How To Open Chinese Or Japanese Encoding GWMT CSV Files?

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.


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


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