Features » SIS Integration » File Formats and Encoding

File Formats and Encoding


We recommend using UTF-8 encoded CSV files. Other encodings are accepted but are harder to troubleshoot in case of errors.


Most users use MS Excel to view and edit CSV files. Excel provides extremely powerful tools to manipulate data but can also introduce errors when saving files; Such as trailing commas that are added when a column is removed in Excel. To avoid such issues we recommend using plain text editors or tools build for working with the CSV format such as CSVEdit, Notepad++, or Vim.
Missing headers are also a common issue that can cause formatting errors, ensure all CSV files being uploaded to Edlio contain headers.

Trailing Commas

Trailing commas can be interpreted  as extra columns and will cause errors when reading the data. CSV tools such as CSVEdit will warn you of the extra comma, but you can manually ensure the number of comas in the headers match the number of commas in your data rows. For Excel, creating an empty file, saving it as MS-DOS CSV, and copying over your headers and data to the new file will typically fix this issue.

Extra commas in value fields

If you have a single value that includes a comma, a name like 'John, III' for example, that value needs to be wrapped in quotes to remove the ambiguity between the column separating commas and the one in the value:
Will not work
First_name, Last_name, Student_ID
John, III, Doe, 1234
First_name, Last_name, Student_ID
"John, III", Doe, 1234

Leading zeroes, empty characters, incorrect quotes

Other issues that can cause formatting issues are leading zeroes being removed by applications that evaluate the values as integers, extra or empty characters that are not always visible when skimming the data, and incorrectly formatted quotes such as single quotes or nested double quotes.
Most of the above can occur when copying the data from a differently encoded source or saving your file in an unsupported format.
For more information about CSV files visit the Wiki page: CSV files