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"floating" excel comment box causes crash

by Alzeenj / January 1, 2010 6:24 AM PST

I am running Excel 2004 version 11.5.6 and Leopard on an iMac

Somehow the arrow has disappeared from 2 of my comment boxes and if the cursor touches the comment box excel crashes. The problem existed before the upgrade to leopard. I have tried opening the program in windows excel to see if there was a solution possible from there but the comments do not appear at all. I have no need for the comments. Any suggested solution? Do they appear anywhere else where I can get to them (and delete) without using the cursor?

Thanks ---- Al Z

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Try deleting the preferences
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 1, 2010 7:19 AM PST

for Excel.

You will find them in your Home folder > Library > Preferences and then hunt for anything that has Excel mentioned.
Drag it to the desktop and then launch Excel.

Still happening?


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Excel Floating comment box
by Alzeenj / January 1, 2010 12:37 PM PST

In Preferences I found and moved it to the desktop as suggested. Unfortunately it did not fix the problem; comment boxes (without arrows) still there and when the cursor touches either of the 2 boxes the program freezes and I have to use force quit and start over. I have now also tried saving the excel file in other file formats (xlsx and 95/5.0) but no luck. The file is 5 pages with several thousand cells and graphs so I am very reluctant to change to e.g. cvs and then bring it back (hopefully without the comments). I don't have any macros however

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Inside that preferences folder...
by Mr. Gregg / January 3, 2010 10:34 PM PST you have a Microsoft folder?

Look in there for additional plist files.

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floating comment box
by Alzeenj / January 3, 2010 11:27 PM PST

I found a microsoft plist file and removed it -- no luck; I then removed both it and the apple plist file --- no luck. Both of the comment boxes just sit there without their arrows. I did notice that there is a Microsoft Excel file within the library>preferences>microsoft chain. What does this do? Really frustrating!
Thanks for your help

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please elaborate
by Mr. Gregg / January 5, 2010 1:06 AM PST
In reply to: floating comment box

"I did notice that there is a Microsoft Excel file within the library>preferences>microsoft chain."

Which Library folder? There are several.

Is this an .xls file or an excel.plist file?

If plist files don't do the trick, it might be time to Remove Office and reinstall. Don't just move Excel to the Trash. You want to go into Applications/Microsoft Office/Additional Tools/Remove Office and use the uninstaller. Of course, you don't want to do that unless you have the disc to reinstall it with.

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Floating comment box
by Alzeenj / January 10, 2010 5:57 AM PST
In reply to: please elaborate

As the problem did not exist on any other SS, and it showed up on several excel versions (both in MAC and Windows) running this particular SS I was reluctant to trash and reload the excel programs. Instead I decided to copy (without the comments) the SS file sheet that had the problem on to a new sheet (the comments do not come across unless you specify that you want them to). I had to rebuild the graphs (not a big deal) and do a bunch of formatting fixes, and of course replace the comments (only rewrote a couple of the really important ones). Once I proved to myself that all my links were working I deleted the sheet with the problem. So far so good. However I never did find out what caused the problem or how to avoid it in the future. I do not think that this has or will get Microsoft attention. I had found only one other reference to the problem over the past several months and it was never addressed/fixed their either.

Thank you for your suggestions. I do appreciate the effort.


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by pawenmike / May 16, 2010 12:55 PM PDT

i had the same problem and this solved it


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