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How To Open Chinese Or Japanese Encoding GWMT CSV Files?

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If your site has international presence, most likely you have encountered some funny characters when opened the Google Webmaster Tools (GWMT) export file for Search Queries.

The first time I encountered this problem, I actually re-downloaded the file 3-4 times to make sure the file was not corrupted (silly me huh).

Let me show you how to open the file (or import the file I should say) so it will display these characters correctly.

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GWMT download table

Download the list of search queries from GWMT


CSV before importing correctly

Funny characters found in GWMT export file


Step by step guide to open (import) Chinese / Japanese encoding CSV

Step 1: Open Excel, select “DATA” tab then choose “From text” option under “Get External Data”

data import from txt


Step 2: Open the CSV file and the Text Import Wizard (image below) will pop up.

text import wizard #1


Step 3: Select “Unicode (UTF-8). Notice the preview will change to something readable.

text import wizard #2


Step 4: In Step 2, select “comma”. Notice now each item is separated in each cell instead of lumped together.


text import wizard #3


Step 5: Click finish and it’s all done.

text import wizard #4



Readable Chinese / Japanese encoding CSV file from GWMT

Now you have a readable import of the CSV file from GWMT!

after import correctly


Watch other Google Search Console guide videos

Back to Google Webmaster Tools Guide Home Page


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