Why Does My Imported User Data Contain Question Marks?

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Applies to: Starter, Pro, Plus, & Enterprise Plans

Absorb LMS' user import functionality requires that all submitted CSV documents be UTF-8 encoded. CSV documents using other encoding standards may not import accents and other special characters correctly, as pictured below.

If such behaviour is encountered, you can ensure you CSV document has been UTF-8 encoded by running it through any basic text editor.

Converting with Notepad

  1. To open a CSV, select FILE > OPEN
  2. In the BROWSE window, change the filtered file type from "Text Documents (*.txt)" to "All Files (*.*)". You will then be able to browse for your CSV document.
  3. Once the CSV has been opened, you can just re-save the document without changing anything (FILE > SAVE AS)
  4. When saving the document, set your SAVE AS TYPE again to "All Files (*.*)"
  5. Change the ENCODING option to UTF-8
  6. SAVE
Your document will now be UTF-8 encoded, and upon upload to the LMS you should see all accents and special characters imported properly.

 

Converting with Notepad++

The above method assumes that Notepad is able to first read your file correctly prior to encoding as UTF-8, but this vanilla editor does have its limits. We recommend Notepad++ for advanced text editing features, and this should be your next step if you're still encountering issues after attempting the steps above:

  1. To open a CSV, select FILE > OPEN
  2. In the BROWSE window, change the filtered file type from "Text Documents (*.txt)" to "All Files (*.*)". You will then be able to browse for your CSV document.
  3. Once the CSV has been opened, you'll want to make sure that Notepad++ is configured to read the file correctly. This can be done using the ENCODING dropdown. The top set of options (ENCODE IN...) will determine how your CSV is displayed in Notepad++. Play around with these settings to find the encoding option that displays all accented/special characters properly.
  4. Finally, in the same menu, select CONVERT TO UTF-8 to prepare your file for Absorb
  5. SAVE

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