Thursday, December 01, 2011

FIXED! Mac and Excel 2011 -- Can't open XSLX, PPTX, or DOCX files

Have spent HOURS trying to figure out why I get the above error, "Excel cannot open this file.  The file format or file extension is not valid."  every time I try to view an XLSX/PPTX/DOCX file in an email attachment.

I've completely uninstalled Outlook 2011, done system traces to see what I could find, view all sorts of logs, re-installed multiple times, etc.  Even upgraded to Lion.

Turns out, it was the NAME of my hard drive causing the issue.  Go figure.

To check this, go into Disk Utility and see what the name of your HD is.  If it doesn't have ABC123 characters, change the name.  In the example below, it just shows ":" as the name:

To change the name of the drive, just RIGHT CLICK and select SHOW IN FINDER, then rename it as you would any normal file.


Pattiinscottsdale said...

I love you! When I first read the fix, I thought no way, but it worked!! Thank you again

MBenn said...

Thank you for posting this fix. I can now use Excel on my Mac.

Sanders said...

This error also occurs when accessing xlsx files on a network drive. In that case copy the file to a local drive and you will be able to open it.

Casey Newlin said...

I also had this problem when accessing xlsx files on a networked drive/server. I disconnected from the server and reconnected, and then was able to open the files.

sassylou said...

Had this problem. Changing all scripts and files to use .xls (the good old fashioned way) did the trick. Let's face it MS can't fix this issue..there is plenty of stupid reasons floating around why this does not work. Some are network sharing issues to how you name your hard drive. But lets also face that MS has demolished perfectly working programs and have not made them better..but have made them removing features and becoming less graphic friendly. As far as I'm concerned Office 2004 was the last great version of Office. You had toolbar control, Macro control and better control over how your graphics might sit in word...not graceful..but controllable.