Carol Shergold

SIS Import - UTF8 and "Couldn't find Canvas CSV import headers" errors

Discussion created by Carol Shergold on May 1, 2020
Latest reply on Jun 26, 2020 by vrichter@exeter.edu

I had a frustrating day trying to import data into Canvas via an upload of CSV data on the admin SIS Import page.

 

I was building the data using Excel, and saving it to CSV with UTF8 format via the "Save As" option.

 

When I did this, I found I was getting the error message "Couldn't find Canvas CSV import headers" when I tried to upload it on the SIS Import page

 

When I inspected the file using a text editor, the headers looked fine.

 

However, when I inspected them using a command line tool (for me this was the `less` command on a Terminal window of my Mac) I could see that there was a character at the start of my file with the representation <U+FEFF>

 

This turns out to be the BOM character (Byte order mark) and is added by Excel to files in UTF8 format even though it is not strictly needed for UTF-8 (possibly this is a mac issue)

 

https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/a-quick-tale-about-feff-the-invisible-character-cd25cd4630e7/ 

 

I found this was a reliable way to get rid of it from my file:

 

1. In the terminal window, open the file with the editor `vim`:

vim YR_FILENAME

 

2. Hit the colon key (":") and enter the command "nobomb"

 

3. Now save your file. To do this, hit the colon key again, and enter the command wq which writes your file and then quits

 

character showing up in files. How to remove them? · GitHub 

 

I hope this might help someone else having the same headaches as me!

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