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Txt output difference in Excel and C#

Posted on 2013-06-21
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Last Modified: 2013-06-24
We have an old excel spreadsheet with vb macros that outputs a text/xml file. This text is used as input to another program. I've written a C#/.net web application that outputs the same text/xml file. When this file is fed to the other program, it crashes. The files are identical to the naked eye, so to speak, but there must be some formatting difference.
What am I looking for?
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Question by:allelopath
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6 Comments
 
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

by:
gplana earned 1000 total points
ID: 39267023
You can try using some tool like "WinHex" to examine the file at low level and see the differences. Also it could be an encoding character problem (maybe one is using UTF-8 and another is using Latin-1), or it could be caused by some invisible characters like spaces, tabs, line feeds, carry returns, etc...

You can also consider using a tool like windiff to compare both files.

Hope it helps.
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Author Comment

by:allelopath
ID: 39267045
I should have been more explicit ... They look identical in a hex editor, e.g. there is 0D 0A at the end of each line. So the difference is encoding. Is there a default encoding when writing out using an excel vb macro?
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:gplana
ID: 39267056
If they are identical in a hex editor, then the problem couldn't be the file because both files have the same content. Try to rename a file to the other and see what happens (maybe the problem is the name of the file?)
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:allelopath
ID: 39267080
I take back what I said. The files are not different. The file I am generating in C# has 3 characters at the beginning:
EF BB BF      
which apparently specifies UTF-8. So I can do this with XmlWriterSettings:
this.settings.Encoding = Encoding.ASCII;

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LVL 36

Assisted Solution

by:Miguel Oz
Miguel Oz earned 1000 total points
ID: 39267205
Can you post the two files?  or You can use a diff tool like beyond compare to send the differences only, especially at the top of your files.
If the contents are the same usually the difference is the encoding you need to find out the encoding of each file by using a program like Notepad++, just open the file and look for the file properties. Once you have the encoding of your original file then you just need to have the same encoding for your .net generated file.

Another option is to change the other program (that consumes your xml) to handle xml with utf-8 encoding.
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Author Closing Comment

by:allelopath
ID: 39271643
Note that my last comment is the answer.

I tried to accept it as the answer but it looks like there is a bug in EE.
When I check the Your comment box and the Best Solution radio button for my last comment, as well as selecting the 2 posts by the experts (each defaulting to 250pts). I cannot assign points to my comment because there is no point box there and so when I submit, it won't complete saying that each accepted answer must have points.

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