In this article, I will show you how to check the encoding of an Excel file. As we use Microsoft Excel regularly, we may need to check the underlying encoding of those Excel files. Knowing the encoding format of an Excel file allows us to have a deeper understanding of how Excel stores its data.
How to Check Encoding of Excel File: Step-by-Step Procedures
In this section, I will demonstrate how to check the encoding of an Excel file with 5 easy steps. To check the encoding of an Excel file, we need to see the file in XML format. An Excel file is actually a compacted form of multiple XML files that document every component and characteristic of that file in detail. In fact, an Excel file (.xlsx) has a folder structure and these folders have different files in them. These folders are compressed in ZIP format by Excel and then given the Excel file extension (.xlsx). To check the encoding of the file, we have to unzip the file first. To know more about the checking process in detail, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Changing the File Extension of the Excel File
- First, we will rename the file extension of the Excel file as zip. Select the Excel file in File Manager for which you want to check the encoding and select the Rename option.
- Change the extension from .xlsx to .zip.
This converts the Excel file into a compressed zip file.
Step 2: Open the Zip File in Windows Explorer
- Now, we have to open the newly converted .zip file in Windows Explorer which is the default software for opening a compressed file.
- Select the file > Right-click on the mouse > Click on Open with > Windows Explorer.
- Windows Explorer will open the zipped file.
Step 3: Opening the Worksheets Folder
- Go inside the xl folder.
- From there, go to the worksheets folder.
- We will see separate XML files for every sheet.
Step 4: Opening the XML Files in Notepad
- Open the XML files in Notepad to check the encoding of the Excel file.
- Select the sheet file you want to open and left-click on the mouse two times.
- A window will open up asking how we want to open the file. Choose the Notepad.
Step 5: Observing the First Line of the XML File
- After opening the file in Notepad, we need to look at the first line of the code.
- Here, we can see that the file is encoded in UTF-8.
- Similarly, we can check other sheets encoding.
- After checking the encoding, we need to rename the file extension to .xlsx.
Read More: How to Encode Data in Excel
How to Change the Encoding of an Excel File
Sometimes we may find that some words in Excel are not showing properly. There are various reasons behind this problem but the major reason is the incorrect encoding of Excel files. In this section, I will show how to change the encoding of an Excel file.
- Go to the File tab.
- In the File tab, click on Save As.
- Choose the destination and formatting of the file.
- On the Save As dialogue box, click on.
- Choose Web Options from the Tools drop-down.
- On the Web Options dialogue box, choose the Unicode (UTF-8) option from the dropdown menu under Save this document as.
- Then click OK.
- Save the file by clicking on Save.
Now, check if the file is displaying all the words properly or not. If this type of encoding doesn’t work, you have to try the other ones in a similar process until you get the desired result.
Things to Remember
- You can use any 3rd party software apart from Windows Explorer to open the zip file.
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