Cannot Edit or Import .csv Files

Last Updated: 19 Jun 2018Hits: 2012
I have a Sawtooth Software .csv file that someone edited and gave to me. When I look at the file in Notepad it shows semi-colons instead of commas as field separators. Now I can't get your software to import it. How do I fix this?

Sawtooth Software products import and export data in a .csv (comma-separated-value) file format. This means each data field must be separated or deliniated with commas. However, some countries use semi-colons rather than commas as list separators, or may use different symbols for decimal points, digit grouping, and negative signs. Because the software was written in the United States, it expects data to be formatted with United States settings:

  • list-separators: ,
  • decimal points: .
  • digit grouping: ,
  • negative numbers: -

For example:

sys_RespNum,Frequency,Skill,Venue
1,1.32,1,1
2,3.42,3,1
3,-1.89,1,2
4,1.98,2,1

If you are using Notepad to edit the file, you can try searching for semi-colons and replacing them with commas. But you may also need to change other symbols as well.

If your computer is set to a non-US region, you may be unable to edit a .csv file if your software doesn't treat commas as list separators. If third-party programs like Microsoft Excel are changing commas to semi-colons, etc., you can change the regional settings within Windows by following these instructions:

Windows 7

  1. Close any open application
  2. Click on the Windows/Start button
  3. Select Control Panel
  4. Select Region and Language
  5. Click on Formats Tab
  6. Click on Additional Settings
  7. Locate the List separator
  8. Change the Decimal separator  
  9. Then click on Apply then Ok
  10. Under the Formats Tab click on Apply then Ok
  11. Test the import again. If it doesn't work, reboot your computer, and test again.

Windows 8/10

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Regional and Language Options | Windows 10  (Start >type Control Panel  and press enter > Region) 
  2. Click Additional Settings
  3. For Decimal Symbol, enter the appropriate symbol
  4. For List Separator, enter the appropriate symbol
  5. Test the import again. If it doesn't work, reboot your computer, and test again.