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Excel 2007/Office 2003 spreadsheet difficulties

by rodellpr / November 2, 2009 4:23 AM PST

On HP PAVILION a1350n Media Center XP SP3 desktop with IE8.

Will much appreciate help in resolving all 6 of the following problems, or any one of them.

Prior to the long ago modification/amplification of Excel I had no trouble; ever since it has been nothing but trouble culminating on installation of MSN EXCEL VIEWER. To a degree my inexperience has been a significant handicap and I never mastered use of the modified version.

In the prolonged search to find this Support form I noted MSN Excel shows a single one of my spreadsheets, BROKERS 0809. It is just what I want, but not at all what I get when accessed directly.

1. The title now includes "compatability" and "Excel Viewer", and the row below shows only 4 categories: Office Docs/Edit/Page Setup/Windows. Missing are the remainder of the categories.
There is no way to display other rows with theirs.

2. None of the items listed work. Clicking EDIT results in loss of the spreadsheet and appearance of Office Download screen.

3. Accessed directly BROKERS 0809 beares little resemblance to the on shown and which I expected to see. The entire screen is solid yellow; that also obscures the cells in red and yellow.

4. There are no gridlines despite that item being selected on the appropriate category (which is among those unobtainable as noted above). Same applies to all other page layout features.

5. There is considerable uncertainty as to which choice to make on the SAVE AS lists. This applies as well to when the spreadsheet is functioning normally.

6. A new strange difficulty is the inability to access some of the similar spreadsheets without "Open With". These were made monthly such as BROKERS 0709, 0609, 1208, etc. (month/year).
No idea what to use even after MSN search/browse, etc.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 2, 2009 4:35 AM PST

I have read your post a few times. I don't know if it is me, but I am not sure I understand what the problem is. Sorry to be so dense.

I see that you have installed Microsoft's Excel Viewer, unless MSN Excel Viewer is some other software. Here's a link to the Excel Viewer I believe you may be talking about;

But what is BROKERS 0809? Is this a workbook, (group of spreadsheets in a single workbook), that you have created yourself? If so, what is the difficulty you are having with this workbook?

If you created this workbook called Brokers 0809 yourself, what did you use to create it and why can you not use that same software to view it? What has changed since you were last able to access this workbook to view it, and/or to edit, make any changes?

The Excel Viewer is just that, a viewer utility, so there are limited menu options by design.

Again, sorry, but I'm struggling here.


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Clarification (hopefully)
by rodellpr / November 2, 2009 6:38 AM PST
In reply to: Hmm.

Thank you for your prompt response MarkFlax.

1. No other Excel Viewer. But its use is quite beyond me. As noted, it shows spreadsheet HEADINGS only partially as apprear without it. Nor can any entries be made on the spreadsheet shown. What good that is I know not.

2. BROKERS 0809 is simply a single spreadsheet/worksheet of mine. There are new ones monthly, 0909/10/09/1109/1209, etc. When logged in to MSN Excel it showed only one of them, which is of no consequence; point being it could not be "edited", nor any changes made. I attribute that to the Excel Viewer. In a word, the difficulty is, it's USELESS.

3. My monthly spreadsheets for the past two years are created with Excel. As noted, the program was considerably altered/modified/expanded a year-or-so ago. The amplifications were nothing but trouble so far as my use is concerned and I've found many others with same experience.

4. Responding to your first para, my primary problem ia an inability to display last completed spreadsheet (the 0809 August one)as well as the(1009 September one) and all that follow as they were originally created and saved.

5. When accessed the spreadsheets do not have any editing function or choice of many categories which do not appear; no means of switching from one row of categories to another; no formulas are accessible;
no colors can be chosen or corrections to those shown. I've run out of memory at this point but there's a raft of other things which cannot be done and I have no idea how to correct this frustrating situation.

If any further explanation needed don't hesitate to say so. Again thanks.

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Re: Excel
by Kees Bakker / November 2, 2009 5:17 PM PST

The viewer doesn't let change things. That makes sense. So don't use it for that. That's half of your troubles solved.

Now the other half. It seems you altered/modified/expanded your copy of Excel a year-or-so-ago. Whatever that means: why did you do that? Why not go back to what it was by uninstalling this copy and reinstall the original? That should solve the other half of your problems.


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Excel spreasddsheets multiplicity of problems
by rodellpr / November 4, 2009 5:25 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Excel

Thank you Kees. Unfortunately neither half of the problems solved.

As to first half, use of VIEWER, that's what appears when I access the file (Brokers 0809). If there's a choice it's not listed at Explore.

As to the second half, when MSN changed Excel it was done by MSN. Users were not offered to accept/decline. That's "what it means".
There's no going back; a new spreadsheet is made every month.

I'm curious as to your use of Excel and spreadsheets because we seem to be poles apart.

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Re: Excel
by Kees Bakker / November 5, 2009 12:29 AM PST

1. Run Excel from Start>Programs or from it's icon, and use File>Open. Then you're in Excel, not in the viewer. If doubleclicking opens it in the viewer, change the file association for that particular filetype (extension) back to Excel.
Problem with the viewer solved, because it won't be run. That's easy.

2. Not clear to me when Microsoft (not "MSN") changed Excel in what way. Can you be more explicit? All I know of are 'service packs' and 'security patches' and none of the two tends to change functionality in such a way as you described.
Also, can you explain why you can't uninstall it and reinstall the original version if (by something unclear to me at the moment) it was changed in a way you don't like.


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And ...
by Kees Bakker / November 5, 2009 12:33 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Excel

what version of Excel are you talking about? The subject of your first post mentions Excel 2007 / Office 2003. That's a contradiction. Office 2003 contained Excel 2003. Excel 2007 is part of Office 20007. Different suites, different programs.

And there is no way, as far as I know, that Microsoft changed Excel automatically from 2003 to 2007. That's a product you must buy separately.


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by rodellpr / November 5, 2009 1:24 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Excel

Again thanks, Kees, although you made no response as to your use of Excel spreadsheets.
Re #1, if only it were as you say! At Open the result is NOT Excel per se, but Microsoft Office Excel Viewer.
At Properties, type file: Miocrosoft Office Worksheet.
There are two Recommended files to Open: IE & Microsoft Office Excel.
Put aside IE although using it does not help; despite no mention of Viewer, the other still produces it and only it.
Please, MSN = Microsoft (simple abbreviation to save typing).

Re #2, the history of Excel's major expansion is what it is and I am unable to be more explicit. It happened, and other long-time users of the program may be better able to explain.
Uninstall/reinstall completely impractical, aside from whether or not the same "Viewer" display recurs. Redoing 37 columns & 51 rows is an awesome task. Nor is it indicated. The existing contents are correct in all respects, just just cannot be edited nor are formulas available nor are the top rows of features anywhere near complete.

Please understand I am grateful for your time/trouble but my impression is you may be unfamiliar with the problems no matter if the fault is mine or otherwise.


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I have to say
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 5, 2009 2:00 AM PST
In reply to: RE EXCEL

that I must also be unfamiliar with these apparent problems.

I have used Excel extensively over the last 10 years or so, and also used an Excel viewer, and I have never come across the problems you seem to be having.

Microsoft have never changed functionality in any of its Office products. You talk about Excel's expansion. I don't know what you mean by that, and I suspect Kees will have the same difficulty, but here is what I know.

Excel, (the spreadsheet application), is part of Microsoft's Office Suite. Other components include Word, a word processor, Access, a database designer, and PowerPoint, a presentation application.

Since 1997, (and likely before), Microsoft have issued various "Office" Suites.
Office 1997
Office 2000
Office 2002, (XP),
Office 2003
Office 2007

They all have 'components', including the ones I mentioned above. This includes Excel, so Excel could either be Excel 1997, Excel 2000, Excel 2002 (XP), Excel 2003, and Excel 2007. But they are each separate versions of Excel.

At various times, Microsoft has offered an Excel Viewer, a limited utility that allows users to view only Excel spreadsheets, either for users who don't have any Office suites installed, or for those users who have one version of Excel but need to "view" spreadsheets created with another version, which is not compatible with their own version.

We do not know which version of the Office Suite, (and therefore which version of Excel), you have installed. You haven't told us.

Microsoft does not force users to upgrade their Office Suites, and neither do they upgrade users' Office Suites in secret.

So your point #2 about Excel's history of major expansion is not something that was forced onto you by Microsoft. If you have purchased any Microsoft Office Suite, then that will have been your choice.

I now have to ask, Do you have any Microsoft Office Suite installed? If so, which version of Office, and what Office components do you have installed?

If you do have Microsoft Office installed now, have you ever had any previous versions installed, either on this computer you are using now, or on any other computer you may have had in the past? If so, which versions?


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Spreadsheet problems
by rodellpr / November 5, 2009 6:07 AM PST
In reply to: I have to say

Thank you Mark for much useful info which goes far in demonstrating my totally inadequate Excel tech savvy (ie., stupidity).

My terminology as to Excel expansion is but one example. I can now clarify it with this extract from another competant helper such as yourself re similar problem a year ago:

"The message about loss of FUNCTIONALITY should be of no consequence and should not adversely affect the file. It has to do with COMPATIBILITY between Excel 2003 and 2007. Here is a link to a short explanation...".

That file covers very well what has often contributed to my problems.

I see at ALL PROGRAMS I have Microsoft Office Excel Viewer&Microsoft
Office PowerPoint Viewer 2003. As recently I had to do a complete System Restore I can only assume this is the reason no other Office files are included.
At this rate is becoming more appealing!

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So you forgot to reinstall MS Office ...
by Kees Bakker / November 5, 2009 6:43 AM PST
In reply to: Spreadsheet problems

after doing the complete System Restore. Then it's gone indeed, if it wasn't included in the factory image you restored, but installed (by yourself?) later. Why didn't you tell this somewhat earlier in the discussion?

So now:
1. Either reinstall Office like it was done the first time.
2. Try Open Office (but you might find it take some time to get used to it)
3. Stop editing spreadsheets.
Your choice here.


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Re: Excel
by Kees Bakker / November 5, 2009 4:23 AM PST
In reply to: RE EXCEL

You seem to be unwilling to do any of my 3 ways to solve your issues. Those were:
1. Run Excel from a shortcut to the program.
2. Re-associate the .xls file extension to Excel (in stead of the viewer).
3. Repair install or uninstall/reinstall Excel. This won't damage your data in any way, but it will do #2, solving most if not all of your problems.
and I may add:
4. Uninstall the viewer if you find it intruding on your work. Apparently you don't need it.

I'm aware of your problems, but I can only say you refuse to solve them. That might be your fault or not, but it's surely the end of the story.

Moreover, MSN isn't Microsoft, nor is it short for Microsoft. It's an acronym for MicroSoft Network. You might know it from or the former program MSN Messenger.

And, by the way because you asked for it, the 2 things I did in Excel yesterday (not yet today, I'm afraid) were:
1. to add 13 lines to a spreadsheet made by a colleague of mine to document 13 new fields added to the layout of an input record for a program to put an text file from a legacy application in our SAP-database.
2. to change a calendar published on a website I maintain

Best of luck.


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Excel spreadsheet
by rodellpr / November 5, 2009 6:25 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Excel

Kees I don't blame you for being exasperated at my seeming intransigence. Nor for my incompetence.
Re your #1: Only shortcut is the one specifically for Viewer.
Re your #2: "..Re-associate .xls file extension to Excel" is quite beyond my competence whatever it is.
Re your #3: "Repair install or uninstall/reinstall Excel" are quite
challenging -- all three -- but aas the contents of the file(s) are all as should be it seems a bit of overkill.
Re your #4: Uninstalling the Viewer will leave me with nothing. I also wonder what its purpose is as accessing the file without it shows all the same as with it.

As to use of MSN, I can only quote from Alice In Wonderland, "When I use a word it means just what I mean it to".

Sure wish I had your expertise last year when I had a devil of a time inserting an extra row.

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