Line breaks in uploaded content

Line breaks are not anticipated by Survey Solutions in the input files supplied to HQ when assignments are created. But occasionally they may occur, depending on what was the source of these data and how exactly the file was saved.

In a particular case reported to me by a user, the file was saved from Excel and some cells contained values with line breaks. When saving to tab-delimited text files, Excel envelopes the content with line breaks in double quotes and preserves line breaks. These files are not be interpreted correctly by Survey Solutions! And no message is issued to the user!

For example:

Will be read in as 3 records and have values of address as

First value: 123 Main St
Second value: "
Third value: 456 Test St"

(and not necessarily in this order!)
The result may appear as:

If you try to bring back the same saved file to Excel, it may also have troubles interpreting it (and the behavior seems to differ depending whether you drag and drop it or open-import it).

If you are using Excel to prepare the input files (assignments) for Survey Solutions and you suspect that line breaks may occur somewhere in the values, the following should help:

  1. Open your Excel file;
  2. Click Ctrl+A to select all content of “Sheet 1”;
  3. Add new sheet “Sheet 2”;
  4. Right-click A1;
  5. In the context menu select item “Paste Values” or “Paste-Special, Values”
  6. Delete “Sheet 1”.
  7. Save and use resulting file for uploading the assignments.

The command to paste values will sanitize the cells’ content for line breaks.

Best, Sergiy