SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2179034 - How to correct if accented Letters are broken when we upload the data to SuccessFactors


  • Accented letters in language like French, Portuguese, Japanese appear as special characters or are broken, for example: á, é, í, ó, ú, ü, ñ;
  • Some strange characters are showing up on the employee title or names;

NOTE: Broken/strange characters means they either appear as "?" or not displaying as expected.


SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite


Accented letters appear properly only in UTF-8 format and if language pack import file format is not UTF-8 while importing the file then accented letters will appear broken like ??? or any other special characters.


You need to save the import file in UTF-8 format and uploading again to SuccessFactors. Please follow below steps to save a file in UTF-8 format:

[ MS Excel ]

  1. Open the *.xlsx file from MS Excel;
  2. Click menu > Save As (Other Formats);
  3. Put any name for the file and choose "Unicode Text (*.txt)" for "Save as type :" and Click Save;

[ MS Notepad ]

  1. Open the unicode text file using Microsoft Notepad. Some characters can appear as a box, however, this is because Notepad cannot display some unicode characters, so you can ignore this at this point;
  2. It must be the tab delimitered file. Replace tabs with comma(",");
  3. Select tab character by dragging the character between two column headers and press ctrl+c;
  4. Replace all tab characters with comma using Replace function (ctrl+H);
  5. In notepad, Click Save As;
  6. Put a filename and change Encoding: to "UTF-8";
  7. Change the file extension from "*.txt" to "*.csv" by adding .csv at the end of the file name;
  8. Click Save. The file icon should be changed to MS Excel now. If it is not changed, check Windows Folder options. (Windows Start menu > Control Panel > Folder Options > View tab > uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types"). This will show the file extensions. Try changing the file extension again;

[ MS Excel ]

  1. Open this CSV file from Excel and verify if the data is okay;

NOTE: Even if you find any problem in this step, you should NOT save the file from Excel. It will cause the encoding problem!! Just check the data only in Excel. If you see a data problem at this stage, fix the data from the original spreadsheet and repeat the steps again. Or, you can change it from Notepad but should ensure that the file is saved as UTF-8 format.

Please upload the file after saving it in UTF-8 then accented letters should appear fine.


See Also

KBA 2751107 - How to download the template for Employee Import?


Custom language pack; accented letters, UTF-8, ????   , KBA , LOD-SF-PLT-SER , Config. Consulting & Service Requests , Problem


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