CSV Upload BREAKING our data now (using "|" in records splits it out into arrays when we don't want them to be)

PLEASE HELP a big part of our process is around importing specific records that are written like this:

“THIS | IS | AN | EXAMPLE” … and just recently it now breaks that single record into THIS, IS, AN, EXAMPLE… which is a nightmare to have to debug. It will cost us MANY hours to have to go back and change our naming conventions across all of our campaigns.

Is there a way to decide what will or will not split a record into an array upon uploading? I knew “,” did it but “|” seems to be brand new… PLEASE HELP!

PS I tested with copy and pasting, which works fine (very odd) but again, we need the upload functionality to find and replace duplicate records :confused:

Hope to hear from you guys soon!

If by “brand new” you mean since 1997. :wink: Perhaps there was a recent change to adopt this in the import block - dunno.

This will explain that the vertical bar character (aka, the “pipe”) is a common CSV delimiter - has been for ages. In fact, I think it was used in the 70’s and 80’s as a COBOL delimiter. You might want to pick a different character for these processes or consider building a custom script block to handle these text-embed nuances in a custom manner.

I get it - the importer is trying to be helpful, but it should allow explicit delimiter choices like Excel and Sheets do.

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Bill, appreciate that - very insightful! Wish we had you on our team when building our systems.

I hope Airtable is willing to take a moment to implement your suggestion at the end as opposed to me having to hire someone to completely rebuild their already great plugin only to fix one thing.

I should probably just go update all of my algorithms to fix the naming convention (neither of which is going to be as simple as what implementation that additional feature would probably take, on their end) but long term will probably be wise for us to do anyways, based on your response.

And of course, unless a large portion of Airtable customers are expressing the same frustration, I probably shouldn’t be holding my breathe :slight_smile:

Happy Friday!

Well, to be fair, we’re not certain that it’s an Airtable oversight but it seems obvious.

Indeed, using pipes for embedded content parsing is probably a rare occurrence. I tend to prefer a tilde for any content that is likely to encounter a CSV upload because it seems to be the most innocuous of all characters.

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