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Reporting Services issue when exporting to Excel

Posted on 2015-01-22
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Last Modified: 2015-01-26
Background:
We recently moved from SQL 2005 to SQL 2012.  This means reporting services also as it was on the same box.  

Issue:
Some reports when you export to excel are getting a strange message when opening them.   “Excel found unreadable content in “Active Price Page.xlsx”.  Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook?  If you trust the source of this workbook, click Yes.
If you click yes it does remove some columns so the end use can no longer trust the report.  Like I said before the reports having this issue didn’t have any issues before the move to SQL 2012.  
What I’ve tried:
I thought I may need to redeploy the report after converting it to the newer version of Visual Studio but it didn’t work.
Remove any special formatting in the report but that didn’t help either.
We then exported to CVS which works but isn’t a solution we want to use permanently.
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Question by:abarefoot
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I solved this myself.  The issue was with the new version of Excel not playing nice with the report.  To fix this I simply gave the users an option to save the file in the older xls Excel format.  

You have to edit the reporting services config file.
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSRS11.MSSQLSERVER\Reporting Services\ReportServer\rsreportserver.config

Then add '2003' so users can know the correct one to select and change false to true so it will show up as an option for the users.  See  below.

<Extension Name="EXCEL2003" Type="Microsoft.ReportingServices.Rendering.ExcelRenderer.ExcelRenderer,Microsoft.ReportingServices.ExcelRendering" Visible="true"/>
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