My organization runs an international grants program to support research in Parkinson's. As a result, the applications we receive have a broad range of characters that are used, e.g., Université Laval, etc. Oddly, these characters appear fine on the Foundant website but when exported as a CSV file or in the filename of the print packets these get jumbled. Reviewers complain and it is a bit of a pain to always have to clean up the exported data. For example:
Université Laval becomes UniversitÃ© Laval
The lower case Greek alpha in α-synuclein becomes Î±-synuclein
Even something standard like the apostrophe in Parkinson's disease becomes Parkinsonâ€TMs disease.
Is anyone else seeing this? If so, I intend to post the idea lab that modern text encoding be included in new releases of GLM for data export, etc.
(BTW, Foundant support believes this is due to applicants cutting and pasting the text in to the forms. Unfortunately, I do not think the suggested solution of typing in everything from scratch is realistic, especially when it may depend on the country your keyboard is in!)
posted November 15, 2012 by Jim Beck, Parkinson's Disease Organization
Thank you for adding to this post. That is some great information and certainly worth some additional testing.
posted July 18, 2013 by Betty Bloomer, Foundant Technologies
This is an issue we experienced in our previous database as well - if an applicant copies from Microsoft Word, there is often hidden formatting that can cause the characters to shift to ASCII codes (html language that represents those characters). Applicants can't see this from their end; it seems to happen after the grant is accepted by the software. Our solution has been to recommend that applicants copy and paste into Notepad, then copy from Notepad and paste into the application. This removes the hidden formatting, since Notepad does not allow formatting.
This problem is not unique to grant application software; I've also experienced it when copying text from Word into my website WYSIWYG editor.
posted June 19, 2013 by Mary Giraulo, United Arts of Central Florida
We've done some additional testing on this and we were able to pull the exports with the special characters appearing correctly. We tried this on a PC and an iPad.
I'm not sure if anything has changed for you but I thought that I would double check to see if you are still having these export issues.
posted April 12, 2013 by Betty Bloomer, Foundant Technologies
Thank you for posting this on the Discussion Forum. I'm in the same boat as you "beyond the extent of my knowledge." I will check with the developers to see if they have any ideas regarding this.
posted March 27, 2013 by Betty Bloomer, Foundant Technologies
Seeing your post made me investigate a bit more. When I use a text editor, like TextWrangler, to view the text in my export file, the text looks perfectly normal. It says the text is "Unicode (UTF-8, with BOM)"
I did a bit more reseraching and it has a lot to do with how Excel imports the CSV file and deals with the text encoding. If you are like me, then I simply drag the CSV file into Excel and it opens up in nice columns, etc...only some characters are mangled. However, if you use the import wizard to bring in your CSV file to Excel, you can control what the source character encoding is and see if that will minimize the issue. (You have to have a worksheet open in order to use the File>Import function.) I chose Unicode 6.1(Little-Endian). This did not fully solve my problem as it removed characters that were previously there. For instance, I loose all the apostrophes for possesive words, e.g., "Dean's list" becomes "Deans list".
Of course, even using this apporach, my problems continue as I cannot get the import wizard to work properly--all my columns get muddled and the result is useless even though I set the comma as my delimeter.
More research shows that the easiest solution may be for Foundant to offer an export as Excel function--that might fix it. Also, they may be able to easily tack some data at the begining of the file that would allow Excel to easily recognize the correct text encoding. But I have quickly reached (and am beyond!) the extent of my knowledge.
Regardless, would love some guidance on how to get the Foundant Export data into excel properly.
posted February 15, 2013 by Jim Beck, Parkinson's Disease Organization
We are new to using Foundant. I just performed my first export this morning and ran into the same issue. We do not deal with international agencies/names but after exporting data to excel and opening it on my Mac I had the same issue. The main character that seemed to cause problems was ' and it was replaced with â€TM
posted February 14, 2013 by Jason Sutton, Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment