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How can I exclude unwanted line breaks from a .csv file?

I want to export data from my MySQL database into a .csv file and then import the .csv file into Excel.
One of the fields in my database is a comments field where the users have included line breaks.  When I currently export this into Excel using a .csv format I find that the comments field is split over many cells because of these linebreaks.

I have tried the REPLACE command on the query which calls up the data to be exported looking for CHR(10) & CHR(13)  and replacing them with CHR(34).  This results in an error message telling me that the database does not recognise the function CHR.

I have also tried replacing the linebreak with another character (a $), opening up the .csv file in Word, replacing the unwanted linebreaks in the comments field then replaceing my $ sign with a linebreak and then saving the .csv file and importing the new .csv into Excel.  This works but it is too clumsy to expect users to do this themselves.

What I need is either a method of removing the unwanted linebreaks before I export the file or else a method by which I can use Excel to import the .csv in the correct format.

Can anyone help?
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Nemetona
Asked:
Nemetona
2 Solutions
 
azadisaryevCommented:
how exactly are you creating your csv file?

if you query your db first, then output the query into a <cfsavecontent> to create you csv content and then write a csv file using cffile, use the REPLACE() function on the comments column in the cfoutput, not in the query sql.

and, on a Window$ server, the linebreak is chr(13)&chr(10), NOT the other way around.
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eszaqCommented:
If you have some free formatted text data in your MySQL database fields (and it seems that you do), I would import into .tsv format, not .csv (can be imported to Excel just as easily) . But first, I would clean up all the carriage returns and tabs and such - just replace them all with single white-space character. So, output for each row, that you add to your .tsv file would be:

<cfoutput query="yourQuery">
#db_column_1#      #REReplaceNoCase(db_column_text_type, "[[:space:]]", " ", "all")#      #db_column_3#
</cfoutput>

(spaces between db fields are tab characters)
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ChizlCommented:
You can wrap the results in double quotes and it will not break them out like that.   So basicly the CSV will be quote comma delimited.
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eszaqCommented:
Chizl:
I thought of using double quotes
BUT if it is free-form text input from the users (some sort of editorial contents) -
where is guarantee that there are no quotes inside the fields? I just think that stripping off all the extra white spaces and using .tsv format is the least painful solution in terms of putting work into preventing possible errors.
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azadisaryevCommented:
for TSV format, use #chr(9)# instead of putting actual literal tabs in the <cfsavecontent>
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