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What version of Tableau Prep are you using? This was a known issue in previous versions, but I have not experienced it with the most recent release.
Thanks for your answer! I was working with 2018.2 but I just upgraded to 2018.3.1 and tried again. It solved the issue partially (the "<" is not transforming into "<" anymore. However I still have 2 issues:
1) The "[" is transforming into "(" when I upload the file with these characters in the column. But when they are values it does not - therefore the mismatch you see below
2) The upload is truncating the field to a limited set of characters (is that a limitation of Prep?) so that the match is not working on the join again (i.e.
239: <strong>Non-Residential Construction</strong> (Commercial, Hospitals, Educational, Govt. Buildings, Religious):Verticals (
vs the original
239: <strong>Non-Residential Construction</strong> (Commercial, Hospitals, Educational, Govt. Buildings, Religious):Verticals (Gen-Rent)
Also see the mismatch below
3) In the meantime I have cleaned the file in excel using a simple "find / replace" to remove all the extra characters. This is time consuming. It would of course be awesome if Tableau Prep could add such a simple feature in its cleaning menu to replace characters in bulk (in many ways it's much simpler than the smart clean actions that exist today)