Creating and Editing Translation Content CSV Files

We have explored two tools for editing and creating translation content. The recommended tool is Open Office Calc as it has the capability to character encode (csv) files in UTF-8. Some applications, such as Microsoft Excel are unable to save (csv) files using UTF-8 character encoding. We discuss two methods to create UTF-8 character encoded (csv) files. One solution is more straightforward and uses Open Office Calc and the other is a solution using Microsoft Excel and Notepad.

Open Office Calc

It is free and can be downloaded from

  1. Using Calc, open a spreadsheet file via File > Open... (note: this can be a spreadsheet created using Calc or Excel) .

  2. Save the file as a (csv) file via File > Save as... > Text CSV(.csv)

  3. When saving a (csv) file, Open Office Calc will ask which character encoding you wish to use for the file, be sure to choose Unicode(UTF-8).

Microsoft Excel

The solution to create UTF-8 encoded (csv) files using Excel is to create a tab separated file in Excel by saving as a Unicode text file then replace the tabs with commas in Notepad, save the file and change the file extension to (csv) with encoding set to UTF-8.

  1. Save the spreadsheet in Unicode from within Excel File > Save As... > Text CSV (.csv)

  2. Open the .txt file from within MS Notepad

  3. Select one of the tab characters and copy the character (ctrl+c)

  4. Using the Replace tool File > Save As... > Text CSV (.csv) or (ctrl+h), paste the tab character in the Find what box (ctrl+v) and insert a comma in the Replace with box.

  5. Save the file File > Save As... > All Files (*.*), change the file extension from .txt to .csv and be sure to change the encoding in the drop down menu to UTF-8.

  6. Now the resulting (csv) file is UTF-8 character coded and can be opened from Excel to ensure that the data is as correct. Do not save the file from Excel or the UTF-8 encoding will be lost.

More information about the Microsoft Excel solution can be found at