Magento is a fantastic ecommerce tool, packed full of just about every feature you might possible need – but some tasks are just painful. Importing product data into the catalog is one such thing. Typically you do this via .csv files and it’s slow, but relatively painless. However importing data that contains “special” characters, such as é, can become rather agonising if you’re not careful.
Magento stores data internally in UTF-8 encoded form, and it expects any .csv files it uses for import to contain UTF-8 encoded text. Sadly Excel cannot export .csv files in anything but Windows 1252 encoded text. On a number of occasions this has caught me out as I’ve imported the data only to find that certain product attributes get truncated at the point the special character appears.
There a 2 solutions. One is save the data from Excel as an Office .xml spreadsheet. The other is import your .xps file into Google Docs, then export it as a .csv file. Google Docs creates .csv files that are UTF-8 encoded, and hence special characters get pulled into Magento seamlessly.
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