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Importing Work Items into TFS 2010 using Excel – Part 3: Control Characters

This is part 3 of the series about importing Work Items into TFS 2010 using the Excel Add-in. For more information about the Excel Add-in for TFS, check out http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd286627.aspx.

When running an import for a customer I ran into a strange error message;

Error TF80038
Error TF80038

In this case it seems quite obvious what went wrong, a “strange” character is visible in the “Title” field. This character appears to be the control character for Form Feed/Page Break (ASCII 12). The Excel/TFS integration cannot cope with these characters. During the import I also ran into problems with ASCII characters 26 (Substitute/Ctrl+z) and 27 (Escape). Probably these characters came in by copy-pasting from MS Word.

The only way to resolve this problem, is by replacing these characters in the source, or through an in-between step. The characters can be found on the following page:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/frontpage-help/ascii-character-chart-HA001133136.aspx

Scroll down and expand the “ASCII non-printing control characters chart” link. It will show all control characters.

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