1. Import and export data
  2. Get started with imports
  3. Tips for importing special characters

This article explains which special characters you can import into line items, lists, modules, or users, and those you should avoid. It also provides instructions on how to encode import files containing special characters.

Character encoding in import files

We recommend the following:

  • If you plan to later export the data from Anaplan as a text (.txt) file, always encode the import file as UTF-8. Anaplan encodes text exports as UTF-8, so choosing UTF-8 helps to reduce the risk of error.
  • To reduce data upload times, encode import files containing mostly ASCII characters as UTF-8. You can use a text editor to do this. UTF-8 doesn't restrict the potential range of Unicode characters you can import.
  • If importing the data from Excel, save your spreadsheet as Unicode Text.
  • This encodes your import file as the little-endian (LE) variant of UTF-16.

    If you want or need to use the big-endian (BE) varient of UTF-16, open the import file in a text editor and save as UTF-16 BE. All applications, business systems, and databases that will handle the data should use the same variant of UTF-16.
  • We strongly recommend that you consider character encoding when planning your Anaplan implementation. Choose a method that supports the full set of Unicode code points, and apply that method consistently if the data is transferred to another system.

Example: Importing data containing special characters from Excel

The following example shows how to save and encode an import file containing Russian-language characters using Excel, and then import it into Anaplan.

First, save and encode the import file:

  1. Use Excel to prepare your data for import.
  1. Save the active worksheet in your spreadsheet as UTF-16:
    • On a PC, save as Unicode Text.
    • On a Mac, save as UTF-16 Unicode Text (.txt).
    • In both cases, you must confirm that you want to keep the workbook in Unicode format.
  1. Close the spreadsheet. When asked if you want to save in a different format, click Don't Save.

Second, import the file into Anaplan:

  1. Open the Select Source dialog for the element you want to import into. For example, to import into a list, in Settings > General Lists, open the list you want to import into, then click Import.
  2. Click Upload New File, then select the .txt file you saved as Unicode.
  3. In the File Options dialog, confirm that the Text Encoding is UTF-16LE. Anaplan auto-detects the character encoding method of the import file.
  1. Configure the import to use the column separator and text delimiter of the file you want to import.
  2. Complete the steps in the instructions for importing line items, lists, modules, or users.
  3. Run the import.
  4. If the import completes without errors, verify that special characters were imported correctly and look how you expect.

For more information on how to import data into each element, see Import.

Which Unicode characters can I import into my model?

Anaplan supports Unicode, with some exceptions described in the table below.

Unicode provides code points that can be combined to create a range of characters for different writing systems (scripts) and languages.

Unicode code points are organized into blocks on either:



Code Point(s)


Removed During Import Process



Horizontal tab




Line feed



You can import into Anaplan as a line separator, for example, as part of a multi-line cell.

Carriage return



You can import into Anaplan as a line separator, for example, as part of a multi-line cell.

Other control characters

0000–0008; 000B–000C; 000E–001F


You can't import these characters into your models.

All other characters



You can import these characters into your models.


Emoticons, emoji, and other symbols



We don't recommend that you import these characters into Anaplan. These characters might not display consistently across different browsers and can cause problems if data is exchanged between Anaplan and another system

All other characters



We recommend that you don't import these characters into Anaplan. If these characters are present in elements like line items, then text string formulas (for example, LENGTH, LEFT, RIGHT, and MID) won't work as expected. This is because string length is determined by the number of UTF-16 code units, not the number of literal characters.


You must make sure that Unicode characters are normalized prior to import.

Character Limit on Names

For BMP languages, import list item names must be 60 or fewer Unicode units.

For SMP languages, a single character might be represented by multiple Unicode units. Therefore, a SMP language name that appears to be fewer than 60 characters in length might fail with the Invalid Name error message.


We may update our documentation occasionally, but will only do so in a way that does not negatively affect the features and functionality of the Anaplan service.