Is there any way to download data to excel separated by commas, and not by spaces?

Hello. Is there any way to download data to excel separated by commas, and not by spaces? I need it, because I have reply options that contain multiple words, so the space is not a delimiter that allows me to work in excel

Welcome to the community, @inspiralab! Maybe download your data as CSV file format.

The standard Excel export option (XLS) should also work for you. Please, try.

1 Like

It does not work. The csv download does not separate the answer options in the columns by commas when there are multiple options; It separates them by spaces, and that is the problem I have, since there are many variables that I must manage, with answer options that are made up of several words.

Is there an option in the application to separate the answer options by commas when downloading?

Could you share a related examples of these choices (choices tab) from your form, please?
And the settings options (screenshot) of your download? (XLS and CSV)?
Why exactly do you need the commas, please?

It is the known standard of Kobo/ODK that multiple choices are stored in a space separated string.

1 Like

I have two questions in which a person could choose several options from a total of 2202 municipalities. These municipalities have names made up of several words. Due to the size of the database, the management in Excel and Stata is complex (it does not load), which is why I need to use the individual column, and not have to download the separate columns of these questions. But the individual columns are separated by spaces, both in Excel and in CSV, which prevents me from processing the data to separate the responses by a valid delimiter.


This first screenshot of the download in Excel shows answer options, such as “San Juan De Urabá”, which is a single option and has several words, so I cannot use the space as a delimiter. That happens for many municipalities and in many I have zeros in the separated columns (they were not chosen), so I have to delete them for the file to load in Stata, due to the size of the file, but then I will not be able to separate by delimiter. Being able to use commas would allow me to not have to use separate columns (0 and 1), and reduce my database by approximately 2000 fewer columns, which would allow me to load it into Stata. That’s why I need commas.

The downloaded CSV file also separates the answer options by spaces, so it doesn’t work for me.

The same thing happens in CSV, because the downloaded file separates each column by commas, and not each answer option within a column.

Hi @inspiralab, i can suggest a method but it will be a work around, if you want to work in excel. You can use the power query to replace the values in the columns and merge them into one comma seperated column if you need. if you data collection completed, i can support you

1 Like

I can give you a different idea, but i might require from you more work, you can rename the options in the form by adding “,” to end of the values, so when you download the value, you will get it as comma seperated

1 Like

Would you mind to provide this info, please?

Can you provide an example of the naming (not label) of these choices? (Choice names should not have spaces or special characters, and for work with Stata, SPSS etc. numbers are preferable.)

1 Like

Sorry, Excel should not be a problem as it can handle 16,384 columns.

For stata you may use restricted imports, e.g. separate the data set. The variable maximum depends on the Stata package (up to 120,000, see Which Stata is right for me? | Stata).

Your combining might be done in Excel (or in stata).

Unfortunately, it is too late to adapt your form design, e.g. to replace blank with _ in choice labels. (Preferably pretest the whole data management process, including export and import to external tools, before starting data collection.)

1 Like