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Cannot open xlsx files

Posted on 2013-12-04
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Last Modified: 2014-03-29
A relative of mine has a computer running Windows Vista (64-bit) which has Office XP (which I think is Office 2002). I know that beginning with Office 2007, the default file extensions for Word, Excel and PowerPoint are docx, xlsx and pptx, respectively, and that prior versions of Office cannot open those files unless they install the Office Compatibility Pack.
     This relative was recently emailed some docx and xlsx files. I installed the Office Compatibility Pack and now they can open the docx files. But they still cannot open the xlsx files; when they try they get an error message saying "This file is not in a recognizable format" and then Excel opens but its full of gibberish (see screen-shot).
     I thought maybe they needed to have have Office Service Pack 3 installed. I checked Windows update but it said there were no updates available, which made me think I must already have it installed. But just to be sure I installed the service pack anyway. No change.
     Why can't they open xlsx files?
ExcelGibberish.doc
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Question by:john8217
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39697242
Back in those ancient days, Windows Updates and Office Updates were separate. There are 3 Service Packs for Office XP (all downloadable) and I think you can go the an Office XP tool and run Updates under Help or something like that.

So look for updates in Office XP and then look also for Microsoft Update on the XP machine in IE 8 as it is possible Microsoft Update (distinct from Windows Update) may run the Office Update.

Make sure Office is up to date.

Also run an Office Repair from within one of the Office applications.

... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:andrew_man
ID: 39697318
minimize use office 2003 and Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for office 2003
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colin_Paul earned 250 total points
ID: 39711106
Hello John8217,

I want to ask one thing that when you are going to save your copy, do you have receive any alert message to overwrite or saving existing file , if yes which option you have choose yes or no.. Might be it is possible that you have select no option that's why this issue get encountered and you are facing this issue.

Now you can recover your word file by following simple steps.

Open the Office 2010 applications that you were using.
Click on File tab -> Recent.
Click Recover Unsaved Documents if you are in Word 2010, Recover Unsaved Workbooks if you are in Excel 2010 or Recover Unsaved Presentations if you are in PowerPoint 2010.

Your saved drafts folder will open in a new window. Select the file and then click Open.
In the business bar at the top of the file, click Save As to save your file to your computer.

Another way to acess unsaved file is given below:-


Open the Office 2010 application you were using.
Open a new file or any existing file.
Click the File tab.
Click Info.
Click Manage Versions.
Click Recover Unsaved Documents if you are in Word 2010, Recover Unsaved Workbooks if you are in Excel 2010 or Recover Unsaved Presentations if you are in PowerPoint 2010.

You will see the list of your unsaved files. Select the file and click Open.
In the business bar at the top of the file, click Save As to save your file to your computer.

Source(s):
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mssmallbiz/archive/2012/04/20/how-to-recover-that-un-saved-microsoft-office-excel-word-or-powerpoint-file-you-closed-before-saving.aspx

Thanks
Colin Paul
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Author Closing Comment

by:john8217
ID: 39729625
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