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Cannot edit word with excel embedded object

Posted on 2014-01-16
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Last Modified: 2014-07-21
Hi all, I have a client that is unable to edit a word document that has an excel object embedded in it. He has office 2010. He gets these files all the time, he is able to open the ones from last year. The ones from last year have a .doc extension. The ones this year have .docx. Tried changing the extension to .doc, still no luck. He sent me the file, and I am unable to edit the file either. I have disabled all com addins, still no luck. I am not able to convert the object to anything else either. if I copy the object and paste it into another word document, it works. That is not an option cause there are too many of them to have to copy. Screenshot of error message is attached. I have been all over the net, no luck, so I am here seeking your help. I tried changing protected view options, unchecked and checked Ignore DDE, still nothing. Not sure why he is able to still edit the old ones and not these new ones. Heck, as I mentioned, I am not able to edit them either. My co-worker is able to edit it
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Question by:xzay1967
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Assisted Solution

by:Angelp1ay
Angelp1ay earned 500 total points
ID: 39788674
Changing the extension is merely claiming the file is a different format. In fact the structure of the data inside the 2 file formats is completely different - you can't just change a docx to a doc by changing the file extension.

You can however use Word to save to different formats. If you open the docx in Word and use save as it will write the data out in the other format.

- Have you tried opening the docx and using save as doc?
- Does your client have matching versions of Word and Excel?
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Expert Comment

by:Angelp1ay
ID: 39788751
Another idea. When you disabled all COM add-ins did you do it in Word or Excel? I think Excel is the critical part!

Maybe try opening a blank excel, disable all COM add-ins then close and try opening the doc again.
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Expert Comment

by:Stacy Brown
ID: 39789298
We've seen this error in the office.  We had to open Excel, open Word, open the file from within Word in order to work on them.

I don't know if this will work for you, but that's how we worked around the error.
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Author Comment

by:xzay1967
ID: 39790196
Thanks for all the responses.
He has matching versions of word and excel. There is only one suite installed, 2010.
I have tried saving as a doc, and it yielded the same error.
Oddly even though I went this route before, but I disabled the com add-ins and was able to get it to work Here is what I observed:
Opened word doc, double clicked on embedded object, error appears. Launched Task Manager, excel is running in background (as it should). Even more odd, is that the com add- in in question, had always been there when he was able to edit the files in the past year. The only real difference with the files he is getting this year is that they are .docx vs .doc. While he is able to use the file with the com add-in disabled, I would prefer a more permanent solution. The com add-in is mandatory for him to have. Luckily working with this type of file is not an every day function. The add-in is called F9, and he uses it to connect to some source to do his financial number crunching in excel. I showed him how to enable and disable it as his needs dictates. He is ok with that.....for now.
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Angelp1ay earned 500 total points
ID: 39790400
Theory 1

I'm assuming if you just open Word that when you need to edit the object it fires up Excel which starts loading add-ins and the add-in is just taking too long to do something.

Did you try this sequence?
- Open Excel
- Open Word
- Open document
- Try to edit embedded object

Perhaps this allows the add-in to load in advance.

Theory 2

I guess the another possibility is that the add-in tries to do something each time an excel sheet is loaded. Your embedded object is probably like any other worksheet to excel, just not displayed through the Excel UI.

Perhaps the new Word exchanges data with Excel in a slightly different (richer?) way which has pushed this processing step over some timeout limit? The old docs would still work because they don't possess the richer data in the documents.

If this is the case I don't think you have much option - the add-in manufacturer would need to optimise their code.
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Author Comment

by:xzay1967
ID: 39848672
This is still an issue, and so far the only workaround is for me to disable the add-on fir him whenever he needs to work with that file. At this point the moderator can delete this question, but I do appreciate the efforts of everyone.
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Author Comment

by:xzay1967
ID: 40209968
Upgrading to the latest version fixed the issue..well temporarily. Once we applied SP2 to office, it broke it again lol.
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