SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2422566 - Reports exported with CSV format are displaying wrong/special characters for translated fields, language-specific characters are not retained (e.g. Chinese)


  • When a report is exported to CSV and opened with Microsoft Excel application, special characters are not being recognized or are not displayed correctly.
  • Table / Adhoc, Story, Tile and Canvas report are not showing language translations correctly. E.g. Chinese characters, Japanese characters, etc. are not retained.

Image/data in this KBA is from SAP internal systems, sample data, or demo systems. Any resemblance to real data is purely coincidental.


SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite

Reproducing the Issue

  1. Run a report that contain special characters (~, Ç, ´, ^) or contains language-specific characters such as Chinese characters and export it to CSV (Download, Export or Run Offline).
  2. Open the exported file with Microsoft Excel.



  • Issue is not due to a limitation with reports framework, but with how Excel interprets CSV file based on the encoding value chosen. If the data is displayed correctly in the instance when running Online, e.g. complete Chinese or special characters are shown on screen in BizX, then it is not an issue with the translation either.
  • The file generated is in Unicode (UTF-8) but Microsoft Excel is trying to open the file as ANSI.  The output or content is displayed correctly when using applications where default encoding standard is set as UTF-8, e.g. Notepad++ and other applications, so this is a Microsoft Excel issue.


UTF-8 was made as the standard format for CSV across all SuccessFactors applications.  If this is changed in SuccessFactors, it will affect processess, automations or integration that follow strict UTF-8 standards.

There are some possible solutions or workarounds for this:

  1. Run the report with XLS/XLSX output option if output file is intended to be open in Excel.
  2. Set the default encoding of Excel to UTF-8 by modifying the registry entry in end user's desktop. This will require
    admin authorization in user' desktop and should be done with caution.
  3. Open a new Excel file and import data from CSV and change the encoding to UTF-8.  Detailed steps below:

a. Open Microsoft Excel with a blank spreadsheet

b. Select the tab DATA

c. Import from text

d. In the import wizard on the field "File Origin" select "65001 : Unicode (UTF-8)"


4. It is also possible to open the CSV file with Notepad++, which will retain the e.g. Chinese characters.


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SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite all versions ; SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics all versions