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Why do I get strange column misalignments when I export data from QuickBase to some spreadsheets and database programs?

This would occur if the spreadsheet's or database's CSV (comma separated values) parser is substandard. Excel comes with an excellent CSV parser that knows how to deal with hard returns (aka line breaks, paragraph markers, etc.) that are embedded within the contents of a field. If your spreadsheet doesn't know how to deal with embedded hard returns then every time it encounters one it will assume that the end of the row has been encountered and start a new row right in the middle of that field. This produces strange misalignments that correct themselves when the actual end of line hard return is encountered.

The CSV standard stipulates that hard returns are placed at the end of each row. The standard allow hard returns within a field provided that field's contents is enclosed in quotes. Quotes within a field are doubled up to differentiate them from quotes enclosing a field.

QuickBase and Excel adhere to this standard precisely and interoperate seamlessly.

Other spreadsheet products may not.

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