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Since the 1980s, I've worked with computers, watched them grow, shrink, change and improve. I've worked with a lot of users and solved a lot of problems in that time too, so I thought this would be a good place to share some of the random things I've found and solved. If you have some odd problem, email me. If I can figure it out I'll post the answer here.

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Location: Mansfield, Texas, United States

I am a veteran computer geek, but I prefer the term 'Hired Gun', since that gives the (misleading) impression that I know what I'm talking about. I have worked on all sizes of system as an engineer, developer, technical support and operations, and at all levels from Operator to CIO.
I have some certifications, but what they are depends on what Microsoft is calling them this week.

If you have a question, and don't mind the answer being posted, email me here, removing the spam stopper.

Friday, April 13, 2007

SYLK File Format Error in Excel

Here's one you'll like.

1) Create a simple file that looks exactly like this:

ID, name, Address
123,Sally, 123 Fake Street

Make sure the CASE is accurate

2) Save the file as test.csv (or any csv file), so that it will open as a csv file in Excel.

3) Try and open it in Excel. If you followed the instructions correctly, it will not open. Instead you will get an error something like:

"SYLK: File format is not valid"

4) Now, open the file in Notepad. Change ID to id, or change it to DI if you prefer.

5) Save, and try and open again in Excel.

Why does this happen?

According to Microsoft, "This problem occurs when you open a text file or CSV file and the first two characters of the file are the uppercase letters "I" and "D"

here's the full text of the article:

This is one of those things you may never encounter, but if you do when you're on a project and you can just say "Oh that old thing? ha!" and fix it, people will think that in emergencies, you walk on water. Rather than just passing it....


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