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Why are CSV reports not formatting normal in Excel?

Overview

When you export a report using CSV Comma Delimited format it opens in Excel, but is not formatted in columns like a normal Excel spreadsheet, you want to know why it is not opening normally in Excel.

Environment

Avalara AvaTax

Resolution

  • Change regional settings on your computer so that it recognizes the comma as the separator when Excel converts the data: 
    • Go to Start > Control Panel > Regional and Language Options
    • Click Additional Settings
      • For Decimal Symbol, enter a dot: .
      • For List Separator, enter a comma: ,
      • Save

Windows Region and Language Settings

  • Restart your computer 
  • Now, when you open a CSV file in Excel, it will automatically find the data fields and open it appropriately

 

 

Note: In Windows based machines you specifically set what to expect as the “List separator” in Regional Settings within the Control Panel. Since machines in Europe are automatically set to look for a semi-colon ; instead of a comma , a comma separated value (CSV) file automatically opens in Excel, but is not automatically formatted in the expected way.