Excel for Mac 2011 and UTF-8


So there I was, exporting some data from a database to a CSV file and I wanted to make sure it looks good in Excel, because, you know, encoding can be a PITA. So I found this import dialog:

Given that there is an option “Unicode 6.0 (UTF-8)” I jumped to the conclusion that UTF-8 is actually supported. Unfortunately, the final result that all UTF-8 characters were converted to underscores. The reason? Excel 2011 does not support UTF-8 after all. I quote a Support Engineer over at answers.microsoft.com:

Excel for Mac does not currently support UTF-8. If this is a feature you’d like to see in future versions of Office for Mac, be sure to send your feedback by clicking “Help” > “Send Feedback” […]

Hooray for the Microsoft Excel for Mac team which delivers features that are not fully implemented and doesn’t even consider actually implementing them (at least if they don’t get enough user feedback requesting the feature).