Problem with UTF-8 encoding/ umlaut characters

There seems to be a problem with the export of special characters (umlauts like äöü or the like) in insightly reports. When you open the exported excel or csv file, it looks fine at first sight. But under certain circumstances (for example when using the file as a data source for a Word mailmerge) a problem appears in the form of a space before the umlaut letter.

I tried to trace where this additional space comes from and I discovered that although you cannot see it when opening the file in excel or in notepad++, it is actually there. You can identify it by moving the cursor across one of the special characters using the cursor keys. You will notice that you need to press the key one extra time to move the cursor across the letter. And when the data is imported into word using mail merge, that hidden space seems to get inflated to its full size.

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  • Okay, I just realized that this issue does not seem to be caused by the insightly export but by some mistake in the actual records. I was able to identify the "hidden spaces" in the contact records themselves (using the cursor key method described above) and using the same logic, I was also able to delete these spaces manually. I cannot say how these strange spaces were introduced into these records, but it is possible that they were already "contaminated" when I imported them. 

    Long story short: this seems to be a non-issue, but if anyone is experiencing the same, we might be able to figure out what caused this in the first place, especially whether these spaces were introduced before or after the import of the dataset into insightly.

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