Files in Excel have "flashing" text in formula bar, won't allow changes

Posted on 2011-03-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have an application that seems to have caused some corruption in Excel 2007.  When I log in as the user having the problem and open an Excel file, click on a cell, I get the formula showing but it flickers and has "lines" through it.  Can't make any changes or copy and paste.

I think this came from a third party software macro, as it is happening only on the two machines that use this particular software.

When I log in to either machine under my login, Excel works fine.

I tried uninstalling and reinstalling Office, but the problem still exists.  Is there a way to do a COMPLETE AND TOTAL removal of Excel 2007?  Since it works for me, I want to "reset" the user in question and see if the problem still exists.

Thanks in advance
Question by:Craig_Kiddoo
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 35046939

a) What is that 3rd party software?
b) Could be because of any Add-Ins installed?
c) Can you upload a snapshot ?


Author Comment

ID: 35046955

a.) The third party software is Zacks 5.0 (Investment Portfolio Management and Research Software)
b.) There are addins for the Zacks as well as another investment related program (that many others in our office use with no problems, only the Zacks users are having issues).
c.) On Monday.  I don't have the password for the user having issues.  He is on reserve duty so I can't get in touch with him until Monday.  I can't recreate the error when I log in as myself on the same machine (even tried running some reports that crashed Excel on both machines, and they work fine for me).  Both myself and the user have admin rights on the machine.
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

Zack Barresse earned 250 total points
ID: 35047255
For removing Office, look here:

It could be something else causing this, but in an overall view, it may just be faster to remove and reinstall.  If removing registry items make a backup of your registry first, then make your changes.  Your Office version is 12 (the above linked tutorial went to 2003).  This could also be something in other macro enabled files as well, i.e. Personal.xlsb, etc.  You could check those if you wanted to as well.
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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

SiddharthRout earned 250 total points
ID: 35047273
Zack(firefytr): Does that 3rd party software (Zacks 5.0) has to do anything with you ;)

Craig_Kiddoo: Also before you do a a re-install, disable all Add-Ins and then check if MS office hangs. If it doesn't then one by one enable the Add-Ins. This will narrow it down to the culprit Add-In.

LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35047282
Ha!  No.  Quite a coincidence though.  I chuckled myself when I read that.  :)

Good thinking on disabling the add-ins.  As a follow-up (Craig), make sure you check COM add-ins as well.

Author Comment

ID: 35048339
Thanks all...I will try tomorrow when the user is back in the office.

Author Comment

ID: 35074189
Didn't have any luck with the suggestions given.  It is probably due to corruption somewhere.  I fixed the problem by logging in as admin on the machine, renaming the user folder (under documents and settings, it is XP SP3).  When I logged out and had the user log back in all of the Excel issues were gone.  Of course he had to redo his personalized settings, but that was minor in comparison to the headaches Excel was causing.  Even the program that I think caused the corruption in the first place worked as intended.

Not really a fix, but a good workaround since time was of the essence.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 35074211
Didn't have time to try all of the solutions proposed, they may work, may not.  My workaround solved the problem.

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