Friday, April 3, 2009

Excel resource exporter – special characters (Unicode) convertor

Excel_2007On many project I worked, we often keep some program resources in an Excel sheet (labels, translations, static data,  etc.). Excel makes it easy to get an overview of all language translations next to each other and we can easily export this data to text files to be used by our applications.

In one sheet, we also wanted to convert all special characters (e.g. é, ü, etc) to their special notation that will be threaded correctly into our Java application (e.g. è becomes è). And we even used some labels inside JavaScript popup where we wanted a Unicode representation for special characters and some escaped characters (e.g. é becomes \u00E9).

To export all this data, but also make the Excel sheet readable, I implemented some VBS to convert and export the data of the sheet. I even added some extras, for example to make an archive of the exported data, to easily select a folder with a navigator, make the complete sheet readable (convert special characters) etc. All settings can easily be configured.

I suppose parts of the VBS and the look-and-feel can be reused in some other projects, the Excel sheet can be downloaded here.

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