Excel files opened already by a user does not show open as read only


In office 2013 we have several users editing excel files from a server (Windows 2008) sometimes they are getting a message stating that the file is open do they want to open as read only and sometimes they do not.

Is there an option within the excel files themselves that turn on this feature?

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Zac HarrisSystems Administrator Commented:
If they are accessing the file from the server (double clicking the file in the server folder) and another user has the file open that message will appear.

If they are copying the file from the server to their local machine and opening it, that message wont appear as this is copying the file from the source in essence creating a new file. This is bad because if they edit the file then copy it back to the server, any changes made to the one that was on the server will be lost.

There is a way to lock the file to be read-only but I don't get the sense you are trying to do that.
superjohnbarnesAuthor Commented:
Hi Zac,

Thanks for the response.

What we are finding is that if users open the file direct from the server there is no message appearing.  This is happening on two different sites and two separate servers.

I was thinking that it might be to do with the protected files feature being turned off or the format of the file being .xls rather than .xlsx?
Zac HarrisSystems Administrator Commented:

If you are opening the file on different servers the message won't appear if the users are opening the file off of different servers since that's two copies of the file. However, if you mean there are two sites each with users accessing the file only on the server at that site, that's something else....

If one user is opening the file with a .xls extension and the other is opening the file with a .xlsx extension, those are technically two different files and the message will not appear.
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superjohnbarnesAuthor Commented:
Sorry Zac lets take this back a step.

Concentrating on one site, with two users, accessing a single .xlsx file on a server.  

They are not getting any messages to say that the file is open already.  My question is where excel produces this message from?  Is it a setting in the file or because the file sits on a domain server it know the file is in use.
Zac HarrisSystems Administrator Commented:
Ok that makes more sense now...

The message is produced from the actual coding of the Excel product. I looked into it and there are several instances when error shows as false-positive, this can happen if the file session is still open on the server. Sometimes they don't close out right away. Unfortunately there is no way to control the appearance of the message.

Basically the message will most likely appear any time the file has been recently opened by someone. Even if they close it, it's up to the server to "release" the file session. You can "end" a users session to the file from task manager but just make sure they don't actually need the session otherwise data loss is possible.

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under the review tab there is an option to 'share workbook', if this is set then there will be no file locking employed so no message would be generated - is it possible that someone pressed that?
superjohnbarnesAuthor Commented:
Just to follow up on this with the actual solution.

It turned out that the server was not recognising that the users had the spreadsheets open (looking in Manage open files)

I took ownership of the entire directory and sub directories with a domain admin.  Then refreshed the user permissions as well.

The server then started seeing the open documents and the read only notice came up again.
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