Excel XLSM to XLS Conversion

I have a rather sophisticated Workbook written in Excel 2010.  It has;
Conditional Formatting
Complex Formulas
Complex Graphics
VBA and Macro Code in Modules, Forms and Worksheets
Security at the Project, Worksheet and Workbook level

I need to convert it to a workable XLS format to have it usable by a Team of people who have Excel 2003 installed.  Is there some advise or a recommendation you can make concerning this situation (besides having all of them upgrade to 2010)?

Thank you,

Who is Participating?
Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE)Connect With a Mentor Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:
Good luck with that, Bright!

Get a cheap laptop with Office 2010 OEM and lend it to your client. From the nature of your previous questions, I feel that there are only a few select people who need access to the workbook, anyhow, so they could use that laptop and record their results on the one machine. Charge them a fee for this, and explain that Office 2003 is not even supported by Microsoft anymore, so they can't expect you to support it, either.

After the assignment, sell the laptop or keep it for similar situations.

cheers, teylyn
Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE)Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:

if the other party installs the compatibility pack, available as a free download from Microsoft, they will be able to open the Excel 2010 files. They will not be able to use the spreadsheet in its full capacity though. In order to do that, you would need to develop a version that uses only 2003 functionality.

cheers, teylyn
If you save your Excel 2010 file as Excel 2003, you will not have some of the functions available, as teylyn mentioned before. You can check this article from MS that explains what will not be available:


Please read the part with this title: "Excel 2010 features that are not supported in earlier versions of Excel"

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Bright01Author Commented:
Teylyn and Jppinto,

Thank you for such quick response.  I have tested saving the XLSM file to XLS and I lose a substantial amount of graphics and some functionality -- it does render the workbook rather useless.  And I've read the article that you referred me to and again, it looks like a tough road unless I rewrite the workbook in 2003.  However, with some divergent thinking, I'm exploring other options.  First, perhaps there is a converter on the market that allows you to reverse engineer an XLSM to XLS Workbook. Second, perhaps there is an emulation program that allows you to use a XLSM file in Excel 2003 (just can't modify it).  Third, perhaps I could host the Workbook and use an Terminal Emulation Program to have individuals access it or convert it to HTML and try to make it a Web App.

I think the limitations are evident.  What I'm questioning is "are there workarounds to this problem" or am I better off starting from scratch or buying everyone Excel 2010 ( ;-)


jppintoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I don't believe that you can have a walkaround for this problem. You could convert the file to an .EXE with some software that is available but it wouldn't be much useful then for the users.

Bright01Author Commented:
So, I've used a great EXE compiler (LockXLS) but it still requires Excel 2007 or 2010; even as an EXE.  I was hoping to a converter but may have to force the issue of the right platform.  Thanks for helping with the discussion.

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