Chinese support: How can I view downloaded Chinese results in Excel?

Some versions of Microsoft Excel do not display all Chinese characters properly, causing problems when opening CSV files of results downloaded from Chinese-language polls.

This issue is known to affect:

  • Excel 2010 for Windows
  • Excel 2011 for Mac

Here are two easy workarounds for this issue.

Using Google Docs:

If you already have a Google account (for example, a Gmail address), you can easily use Google Drive's Sheets functionality to make your downloaded .CSV file readable by Excel.

  • While signed in to your Google account, go to
  • Click New in the left sidebar, then choose File Upload. 
  • Select the CSV file you downloaded from your Chinese-language Textizen poll.
  • Once the file is imported, find it in your Google Drive, and double-click it to open a preview.
  • Click "Open" above the page preview to open it as a Google Spreadsheet. In this Google Sheet, you should see all the Chinese data correctly.
  • On the Google Sheets page, go to File -> Download as -> Microsoft Excel (.xlsx).
  • The new downloaded file will now display correctly in Excel.

Using Numbers for Mac:

If you are a Mac user and own a copy of Apple's spreadsheet application Numbers, you can use it to view and convert the Chinese CSV file as well. 

  • Open Numbers.
  • Go to the File menu and select Open. Locate the CSV file you downloaded from your Chinese-language Textizen poll.
  • The file should open and display all Chinese characters correctly.
  • Go to the File menu again, select Export, and choose Excel (.xls or .xlsx) format.
  • The exported file should display correctly in Excel.