Having trouble uploading you .csv files? Try this:
William Hamdi avatar
Written by William Hamdi
Updated over a week ago

So your CSV upload failed.

Before we trouble shoot it, a quick history lesson:

.csv Files were first created well before personal computers back in 1972. CSV stands for Comma separated values.

End of lesson. This is a good thing but it does lead to a few quirks. It’s great because it’s essentially a universally accepted format, but it means that there are some old hangups in the filetype from back in the day. So if your csv upload fails here are a few quick tips to try and fix it:

  1. Remove spaces from the filename. You can just delete them or replace them with dashes.

  2. Don’t use commas anywhere. As CSV stands for Comma Separated Values, commas can and do really confuse things. You can always add commas in after the import if it’s really important.

  3. Try and avoid unusual characters. Sticking to full stops, slashes, dashes, apostrophes, question marks etc is the way to go. Again this is a hangover from the MS-DOS days. Sometimes it will work, but you’re better safe than sorry.

  4. When saving the file in excel save it as 'Comma Separated Values (.csv)'. Saving as an 'MS_DOS Comma Separated (.csv)' will cause more exotic characters to result in an error so it's highly recommended that this isn't done.

  5. Donesafe sees duplicates in important columns as accidental duplicate entries. So for example, you can’t have duplicate email addresses in your user uploads, or duplicate questions in your template uploads. Just be aware of this if you upload 50 records and it only imports 40 without any error messages. This will usually be the reason.

  6. If none of that works, try filling blank cells. If you're missing information, use placeholder text in the interim.

If you fix all of that and the system is still not accepting your upload, feel free to jump onto the help chat in Donesafe and one of our support staff can give you a hand.

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