help! can't open Macbook created xls files on iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jigbyjim, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. jigbyjim macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Location:
    Huddersfield UK
    #1
    Hi, Hoping for some advice. I'm running a macbook pro on OS Maveriks and an iMac on Mountain Lion. (I know I'm not very up to date with the OS but I have some older software running that I don't want to have to upgrade). Long and short of it is: Files I have created in Microsoft office Excel on my Macbook will not open if copied across to my iMac. They will open fine if i just open from the external hard drive but if i actually copy or move the file they become Read only or something and refuse to open unless i do it in Numbers. I have the same version of MS office installed on both machines. i have tried opening the "Get-info" window and making sure all permissions say read-and write but I still can't open them unless I do it from the external drive. Any help would be amazing as its really annoying.

    Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 16.19.06.png
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    You're running into permissions problems between the two computers.

    How to fix this:

    1. Connect the hard drive to the iMac, but do not "open" the icon yet
    2. Click ONE TIME on the hard drive's icon to select it
    3. Type command-i (eye) to bring up the "get info" box
    4. At the bottom right of the info box, there's a lock. click it and enter your password.
    5. To the left of the lock, in the "sharing and permissions" area, there should be a checkbox named "ignore ownership on this volume"
    6. Put a checkmark in the box, and close the get info window.

    Try copying the files to the iMac now, and try opening them, etc.
    Does this change things?
     
  3. jigbyjim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Location:
    Huddersfield UK
    #3
    Thanks for replying.
    Just tried the steps you outlined and it still won't work. It will open fine on the iMac if i leave the files on the external but as soon as I Move or copy them i get the 'cannot be accessed' message. They will open in Numbers without a problem but it messes up some of the formatting. Its as though something changes in the copying/moving process.
    just tried plugging the external back into the MacBook: it will open from both the external and still works if i copy it back onto the machine just can't seem to make it work on the iMac. The Mackbook is on Maveriks and the iMac is still on mountain lion would that make a difference?
    Its all accounting stuff that i just need to keep backed up somewhere hence needing to be able to copy them to another location.
     
  4. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #4
    MS Office files on Macs and Windows computers need to have the same name and path. Check the name of your boot drive/volume and compare it to the source drive, and do the same with the file path - as in, if it was created in the Mac's (without the quotes) "Macintosh HD/Users/specific user name/Documents" file path, the hard drive/volume name on the destination must also be "Macintosh HD" and should be located in the Documents folder as well.

    You need to keep in mind that you're not opening an Excel "file", rather an Excel "package" that contains preferences and an XML file that includes location/contents/formatting for the package file - it's been this way for years.

    A fairly significant property of Excel files that can be overlooked is the file path references embedded within a workbook. The original file may have an invisible unlock file present on the external and original drive/volume that may not be on the destination drive/volume. The original file may also be referring to one or more externally-linked files present on the source drive/volume that are not present on the destination drive/volume.

    Also, I'm assuming your using Excel 2011. Please include the application version next time - no offense, I've been using Excel since version 4 when it was Mac-only and each version has it's unique features.
     
  5. Kcetech1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    #5
    Excel 4.0 was on both platforms I remember using it on MacOS and Windows 3.11 for Workgroups back in 1992.

    I nave not had this issue on the older OSX but with Sierra I am having a bitch of a time copying certain files from Office 2016 and a custom application for interior design pricing between machines.
     
  6. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #6
    Gah! I'm old. Just finished up a meeting with my biz partner - friends and collaborators with him since '75 (ouch) - he told me we started with Excel 1, not 4, and it was version 1.5 I started diving into at University in '88. I skipped the Windows versions until version 5, when I was diving into VBA and programmed runtimes for light rail alignments for the transit agency I was working for at the time. I saw one of my first managers at that agency just a few hours ago while staff were righting a derailed pair of LRT cars due to the icy conditions - I'd recognize Harry's bald spot anywhere! When I interned at Boeing, we used Lotus 1-2-3 so I was insulated from using Win Excel from '88-'92…

    Back on point - don't "copy" these files, rather, duplicate them or save them (using the Save As Command), leaning toward the latter option as a preference - those package files are location-specific.
     

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