Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Common CSV Upload Problems

We answer quite a few support questions regarding CSV uploads gone awry.  Sometimes it was a bug.  Most times it was a malformed CSV file.  If you recently did an upload and found that some or all of your data did not appear correctly, check to see if any of the following problems might be your culprit. 
  1. It's not a CSV.  Sounds simple, but people upload XLS or XLSX (Excel) files all the time.  In Excel, click Save As and select the CSV or "Comma Separated Value" file type.  You will be given a warning.  Just click "YES" or "OK".
  2. Duplicate Header Values.  We look at the 1st row know what field you're importing.  If you have two columns with the same exact title (a common practice for "Phone") then the system cannot tell which to use.  Instead, use "Phone1" and "Phone2" to have distinct values.
  3. Trailing Spaces in the header value.  This one is a real booger and can be hard to find, but if you have uploaded a CSV and realize that only one field or a small number of fields did not import, you might have a trailing space in the header.  For example, you thought you'd written "Phone1" but you had really written Phone1 " with that space at the end.  The empty space makes the column unrecognizable.  
  4. Blank rows.  We have seen several spreadsheets where a blank row separates one group of contacts from another.  Upon upload, any contact after the first blank row does not get imported.  This is because the only way software can know that it's reached the end of a spreadsheet is when it finds no data.  The blank row tells AddressTwo that it's reached the end of the document.  This can be especially frustrating if your first row is blank.  Zero contacts are imported.  To fix this, simply sort your spreadsheet alphabetically and re-save.  blank values are sorted to the bottom and all the real data is grouped together at the top.
  5. Blank Columns.  Much like the above error, blank columns tell AddressTwo as it reads from left-to-right that it's reached the end of the available fields.  Any fields of data after a blank column are never found.  Delete the blank columns so that all columns abut each other.

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