Computer Related > Open Office and MS Excel Miscellaneous
Thread Author: tyro Replies: 6

 Open Office and MS Excel - tyro
Someone sent me an email with an attachment which is a Microsoft Excel workbook. On the computer that I was using at the time, I have Open Office (3.1), but not MS Office. I was unable to get Open Office to recognise or read it, whereas on computers which have MS Office installed, there was no problem.

Is this a known difficulty? What should I do - or have done?
 Open Office and MS Excel - Zero
first thing you need to do is upgrade to open office 3.2 - its much better and faster and opens more MS file formats.
 Open Office and MS Excel - smokie
No idea, but Zero's suggestion is a good start, as older versions of Open Office probably wouldn't recognise Excel 2007 format files (extension is .xlsx). I guess a later version will.

In case it doesn't, you can download a converter from Microsoft to convert the .xlsx (if that's what it is) to a regular 2003 format .xls which should import fine.
 Open Office and MS Excel - tyro
It just got worse.

Zero's suggestion made no difference at all.

I tried to do what smokie said. I googled and found the "Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint File Formats." I downloaded it and installed it.

I found that all my Word and Excel files now had new different icons, and were no longer being instantly recognised. I then removed the download through "Add/remove programs" and rebooted the computer. The icons have changed again, but are not back to the correct icons. They are still not being instantly recognised by Open Office. I guess I'll try System Restore.
 Open Office and MS Excel - tyro
System Restore didn't work. I'm not entirely surprised.

Can someone tell me why System Restore hardly ever seems to work for me? (I'm using XP).

The icons for Word documents, by the way, were changed WordPad, which was the new default program for opening .doc files. I've changed the default setting for opening .doc files to OpenOffice Writer, and .xls documents to OpenOffice Calc, and the icons are now back to what they were before. Strange.

As for the mystery file which can be opened with MS Excel 2000, but not with Open Office 3.2, it doesn't show a file extension when I unclick "Hide extensions for known file types."
 Open Office and MS Excel - tyro
I managed to solve this myself.

The mystery file would open with MS Excel, but not with OpenOffice calc. My computer was unable to identify what its extension was, even when I unclicked "Hide extensions". The file name was shown as, say, "car4playrocks", and the file type was given as "File."

So I renamed it "car4playrocks.xls", double clicked on it, and OpenOffice calc opened it perfectly. Problem solved.

Of course I'm still mystified.
Last edited by: wildernessman on Fri 26 Feb 10 at 12:44
 Open Office and MS Excel - smokie
Sounds like the extensions got stripped somewhere on it's way to you - even Excel itself wouldn't recognise them in those circumstances. (It is quite legitimate for a file to have no extension at all)

The problem is that if you de-install (or supersede) the default program for a file type, it doesn't automatically set itslf back to anything else. You can easily force it to, by right clicking a file, choosing Open With, then you choose the program from a list, and check the box to make this the default program. This will then become the default program for all files with that extension.
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