2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 4, 2013 6:46 PM by Will Perl

    Extra Columns not in my CSV??

    Will Perl

      After importing a CSV, Tableau keeps adding extra columns that definitely don't exist in the file. All the right columns are there, plus Dimensions named F16, F17, and F19, and a Measure named F18. I have my column names in the first row, as I told Tableau, and the F#s are definitely not there. In fact, 'F16' and 'F18' don't even appear anywhere in the file (the others are in the text, but just as part of the data, for example a user named ASCF17.

       

      As you can imagine, this is very frustrating! As best I can tell, the CSV file looks exactly like it should (and like it has in the past when I've done this without issue). No extraneous columns, every row has the same (correct) number of columns, etc. Just out of nowhere, Tableau is adding these extra unwanted F# columns, and in doing so ruins the data integrity. Can anyone please help??

        • 1. Re: Extra Columns not in my CSV??
          Joshua Milligan

          Will,

           

          My best guess is that there is something slightly off in the file, possibly a white-space character that you cannot see.  Do you have an application (even a free one like Notepad++) that will let you view hidden characters? 

           

          I'd look for something like:

           

          Extra commas in the data.  Perhaps in a field that is supposed to be text delimited (e.g. "1,000.00" but is missing one of the double quotes)

          or

          Incorrect line breaks (e.g. most lines are CRLF, but some are just LF)

           

          What would happen if you opened it in Excel and saved it as Tab delimited, just to test it?

           

          Joshua

          • 2. Re: Extra Columns not in my CSV??
            Will Perl

            Got it fixed! It seems there was something funky happening with my delimiter (a comma). I switched it to @, a character I knew wouldn't be in the data, and it all works now. Of course now I have to figure out how those extra commas crept into my data (which is probably an even bigger headache..) but at least I'm not pulling my hair out over what should be a simple import operation Thanks for the help!