How to fix common CSV errors

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How to fix common CSV errors

What is a CSV?

How to make a CSV for an individual category

What can go wrong?

How to fix common CSV errors

What is a CSV?

A CSV is a comma-separated values file, which allows data to be saved in a tabular format. Each line of the file is a data record, and each record consists of one or more fields, separated by commas.

How to make a CSV for an individual category

For guidance on how to create CSVs for individual categories, click the relevant link below.

Product:    [Adding Products]

Stock:        [Stock Consignments]

Order:        [Adding Orders ]

What can go wrong?

When uploading CSV files there are several things that can go round but to minimise your risk of encountering problems, some easy things to check are:

  1. ensure you are uploading a ".CSV" file and not something else
  2. ensure you have the columns laid out in the correct order 
  3. ensure you have filled in all mandatory columns.

How to check

To check if you have your columns in the correct order consult the relevant "CSV Example" for CSV you are trying to make.

To find out which columns are mandatory check the relevant "CSV Instructions".  These can be found on your portal Products > Upload Product CSV, simply click the icon on the right to download each document.

Stock Consignments

When uploading a stock consignment ensure that the EANs are correct as the system will not allow you to upload a CSV with incorrect EANs.

Product names and descriptions are not necessary for the system to accept the CSV, but are beneficial for optimum use of the platform.

Common problems with creating CSVs in Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel has a tendency to auto-format cells. This can cause numbers entered to be changed in unhelpful ways, for example:

  • Removing leading zeros - e.g. number entered 009257712 becomes 9257712
  • EAN Long numbers - Can automatically adjust to scientific form e.g. 1234567890123 becomes 1.23457E+12.  You will be unable to upload this to the system because it is now the wrong length and will be rejected.
  • Dates are also automatically formatted to DD/MM/YYYY rather than the required YYYY-MM-DD.

How do I fix this?

You will have to reformat the cells to "text" to ensure that the numerical data entered remains correct.

This is done by clicking at the top to select the entire column:


Next, select the drop down arrow for cell formats, (make sure you're on the "Home" tab)


Then select "Text"


You will now see the text is left aligned. 


However, it is still in scientific notation.

To fix this simply double click on each cell in the column that is still in scientific form.


For any cell that had trailing or preceding 0s removed, or any cell that contained a date, these will need to be re-entered manually. 

The document can then be saved and uploaded.

When saving an Excel document as a .CSV no formatting data is saved.

Therefore, if you open a .CSV having saved and closed it you will need to go through this entire process again.