HomeTroubleshooting@RISK for Excel: Simulation"The Excel name "..." has a character not in the current code page."

4.48. "The Excel name "..." has a character not in the current code page."

Applies to: @RISK 5.0–7.0 only

When I try to run a simulation, I get the error message

The Excel name "..." has a character not in the current code page.

with some name shown within the quotes.

You have one or more Excel names that are not in the character set for your Windows regional settings. For example, you'll get this message if you have any of the Western European regional settings, and an Excel name contains Asian or Greek letters.

Your best solution, if you have a current maintenance contract, is to upgrade to the latest version. Starting with 7.5.0, @RISK has improved Unicode support so that code pages are no longer a concern. However, if you don't have a maintenance contract and don't want to purchase an upgrade, you can use one of the following solutions.

Suggestion 1: If you have any workbooks open that are not part of your simulation, close them and try the simulation again. If the message doesn't appear again, then the problem names were in the unneeded workbooks that you closed. (In a simulation, @RISK simulates all open workbooks.)

Suggestion 2: You could change the Windows Region and Language settings to match those of the person who sent the workbook to you. If you don't want to do that, or don't have privilege, then you will need to edit the workbook so that all the names use only valid characters for your regional settings.

Note: The message tells you which Excel name is a problem, but not which workbook it's in. Therefore, if you have multiple workbooks open, you'll need to follow these suggestions for each open workbook.

Suggestion 3: If you have Excel 2007 or later, try converting the workbook to XLSB format. This worked for one customer, and it's easier than the suggestions below, so you may want to give it a try. (As a bonus, you may find that large files open faster, according to When should the xlsm or xlsb formats be used? at StackOverflow.com.

  1. Click File » Save As. Change "Save As type" to Excel Binary Workbook, and also change the name if you wish.
  2. Close Excel. (You must close Excel, not just the workbooks.)
  3. Reopen @RISK, open the saved XLSB workbook, and try a simulation.

Suggestion 4: Inspect the names in Name Manager, as follows:

  1. Get into Excel's Name Manager:

    • Excel 2000 to 2003: Click Insert » Name » Define.
    • Excel 2007 to 2016: click Formulas » Defined Names » Name Manager.
  2. Scan the list for any non-Roman characters. They sort alphabetically after the Roman letters, so any name that seems to be out of alphabetical sequence is worth a closer look. (You want to scan the whole list, because if there's one problem name there may well be others. If you miss any, you'll get the message again when you try a simulation.)

  3. Change any problem names to all Western European characters, and make the corresponding changes in your formulas.

  4. Save your workbook, probably under a new name so that you can go back to the original if you need to.

Suggestion 5: If you can't find the problem name, it might be hidden. Here are three alternative ways to find and remove hidden names. Use caution in deleting names. If the logic of the workbook depends on the name, then it will not work correctly if the name is deleted.

Last edited: 2017-05-08

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