You can try to open it with the free Excel viewer from Microsoft (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/results.aspx?pocId=&freetext=excel%20viewer&DisplayLang=en don't forget to download the security updates also) but if that fails, all I can advice is to go back to your latest backup. Surely, you make regular backups of a file that is important enough for you to work on for several years.
Hope this helps.
I have a Dell 4550 desktop with Windows XP Home and Office XP Professional on it. I tried to open an excel file I had created and used for several years and when I try to open it, it begins starting Excel then pops up the message "Excel cannot open ***.xls. The document may be read-only or encrypted."
The document is not listed in the properties as read-only, but how would it become encrypted? I know that Win XP Home does not support file encryption.
Is this a corrupted file?? And if so, how do I recover it??
Thanks for any help with this. I am at my wit's end and about to pitch this computer out the window.