Hello (the rest of the) World – reading data in other languages

Have you ever opened a text file in Excel and found that the characters looked weird or corrupted? The Wikipedia entry for mojibake says ‘In German, Buchstabensalat (“letter salad”) is a common term for this phenomenon, and in Spanish, deformación (literally deformation).’

This is one of a series of blog posts on file handling in VBA to cope with Unicode file names and contents. Part 1 was posted on Sep 28 2020, about reading text from Unicode files. The articles should provide all the Excel VBA code you need for working with Unicode folder and file names in the Windows file system, reading unstructured Unicode text, and structured text file data queries.

This post is the code for using the Filesystem object to replace the old VB functions like Dir(), Filelen(), FileDateTime(), etc, that do not work with Unicode file names. FileSystem.bas is the module which you can import into your project, and the CSV file is a sample downloaded from opengov.gr.

Code module: FileSystem.bas   Sample file: Σχόλιο UTF-8 BOM.csv

Old VBFunction
Dir( file,vbDirectory)FolderExists

Let me know of any improvements you can suggest.

About Patrick O'Beirne, Excel/VBA developer

Patrick provides consultancy and training in spreadsheet automation, data analysis, testing and model review; and the Excel spreadsheet auditing addin XLtest
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