Unusable Files – Unable To Input

TheKingfish

New Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
4
Office Version
  1. 2016
Platform
  1. Windows
Am using Excel MS Office 2016 (Win10), and cannot get a clean conversion to the .xlsx format. Highlights:

  • I can input to a single cell, but then no others on the page until I click out of that page and come back again. Also, all functions are frozen (add/delete row, etc.).
  • My file has a prior format history (97-2003). Would like to find a remedial “super convert” function, but have not been that lucky.
  • I have performed the two conventional convert actions. In Compatibility Mode, I did the File/Info/Convert path. The second was the save-as method. In both cases the file is transformed to the .xlsx format, but the cell input problem is there.
  • I have another problem file (also .xlsx) where I go Review/Check Accessibility, and it tells me the doc is an older version and I should convert. However, nothing happens when I press the Convert button. And the problem persists.
  • Software seems not the issue, as I have other files with no problem whatsoever.


These files seem to have long memories, with no way to clear and operate anew. Frustrating because I have lots of work/data into these files. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

TheKingfish



FYI – Glad to be a first-time forum poster here. Hope MrExcel compares favorably with my last – I was with the CNET forum for many years. They were an excellent go-to for my computer topics, but packed it in on 12/1/2020 (???).
 

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Larry Haydn

Board Regular
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
115
Office Version
  1. 365
Platform
  1. Windows
Could the worksheet be protected?
Are you able to view the code in the VB editor?
 

TheKingfish

New Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
4
Office Version
  1. 2016
Platform
  1. Windows
Could the worksheet be protected?
Are you able to view the code in the VB editor?
Larry,
Apologies for the delayed response, but many thanks for reaching out to help me.

PROTECTED WORKSHEET
Having no earthly reason, I have never protected documents of any sort. However, on the chance that my doc could somehow have fallen into this mode, I checked. Selecting the Review tab, the leftmost option came up as Protect (not UnProtect), so it appears I am not protected.

VBA EDITOR
While a longtime programmer (Pascal), I am not familiar with Visual Basic. However, I opened the VBA editor window. You asked about viewing the code, but I’m not sure what I’m looking at. In the left-panel Visible row, it says: -1 excelSheetVisible. I don’t see any code in the large right-side panel.

In the big picture, it’s hard to believe that MS would “sunset” files from years past. As in rendering them (and valued data) unusable. That small thought keeps me believing there is a solution to this problem.
Thanks,
TheKingfish
 

TheKingfish

New Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
4
Office Version
  1. 2016
Platform
  1. Windows
My post has been dormant (no replies/solutions). However, I am a forum-person who shares my outcome -- so others can travel a less-rocky future-road. With no forum help on the way, a best friend suggested that I use different terminology to search for an answer (like file lock-up). He also advised me to conduct a broader DuckDuckGo search.

Bingo! The link below zeroes right in on my issue. And more than anything -- I was relieved not to be the Lone Ranger on this. The link is a massive thread, started in April/2017. Bottom line – it is a shamelessly unrepaired MS software problem. In fact, I’m surprised it did not show up on this forum (although maybe it did).

Painstakingly, I scrolled thru the very-long thread. What a mess. Hard to believe so much productivity was squandered at the hands of a MS no-response no-fix. As I scrolled (17 pages), I learned more and more. Sparing you that long read, here’s what I learned:
1) Occurs in both Office 2013 & 2019
2) Happens when more than one workbook is open
3) Some cell calcs incorrect [I have seen this]
4) No issue for days and days; then wham -- lock up
5) One IT guy said this is a well-known bug; been around for 10 years
6) Does not happen in Office 2013 for Macs
7) Autosave is not solution
8) Seems to be resolved when the file is seemingly 'washed' by Open Office software
9) A quick-resolve also seems to access another open file, and then return to the prime file
10) Working with just one file open also seems a solution [though hard to function that way]

I took it all in (every word), so as to prepare myself. I now know all the workarounds, and most-specifically the Graphics Hardware Acceleration disable (solution) that concludes the thread. The thread ends on 9/17/2020, with no further feedback. My presumption was/is -- that that disable-act was the magic bullet.

For my part, I’m a lot smarter on this than I was a week ago. Following the formal instruction, I did the disable. That's a software-element disable, such that all files coming into use will be treated accordingly. It is now “proof of the pudding” time for me. I will roll to the file that was locked up and begin anew. If I experience smooth sailing, I will know the fix is in. If I encounter the same-old, I will be armed with a few workarounds.
Wish me luck. I hope this helps at least one (1) other user.
Thanks,
TheKingfish

 
Solution

RoryA

MrExcel MVP, Moderator
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
36,709
Office Version
  1. 365
  2. 2019
  3. 2016
  4. 2010
Platform
  1. Windows
  2. MacOS

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I'm glad you've hopefully found some answers - and thank you for posting your findings back here.

Just a couple of points I'd address:
3. Sounds like a different issue to me.
5. There's always an "IT guy" that says that. ;) Personally, I think this sounds very much like an issue that could have been introduced with the switch from MDI to SDI in 2013, as there are many similar issues, usually in code, where the wrong workbook window ends up active with the change in the interface.
6. There is no 2013 for Mac.

One thing I didn't spot in my skim through the thread you linked to, is that it is also always worth making sure that the file preview option is not turned on in File Explorer, as that is known to have caused some odd behaviour in Excel.

Just from reading that thread (and I have to say I don't think I have ever experienced what you describe), it is pretty clear that the behaviour is hard to reproduce reliably and clearly does not affect a lot of users (relative to the user base at any rate) precisely because there has not been a huge outcry about it. Those two facts tend to mean that it would most likely be a very difficult bug to identify and not something that MS will invest a lot of time in. Obviously that's not helpful to you or others affected, but that seems to be how they work.
 

TheKingfish

New Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
4
Office Version
  1. 2016
Platform
  1. Windows
Rory,
Thank you. You’ve made some astute observations. And sharing is the name of the game – Brother’s Keeper and all of that……

Mine was a shotgun takeaway from the thread. So, some are kernels; some are not. In any case, your point about issue-frequency is well taken. It can be total-hell for those affected, but maybe it is truly quite isolated. Don’t know.

Your hint about the “file Preview option not turned-on in File Explorer” is worthwhile to me, as I am all-for heading off any Excel issues. At this point I have been battered, and just yearn for some genuine value from MS. I read that prior updates cured any issues with FE, but switched my off just the same (guidance below).
Thanks,
TheKingfish

For Win 10, to disable/enable the FE Preview pane -- under "View" tab -- left click once on the "Preview pane" or "Details pane" title -- the single left click is the on/off switch. Or, press ALT+P while in File Explorer. Good luck.
 

Larry Haydn

Board Regular
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
115
Office Version
  1. 365
Platform
  1. Windows
Sorry I was out of action for a long time.
Glad you found the solution, and thanks for sharing them.
 

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