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Compiling a CSV

„Don’t worry – I know a short cut …”

How many times have you heard this? And how often has this short cut been more time consuming than going the long way round in the first place?

It’s a fact of life that, sometimes, short-cuts just don’t exist, and investing a bit of time and energy in taking the long road is actually going to save you more time (and energy) later on. This is even true of ordering articles via Textbroker.

Here, we’re going to introduce you to the long road of all short cuts: the CSV file.

What is it and do I need it?

A CSV file is a format in Excel, and you can use this format to quickly place multiple orders via Textbroker – all in one go. You can place either Team- or OpenOrders via CSV upload.

Before you try tackling a CSV order upload, it’s important to ask if it will really help you. If you have multiple orders – all of the same length and all with the same description, then it’s easier to upload them via Bulk upload:

If, however, you’ve got to place heaps of orders, all of which have different order descriptions, different word counts, and different categories, the CSV can be a real stress saver.

The CSV file is an Excel version of the Textbroker order form. If you’re familiar with the order form, then getting to grips with the CSV input will also be made easier. The information which you would usually place in the order form just has to be written into the columns in Excel.


A – this is for the order title

B – the minimum number of words

C – the maximum number of words (remember to make sure your minimum doesn’t exceed your maximum!)

D – Classification. This is the star rating you’d need for your text. If you’re placing a Team Order, then the number you enter here isn’t important.

E – Working time. This is the amount of time you give the writer to work on your text once the order has been accepted.

F – Category. Each category has a number, and the number for these categories can be found on the page when you go to upload your CSV file.

G – This is the column for your order description. Remember, the more descriptive you can be, the better!

H – Keywords. Make sure you have each keyword separated by a comma!

I – Keyword Min – the minimum number of times the Keyword has to be mentioned. If you set the value to 0, then the writers can see the keyword, but the system will allow them to submit the text, even if they haven’t used the word in their article.

J – Keyword Max – the maximum number of times the keyword can be mentioned.

K and L are for Inflections and Stopwords. If you enter 1 here, then the stopwords and inflections will be allowed. If you enter 0, then the writers won’t be able to use either of these functions, and will have to enter the keywords exactly as you’ve requested them.

If you don’t need any keywords at all, then you can leave the columns H through L empty.

The Upload

So you’ve got everything prepared and ready to go…now it’s just a case of uploading your file. Before you do, though, run through this quick check list to avoid any problems! There’s nothing quite as frustrating as spending all that time compiling your file, only to be presented with an error message when you go to upload the document.

  1. Delete any headers! It’s OK if you keep the column headers in as a reminder so that you know which information goes in which columns. Just remember to remove these before you upload your text!
  2. Check you’ve saved the file correctly. If you’ve produced your order upload initially in a regular .xls document, you’ll have to convert this. To do so, go to ‘File’ and ‘save-as’, then select CSV (.csv) from the options at the bottom.
  3. Check the separating symbol. If you try and upload your file and it doesn’t work, chances are the separating symbol is not correct.


For your file to work, the separating symbol has to be a semi-colon. If your Excel has a comma as standard installation, this can easily be changed for your CSV files. First click on the Windows Start button, then Control Panel. Find Regional and Language Options in the window that appears and click on it to reveal a dialog box. If you are using Windows XP, navigate to the Regional Options tab, then click on Customise. If you are using Windows Vista or later, click the Formats tab and then Customise this format. Finally, enter the new separator (semi-colon) in the List separator box and click OK twice.

The Upload (2)

If you’ve been through your checklist and everything is ticked off, it’s time to finally place those orders. When you go to ‘new order’, then just select ‘import via csv’. Depending on whether you have already got a team established, or a project for these orders, then you’ll be asked to select the options from the drop down menus.

Then, just select your CSV file and click the big green button!

As with orders placed the regular way, you can check the status of your texts when you go to ‘assignments’ and ‘administration’ from the grey tabs at the top of your client account page.

Compiling a CSV may not be the easiest of tasks to get the hang of – especially if you’re not the world’s biggest fan of Excel. However, once you do conquer the CSV format, then you can save yourself so much time in the long run!

Still having problems? Then let us know! We’ll be happy to help you.

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