See the question and my original answer on StackOverflow

Here is my solution.

  • Use Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
  • Configure it to save Tab delimited .rpt files: Go to 'Query' > 'Query Options' > 'Results' > 'Text' > 'Output Format' and choose 'Tab delimited' (press OK)

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  • Now, when you create a report, use the 'Save With Encoding...' menu, and select 'Unicode' (by default, it's 'UTF8')

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  • You can now open the file with Excel, and everything will be in columns, with no escaping nor foreign characters issues (note the file may be bigger due to unicode encoding).