How to display your sheet on the board/HTML Maker FAQ

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Von Pookie

MrExcel MVP
Feb 17, 2002
Von Pookie's HTML Maker FAQ
Last updated: 07 July 2009

07 July 2009: Downloads are currently unavailable for Colo's site. If you would be interested in testing the new HTML Maker designed specifically for the MrExcel forum, please see this thread:

PLEASE NOTE: This FAQ was written while we were using phpbb forum software. I have not checked these instructions for accuracy with the new vBulletin software we are currently using. It is possible that some items listed here may no longer apply.

Please note the following:
  • This is not the FAQ for the VBHTML Maker nor the YaBB Table Maker.
  • These directions were written using Windows 2000 and XP, and Excel 2002 and 2003. I do not (currently) know the information for Macs or any other versions of Windows or Excel.

<a name="using"></a>
How can I show a small image of my worksheet in my post?
You can simply download the handy HTML Maker add-in! <s>The HTML Maker is available for download at Colo's site.</s> Currently unavailable

I have downloaded the .zip file. What is the next step?
You may need to download an extraction program such as WinZip to open the .zip file and extract the add-in file. For now, just extract the HtmlMaker.xla file to your desktop. Once you have this, you no longer need the .zip file.

Next, you need to locate the Addins folder on your computer. There are several places you may see a folder with this name. From the Excel help file: "Add-ins are stored by default in one of the following places:
  • The Library folder or one of its subfolders in the Microsoft Office\Office folder.
  • The Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\AddIns folder."
If you're uncertain which folder to use, open Excel, go to the Tools menu and select Add-ins. In the dialog that will display, click the Browse button to see the path for the AddIns folder it is using. Once you've located this, you can simply drag and drop the HtmlMaker.xla file into it.

Note: If you cannot find the Application Data folder, you probably just need to change a setting on your computer.
  1. Open Windows Explorer (or any folder) and select Folder Options from the Tools menu.
  2. On the View tab, look for "Hidden files and folders" under the Advanced Settings
  3. Make sure the option "Show hidden files and folders" is selected, click OK, and look for that pesky Application Data folder again.

I have added the file to the AddIns folder, but I am unable to activate it in Excel!
Start Excel, go to the Tools menu and select Add-Ins. You should see a dialog box with a list of available add-ins, with a checkbox next to each item. Simply find the one labeled Htmlmaker, check the box next to it and click OK. You should now have a new menu between the Window and Help menus called HTML. You have now installed and activated the HTML Maker, and should be ready to go!

How do I use this add-in?
Using the HTML Maker to post a "snapshot" of your worksheet on the message board is relatively simple.
  1. Make sure you have enabled HTML in your board profile.
    • Click the "profile" link--which is in the group of text links at the top-right of every page of the board.
    • In the list of preferences, make sure the option for "Always allow HTML" is set to Yes.
    • Click the "Submit" button to save any changes to your profile
  2. Make sure the HTML Maker add-in is active (see "I've added the file to the AddIns folder, but I can't figure out how to activate it in Excel!").
  3. Go to the HTML menu and select "Convert sheet to HTML"
  4. Select the range you want to copy
    • Please select only the range (preferably with little to no formatting) that is crucial to the question you are asking.
  5. Click OK
  6. On the message box that pops up, click "yes" (I honestly have no clue what this does, but I always click yes and it works just fine)
  7. Another message box will appear, letting you know how many characters the HTML Maker code will use, and how many characters that are remaining for you to use in typing the rest of your message. Click OK.
  8. A new browser window will open, displaying what your copied cells will look like when posted to the board.
  9. In this new window, click the "Copy code to clipboard" button.
    If this does not work...
    • If you are running Windows XP with Service Pack 2 installed, make sure you allow popups on the page (they will be blocked by default) and try clicking the button again
    • As an alternative:
      • In this same window click the button that is on the page that is labeled "View Source." This is located right next to the "Copy to Clipboard" button.
      • Copy the entire code that is displayed there.
    • Come back to the board where you are entering your message, and put your cursor in the area where you type the body of your message.
    • Press Ctrl+V in the area where you type. If you don't know HTML, it will look like a lot of gibberish. That's normal, don't worry about it. You can still edit and add to your message if needed at this point. Do not edit/add to the code from the HTML Maker.
    • When you are finished, click the Submit button to post your message. The table should appear in your post just as it did on the browser page you copied the code from.
      • Do not preview a message containing HTML Maker code. You will not be able to use the buttons on the preview page to submit your message.
      • Do not quote a post using HTML Maker code. You will receive errors (when quoting a message, simply edit out any extra HTML Maker code).
      [/list:eek::4e41f3da2f]Back to top

      <a name="problems"></a>Known Issues & Errors

      I installed the HTML Maker add-in, but the "HTML" menu you say should appear on the menu bar is not there.
      It is possible that you have installed the wrong add-in. This FAQ is for Colo's HTML Maker, NOT the VB HTML Maker or YaBB Table Maker. Making sure you have installed the correct add-in is the first step.

      If you have confirmed that you installed Colo's HTML Maker correctly, make sure you have enabled the add-in. Go to Tools\Add-Ins, click the checkbox for the HTML Maker and click OK. The menu should then appear.

      If you have performed both of the previous steps and the menu is still not appearing, post your questions in the Questions About This Board forum.

      I followed the directions, but after posting the page is not displaying correctly.
      You can either edit the post yourself and remove ALL of the HTML code, or report the post by clicking the "Report" button (
      ) on the post to notify the moderators of the problem. A moderator will edit the post to remove any/all HTML Maker code so the thread will be able to display correctly.

      As to why the page displayed strangely in the first place, it's usually one of two things: either you didn't follow the directions and copied the source of the page the HTML Maker generated instead of using the "view source" button on the page (yes, there is a difference and we can tell from the code if this is the case), or you have inadvertently posted incomplete HTML Maker code--which is much more common.

      HTML requires both opening and closing tags; if you do not post the entire code, the closing tags are not included and the board cannot interpret the code correctly.

      When using an HTML Maker example in your post make sure that you have copied all of the generated code and that it is pasted into the message in its entirety. There is also a character limit for each message (but to be completely honest, I have no idea what that limit actually *is*). If you try to use multiple examples within a single post, you can hit the limit quickly and the end of the code could be cutoff.

      Error: "Could not load an object because it is not available on this machine"
      You may be missing a file called ietimer.ocx, which is required. Click here to go to Colo's site and check if the file is already installed on your computer. This link will also automatically install the file for you if it is needed.
      The file is also available for download from Microsoft: After downloading the file, it must be registered with regsvr32. The easiest way to do this is to right-click the file and select Install from the context menu.

      Error: "Compile error." or "Can't find project or library..."
      Open the Visual Basic Editor by pressing Alt+F11. Once in the editor, select the HTMLMaker in the Project window then go to the Tools menu and select References.
      If there are any references that start with "MISSING," uncheck them and don't forget to save.
      More information on this error can be found in this thread:

      Error: "Error Number: 91, Object Variable or with Block variable not set..."
      Click OK to close the dialog box with the error and go to Tools->Macros->Security. Click the Trusted Sources tab and check the box next to "trust access to Visual Basic Project," and click OK.

      In Excel 2007, the directions are slightly different:
      Click the Office Button and go to Excel Options->Trust Center->Trust Center Settings->Macro Settings->Developer Macro Settings. Then you can Check the "Trust access to the VBA project object model" box and click OK.
      (Thanks to Bradlee_S for posting this, because I would have never thought to add it otherwise)

      Error: "Runtime error: 5 Invalid procedure call or argument."
      When this error occurs, the following line will be highlighted in the debugger:

      Open the Visual Basic Editor (Alt+F11) and go to Tools->Options. Select the General tab and make sure "Break on unhandled errors" is selected for "Error Trapping."

      First mention of this error (and solution) can be found in this thread:

      I am unable to view formulas after clicking the formula link in the posted example
      There are two or more posts in the thread with HTML Maker examples, which could cause a conflict in the Javascript code being used. There is no real "fix" for this issue that I know of. The only real workarounds are to not post a message using the HTML Maker code in a thread already using an example elsewhere, or if you absolutely need to show how the data is set up, use the HTML Maker to show your sheet and indicate what formulas are in what cells within your message. Users viewing the examples in Firefox may notice this problem as well. (I have this issue with Firefox no matter what, personally).

      I am unable to copy the generated code to the clipboard.
      As was discovered by board member Parry: "If you have installed Windows XP Service Pack 2, a Pop-Up blocker is installed [in Internet Explorer] as part of the pack and by default this will block active content.

      When you select your cells and run HTML Maker it will create an HTML page of your image as expected, but the pop-up blocker will prevent you copying the code when you click the button to send Source to the clipboard. Simply click on the pop-up security information bar, then select Allow Blocked Content and you can now copy the HTML to the clipboard."

      Back to top

      <hr><a name="misc"></a>
      • This add-in is simply to show a small "snapshot" of the selected area of your spreadsheet. However, some things will not display when posting an HTML Maker example, such as:
        • Drawings and objects (i.e., items created from the Drawing toolbar)
        • Clip art and other images
        • Charts and graphs
        • Conditional formatting
        • Questions concerning the HTML Maker should be posted in the Questions About This Board forum.
        • If you have not used the HTML Maker add-in before, please post in the Test forum before making your actual post to make sure the example will display correctly. If any posts with HTML maker code end up "breaking" the page (including posts in the Testing forum), they will be edited by a moderator or administrator to remove the problem-causing HTML code from your post or the post itself will be deleted.

        Find an error or something I missed?
        Click to send me a private message :)
Last edited:

Excel Facts

Why are there 1,048,576 rows in Excel?
The Excel team increased the size of the grid in 2007. There are 2^20 rows and 2^14 columns for a total of 17 billion cells.
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