Knowledge Base > How It Works

Blank Trailing Columns

There are several formatting issues with .csv files that can cause errors in the way our system populates your list with the validation results, and Empty Trailing Columns is one such issue. We are going to explain how to quickly fix it in order to avoid errors in the DataValidation analysis report.

What Are Blank Trailing Columns?

Empty Trailing Columns and Rows have to do with the fact that spreadsheet software (Microsoft Excel and others) don’t tell the difference between an empty column and a non-existent one. So the issue appears when the user removes the content from a column, but does not delete the column itself, leaving it empty. The spreadsheet software treats the column as non-existent, but when the file is saved in .csv format, the empty fields are perceived as such and separators (commas) are placed between each blank field.

What happens if my file contains blank trailing columns and how do I fix it?

When you upload your file into our interface, the software scans your file for empty trailing columns and will give you a warning message if it detects any. You can still choose to upload your file, but then you might have a hard time finding the validation results. The reason is that we place our validation grades after the last column that our system detects. But if you have empty trailing columns, the grade column will be placed after these. So here’s how to avoid this inconvenience.

  • Open your file in your spreadsheet software of choice.
  • Go to the column that comes right after the last populated column in your file and click on Ctrl + Shift + Right Arrow (Cmd + Shift + Right Arrow on Mac), then, while keeping Ctrl(Cmd) and Shift keys pressed, press the Down Arrow to select all rows as well.
  • Right-click the selection and click on “Delete” (do not click on “Delete Contents”).
  • Save your .csv file and upload it to your account again, and you shouldn't get the warning message anymore.

Delete

If you still encounter issues, please contact our LiveChat agents or write us at support@datavalidation.com.



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