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Old 05-02-2012, 03:56 AM
FLJohnson FLJohnson is offline Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Mac OS X Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Office for Mac 2011
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Default Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files

I have lots of old Excel workbooks that were created on my Mac that go back as far as 1999 at least. There were created in 1998 Excel 8.0 (from Office 98), 2000 Excel 9.0 (from Office 2001), and 2001 Excel 10.0 (from Office v.X) (I'm assuming these were the versions I used way back then because I have always used Office since the beginning of time.) Excel 2011 will not open these files. When I try to open these files, I get the message:

Excel could not open [filename] because some content is unreadable. Do you want to open and repair this workbook? If excel cannot repair the file, some data may be lost.

If I click Open and Repair, Excel hangs.



Of course, being an ancient Mac user, these files do not have those ugly extensions hanging on the file name, but that really isn't the problem. I can add extensions to the file name, which changes the appearance of the icon, but the Excel still hangs on trying to Open and Repair these files.

Last edited by FLJohnson; 05-02-2012 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:03 PM
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macropod macropod is offline Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Windows 7 64bit Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Office 2010 32bit
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Hi FLJohnson,

That suggests the files are either:
• corrupt; or
• stored in a non-Excel format (ie either not originally Excel, or subsequently archived in some other format)
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2012, 08:03 AM
FLJohnson FLJohnson is offline Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Mac OS X Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Office for Mac 2011
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Of course, that is what the error message would mean at face value. But how would ALL (perhaps 30) of these Excel files all suddenly become corrupt, and, yes, they were all Excel files, not some other application file.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:08 AM
FLJohnson FLJohnson is offline Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Mac OS X Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Office for Mac 2011
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I have since discovered that I can open these old files on a windows machine using Excel 2007 and resave them as a later version, and I can then open them on my Mac. I guess I have Microsoft to thank (not) for my Mac version (2011) not being able to handle these older file formats.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:37 PM
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macropod macropod is offline Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Windows 7 64bit Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Office 2010 32bit
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Hi FLJohnson,

That suggests your Mac Excel installation hasn't included the filters for the earlier file formats (probably as a result of a decision made during a custom installation). Adding those filters should be fairly straight-forward and will then allow you to open any other files you receive in the older formats.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:03 AM
FLJohnson FLJohnson is offline Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Mac OS X Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Office for Mac 2011
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Hmm. I know I didn't perform a custom installation. It is whatever came with the Microsoft Home Use Program. How can I insure the filters you speak of are installed? How could I reinstall Excel?
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:35 AM
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See: http://www.macworld.com/article/1155...el2011faq.html. This article suggests you only need to install the Open XML file format converter (available from MS at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloa...8-A308B3140D2E) to work with documents saved in the Excel X file format. Are you sure it doesn't open Excel '98 files?
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:13 AM
FLJohnson FLJohnson is offline Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Mac OS X Excel 2011 can't open old Excel 98 or Excel X files Office for Mac 2011
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Umm. The converter is for opening later version files in earlier versions of Excel. This is all I found regarding Open XML file format converter in the article you linked to.

"If you use the free Open XML file format converter, you can open documents saved in Excel 2011’s default file format in Excel X or later."
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:26 PM
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Sorry about that. From all I've been able to find, Excel 2011 should be able to open files in the earlier formats without difficulty. So, unless there's a problem with your Excel installation, the implication is that there's a problem with the files. Since you're able to open the same files on a PC, that seems to rule out the latter. Perhaps you should try repairing your Office installation. As I don't use a Mac, I don't know the details of that process.
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