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    Answered on January 08, 2016 at 10:45 PM


    Allowed character range is extended for mathematical operators. Thank you for letting us know about it.

    All the best

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    Answered on January 09, 2016 at 08:12 AM

    Thanks so much!  I really appreciate it.  My users submit a lot of scientific data in forms, so this will be very helpful.

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    Answered on January 09, 2016 at 04:20 PM

    On behalf of my colleagues who worked with your concern, you're most welcome. Please feel free to get back to us should you have any other questions or concerns and we will be glad to help you.