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Accessing an embedded Excel object from a PowerPoint Presentation

Posted on 2004-09-22
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Last Modified: 2009-04-14
Hello All,

I'm having difficulty accessing an embedded Excel spreadsheet from a PowerPoint document, and I can't insert an embedded Excel spreadsheet into a new PowerPoint presentation.  I can't seem to find an answer to this problem anywhere.  I'm using Office XP SP3 on a Windows 2000 SP4 system with all the latest patches installed (for both Win2K and Office XP), and no, I don't have Norton AntiVirus or SystemWorks installed.

From an existing PPT document with an embedded Excel spreadsheet:
If I right-click on the spreadsheet --> select "Linked Worksheet Object" --> and attempt to click either "Open" or "Edit", I receive the following error-
"Microsoft PowerPoint can't start the application required to open this object.  
An error occurred and this feature is no longer functioning properly.  Would you like to repair this feature now?"  "Yes" or "No" are my options to continue.

If I select "Yes", another dialog box opens that says: "Installing: Application Server" with a progress bar and a cancel button.  Eventually, this process fails with the error-
"The server application, source file, or item can't be found, or returned with an unkown error.  You may need to reinstall the server application."  This error also occurrs if I select the "No" button.

If I select "Update Link" from the right-click context menu, I receive the error-
"The linked file was unavailable and can't be updated." with an "OK" button to continue.

From either an existing PPT document with embedded Excel spreadsheets, or from a new blank PPT document, if I select the "Insert" menu --> then "Object" --> "Create from file" --> "Browse" --> (select any XL file here) --> check the "Link" box --> and click the "OK" button, I receive the same error as above-
"The server application, source file, or item can't be found, or returned with an unkown error.  You may need to reinstall the server application."

I don't have any Norton products installed.
I've tried saving the file in an older format (97-2002, 95) and then modifying the file.
I've tried both repairing and reinstalling Office.
I've tried re-registering MS Graph, as well as MS Excel and MS PowerPoint (the last two were just for kicks) using the <Office path>\<program name> /regserver syntax.
I've tried using a path with less than 64 total characters.
I don't have a folder in either the root or Program Files folders named either "Microsoft" or "Program" (and as I mentioned before, I'm not running Win NT 4.0).
I'm not linking to an Org chart, just trying to link to an Excel spreadsheet.

For the rest of you who are also facing this problem, see the following links:
http://www.rdpslides.com/pptfaq/FAQ00236.htm
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q173430
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q328613
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;q163456
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q172359
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q189692
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;249060
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q218571
http://www.rdpslides.com/pptfaq/FAQ00339.htm
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q320365
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=238307
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=329820
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;826835

As you can see, I've done _a little_ bit of homework on this... but to no avail.  I hope these links help someone, and that someone can help me.  Anyone up to the challenge?

Thanks in advance,

-Jeremy
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Question by:jsaldate
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5 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:jsaldate
ID: 12129371
At this point, I'm thinking the problem lies in the fact that the PPT file with the original problem was created in either Office 97 or Office 95.  I can replicate the same problem using the same file accross 4 machines.  

Machine 1 (original, mentioned above):
Win2K Pro SP4, Office XP SP3 (upgraded from Office 97) with all patches from windowsupdate and officeupdate installed.  This problem is replicated using either the original problem PPT file, or attempting to insert an Excel spreadsheet into a blank PPT file.  I had also attempted installing the PowerPoint Viewer, to see if by chance this would re-register some missing components.  Didn't work.

Machine 2
Win2K Server SP4, Office XP SP3 (clean install) with all patches from windowsupdate and officeupdate installed.  This problem is replicated using either the original problem PPT file, or attempting to insert an Excel spreadsheet into a blank PPT file.

Machine 3
Win2K Pro SP4, Office 97 SR2, appears to be missing most OS updates after SP4.  This problem is replicated using either the original problem PPT file, but I can insert an Excel 97 spreadsheet into a blank PPT 97 file.  I had also attempted installing the PowerPoint Viewer, to see if by chance this would re-register some missing components to re-enable the original problem file.  Didn't work.

Machine 4
A near-duplicate of Machine 3, except I didn't attempt installing the PowerPoint Viewer on this system.  Same results as Machine 3.

Hope someone can help...

Thanks,
-Jeremy
0
 

Author Comment

by:jsaldate
ID: 12172157
BTW, all linked files are available.  I can open the file
path that appears in the "Edit" --> "Links" area using
Excel as a standalone application.

It appears to me that this is is a bug in Office XP SP3
that requires another patch.  All OLE linking appears to
have been disabled with the latest patches.  Office 97 and
Office 2000 work fine.

I don't have confirmation from Microsoft regarding this
assessment, however.

My workaround for my particular situation:
1.) Re-construct the original file using Office 2000
(relative paths work only intermittently on our Novell
network when using Office 97).  
2.) Update links and perform any other modifications as
desired using Office Automation.
3.) Save a copy of the original file and display the copy
to the client.
4.) NEVER overwrite the original file by saving it using
Office XP SP3.  Doing so will corrupt all existing links
in the PPT file.

Regards,
-Jeremy
0
 

Author Comment

by:jsaldate
ID: 12172193
P.S.  

To the moderator:  You may now close this question.  I've found a workaround to my issue.  However, some of this information was hard to find, so I thought I'd leave it open rather than delete the question.

Thanks,
-Jeremy
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