trouble opening excel spread sheets

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bird4274, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. bird4274 macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2010
    I am new to Mac so bear with me. I am running Microsoft Office for Mac 2004. I run a Nascar league and have 36 separate spread sheets for each race. They are all stored in a folder in my documents, just like when I had a PC. The problem is that when I try to open the sheet from documents folder by double clicking it the header or toolbar for excel opens but not the spread sheet. The only way I can get the spread sheet to open is by clicking on the open folder symbol on the toolbar and then a pop up window appears that looks like finder, and then I have to choose the file again.

    Why can't you just open the file from documents folder.

    Also when I attach the spreadsheet to an email, then double click the attachment on the email, the spreadsheet won't open either. I have asked the guys in my one to one class and none of them seem to know what the problem is. One teacher suggested to re-install Office, which I did but didn't help.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks, Robin
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    I don't have an answer for you, but my work Dell does this as well, running Office 2007.
  3. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    Office for Mac has been giving me a lot of trouble (but not your problem), and the only solutions I have found to work are either:

    1) Reinstall OS X, update it, install office


    2) Just use Open Office (

    I know this isn't the answer you were looking for, but it may be something worth considering. If you have excel in your dock, what happens when you click and drag the file to the excel icon?
  4. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    MR User nadyne might be your best bet
    Works for the Mac Business Unit for MS

    Check here and send a PM

    Always been helpful and kind to me
  5. bird4274 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2010

    I just tried that and nothing other than excel header or toolbar opened, but no spreadsheet.
  6. bird4274 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2010
    additional Info

    I just made a mock spread sheet in excel and then tried to open it from the documents folder and it did open by double clicking it.

    Then I open one of the spreadsheets I am having problems with, copied the info on the sheet into a new spreadsheet to see if the new sheet would open from documents folder, but it still wouldn't open.

    So it seems it is a problem with the actual spreadsheets I made. :(
  7. jwkay macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Try right-clicking (or CTRL-click) on one of the troublesome files and select "Get Info". What program is stated under "Open With:" ? If it's not Excel, select this from the menu, and also try using the Change All... button which should help with all your other files.
  8. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Maybe your Excel preferences file (.plist) is corrupt

    In 10.5.8 it's found in Users/MyUserName/Library/Preferences/Microsoft

    I also have in Users/MyUserName/Library/Preferences

    If you have both, try this one at a time:
    Move plist file to Desktop when Excel is not running
    Go into Excel (this creates a new plist file)
    Try to open a balky document
    Did it work?

    If not, try a different user account.
  9. bird4274 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2010
    Thanks JwKay and Gregg. I tried both of your suggestions but they didn't work. I am the only user on this Mac so maybe I'll try to open the files on husbands MacBook Pro.
  10. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    You don't seem to understand the user account thing. I'm saying that there may be a mysterious problem with your user account. Since the problem wasn't the plist file (which is in your user account) it might be something else that I have no idea how to diagnose.

    Generally, the next step after that fails is to log in to your computer under another account. Frequently, that account will work just fine. Then you have to go through a process of transferring files out of the original account before you get rid of it. If you don't have a second account, you'll have to create it.

    If you take the files to another computer, and they work fine, but still don't work on yours, all you've proven is that there's nothing wrong with the files themselves. That will bring you back to the conclusion that there's something wrong in your user account.

    Hoping that explanation helps...
  11. bird4274 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2010
    It's Working

    I went to my One on One class and the instructor worked the whole session on it, but couldn't figure it out.

    At the end of the session my sales guy came up to ask how I like the computer, and I showed him the problem I was having. He suggested upgrading my office software to 2008 office, I didn't want to pay for the upgrade because I have a friend getting me one thru a college discount, so we downloaded the 30 day trial and it now works just fine.

    Thanks for all your suggestions and help.


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