Unrecognizable text--I NEED HELP PLEASE!!!!


New Member
Oct 7, 2002
I need help with an excel file. I have been working and saving information to a spreadsheet on my ibook now for at least 6 months.

I was using the application when my son came in and wanted me to let him play a game. I started the game from my hard drive and it froze up, so I did a soft restart on the machine and when it came back to life my excel data was still on the desktop. However, when I tried to open it I got a message that said it was in an unrecognizable format, but that I could still open it and when I did all I got was a bunch of jumbled letters and symbols. The file says it is 52 Kb in size, so it looks like the data is still there, but I cannot retrieve it properly. Any ideas?


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On excel 2002 anyway, there is an auto back up that may have been running...What version of Excel are you running?
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I'm back again...see the discussion on the following with some similar problems


maybe there are some others have some other suggestions...

good luck
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My first action would be to select all, and set another font.

Nowadays, the hard drives are so huge, that saving multiple copies (simply add 001, 002, 003 as name suffix) greatly helps in recovering a file.

Perhaps I overdo it; At one time I had the last 1000 saves of a workbook that undergoes repeated revision.

It is a great way to 'backtrack' if the latest code doesn't work, and I can't recall what I need to undo.
This message was edited by stevebausch on 2002-10-08 23:16
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I found an early post back in Dec 2000 that has to with restoring unreadable data...unfortunely does not bring your formulars accross...

"The following procedure works, but not in 100% of the cases...and it will not recover the formulas - formulas will be pasted as values. You'll have to rebuild the formulas.

If you know the exact path and filename of the xls file, do the following:

(1)Open Excel and start a new workbook (file, new).
(2) Move your mouse pointer to cell A1
(3) In the formula bar, type the following, replacing C:MyDocuments[bad file.xls] with the exact path and file name for the unreadable file. replace Sheet1 with the name of the first sheet.

=+'C:MyDocuments[bad file.xls]Sheet1'!A1

(4) Copy the formula from A1 to every cell where you think you have data. Be careful not to copy to the entire wookbook, as this will take a long time or it may crash.

(5) If the formulas work, range select all the formulas, copy to the clipboard and then from the menu bar, select: edit, paste special, values. The cells will all become values - no formulas.

If you have multiple sheets in the workbook, you will need to repeat this procedure for each sheet, changing Sheet1 with the actual sheet name.

If you have objects from the drawing tools, these will not be recovered - only cell contents.

If you have formatted cells, the formatting will not be recovered.

There are probably some other things that won't recover, but the most important parts - your data will be intact. If you have lots of formulas, this may not be the best solution.

This will not cause any damage to your original unreadable file

Also, if the file is on a network, try opening the file on another workstation. I'm sure you've tried just about anything"

Hope this might help
Good luck!
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