UnicodeWriter and UnicodeDictWriter - write unicode strings out to Excel compatible CSV files

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import csv, StringIO

class UnicodeWriter(object):
    """
    Like UnicodeDictWriter, but takes lists rather than dictionaries.
    
    Usage example:
    
    fp = open('my-file.csv', 'wb')
    writer = UnicodeWriter(fp)
    writer.writerows([
        [u'Bob', 22, 7],
        [u'Sue', 28, 6],
        [u'Ben', 31, 8],
        # \xc3\x80 is LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A WITH MACRON
        ['\xc4\x80dam'.decode('utf8'), 11, 4],
    ])
    fp.close()
    """
    def __init__(self, f, dialect=csv.excel_tab, encoding="utf-16", **kwds):
        # Redirect output to a queue
        self.queue = StringIO.StringIO()
        self.writer = csv.writer(self.queue, dialect=dialect, **kwds)
        self.stream = f
        self.encoding = encoding
    
    def writerow(self, row):
        # Modified from original: now using unicode(s) to deal with e.g. ints
        self.writer.writerow([unicode(s).encode("utf-8") for s in row])
        # Fetch UTF-8 output from the queue ...
        data = self.queue.getvalue()
        data = data.decode("utf-8")
        # ... and reencode it into the target encoding
        data = data.encode(self.encoding)
        # write to the target stream
        self.stream.write(data)
        # empty queue
        self.queue.truncate(0)
    
    def writerows(self, rows):
        for row in rows:
            self.writerow(row)

class UnicodeDictWriter(UnicodeWriter):
    """
    A CSV writer that produces Excel-compatibly CSV files from unicode data.
    Uses UTF-16 and tabs as delimeters - it turns out this is the only way to
    get unicode data in to Excel using CSV.
    
    Usage example:
    
    fp = open('my-file.csv', 'wb')
    writer = UnicodeDictWriter(fp, ['name', 'age', 'shoesize'])
    writer.writerows([
        {'name': u'Bob', 'age': 22, 'shoesize': 7},
        {'name': u'Sue', 'age': 28, 'shoesize': 6},
        {'name': u'Ben', 'age': 31, 'shoesize': 8},
        # \xc3\x80 is LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A WITH MACRON
        {'name': '\xc4\x80dam'.decode('utf8'), 'age': 11, 'shoesize': 4},
    ])
    fp.close()
    
    Initially derived from http://docs.python.org/lib/csv-examples.html
    """
    
    def __init__(self, f, fields, dialect=csv.excel_tab,
            encoding="utf-16", **kwds):
        super(UnicodeDictWriter, self).__init__(f, dialect, encoding, **kwds)
        self.fields = fields
    
    def writerow(self, drow):
        row = [drow.get(field, '') for field in self.fields]
        super(UnicodeDictWriter, self).writerow(row)

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Comments

stephendwolff (on September 17, 2008):

This all seemed to work very nicely for a mac when opening the CSV files with Excel (2004). But... on a PC, opening the CSV with either Office 2003 or 2000, some lovely square characters appear (ie control code). I had a look for mention of Unicode in the Office conversion dialogs (for csv to excel), but no mention. just a heap of different character sets from around the world.

#

msanders (on January 16, 2009):

I have the same issue as stephendwolff. The first line of the CSV file is fine and then all subsequent lines are prefixed with a U+FEFF character (ZERO WIDTH NO-BREAK SPACE). This is with Python 2.5.2.

#

jsoderba (on June 16, 2010):

Writing the BOM by hand and stripping it from each row seems to work:

def __init__(self, f, dialect=csv.excel_tab, encoding="utf-16", **kwds):
    # Redirect output to a queue
    self.queue = StringIO.StringIO()
    self.writer = csv.writer(self.queue, dialect=dialect, **kwds)
    self.stream = f

    # Force BOM
    if encoding=="utf-16":
        import codecs
        f.write(codecs.BOM_UTF16)

    self.encoding = encoding

def writerow(self, row):
    # Modified from original: now using unicode(s) to deal with e.g. ints
    self.writer.writerow([unicode(s).encode("utf-8") for s in row])
    # Fetch UTF-8 output from the queue ...
    data = self.queue.getvalue()
    data = data.decode("utf-8")
    # ... and reencode it into the target encoding
    data = data.encode(self.encoding)

    # strip BOM
    if self.encoding == "utf-16":
        data = data[2:]

    # write to the target stream
    self.stream.write(data)
    # empty queue
    self.queue.truncate(0)

#

jsoderba (on June 16, 2010):

Note that my solution would still produce an excess BOM if the file was reopened in a new UnicodeWriter object, so you might want to check if there's a BOM at the start of the file.

Something like (untested):

# read first two bytes in file
fpos = f.tell()
f.seek(0)
fstartbytes = f.read(2)
f.seek(fpos)

# Write BOM if needed
if fstartbytes != codecs.BOM_UTF16:
    f.write(codecs.BOM_UTF16)

#

msanders (on July 13, 2010):

jsoderba's solution works for me with Windows Office 2007

#

kalvin_jones (on February 17, 2012):

by speciying the encoding as "utf-16-le" rather then "utf-16", and manually writing the BOM [0xff, 0xfe] before to the response before calling writerows(), this works for me on 2007 with sp3, no garbage characters.

the problem with the orig version is that the encode call to utf-16 prepends the BOM to each and every row, whhen it should only appear at the start of the file, hence the garbage characters.

#

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