Help! My List Couldnt Be Processed...What Do I Do?
The first thing to remember is this: Dont panic! A universal solution exists to have your list processed quickly and completelyevery time. Here, we will guide you through the steps to make sure this happens. But first, we will outline the most common reasons lists are unable to be processed.
Common Causes of Processing Failure
- Bad Delimiter. Using a custom-delimited or CSV (comma-separated value) format when submitting your list to us can cause problems. In a CSV file, each field is separated by a comma. Problems arise when the file is not properly delimited as a CSV, or when a program does not save a CSV correctly. The same thing goes for all custom-delimited files. In order to make sure your address list is processed correctly, the delimiter needs to be used correctly. This is the case no matter which delimiter is used.
- Line Breaks in the Values. Adding line breaks in your field values causes problems for much the same reason that bad delimiters cause problems; the format is the issue. When extra lines are found in the field, parsing a file becomes complex and error-prone. Because our systems cannot detect where a field starts and stops, the list will not be accepted.
- Mixed Character Encoding. The mixing of ANSI, Unicode, and other character encodings confuses computer programs. For example, when a program reads a character set as ANSI, and then encounters Unicode within the same character set, it doesnt know which code to choose in continuing the processing. While different programs interpret, write, and save files differently, Microsoft Excel can handle most mix encoding, so your best bet is to open your file in Excel and save it there.
- Using $ in Microsoft Excel. A $ is a special character in Excel, used for coding purposes. When a $ is included in the worksheet name, our systems do not know what to do with it; its like having the @ twice in an email address (for example, ilove@firstname.lastname@example.org vs. email@example.com). Doing this goes against the rules of email and, more importantly, it does not work. So the answer to this problem is simple. If you have a $ in your Excel worksheet name, take it out!
By far, the single most efficient way to get your list processed every time is to use a tab-delimited file . Saving your list as a tab-delimited file before submitting it to us will almost always guarantee its successful process. Why is this? Tab characters are very rarely found in fields, and they are much less error-prone when parsing and interpreting your file.
Three Steps to Saving a List as a Tab-Delimited File in Excel
1. Open your file in Excel. FileOpen(filename).
2. Choose file. Click FileSave As(choose a filename).
3. Save. In the dropdown box next to Save as Type, choose Text (Tab delimited), then click Save.
One Last Tip!
Another key to help ensure that your list is processed successfully is to only submit required columns street address, city, state, zip, etcinto the list. Including columns of information unrelated to address data only complicates the processing of your list.
To learn more about removing unnecessary information from your list, see the post titled How Do I Comply With Privacy Laws?
in the Qualified Address blog. This post will show you how to quickly cut and paste just the essential columns, and submit them to us for speedy processing.