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12.9. "PrecisionTree has detected ... a workbook saved in Excel 2000-2003 format"

Applies to: PrecisionTree 5.7 and newer in Excel 2010 or newer

I have Excel 2010, 2013, or 2016, and I opened a PrecisionTree model that is in .XLS format. I get this message:

PrecisionTree has detected that you have opened a workbook saved in Excel 2000-2003 format which is not 100% compatible with the current version of Excel. PrecisionTree can automatically correct this problem by shutting down and reopening the workbook a second time. Choose 'Yes' to allow this operation. (If you resave this model in the current Excel format, you will not see this message again.)

Why is this message appearing, and what should I do about it?

In Excel's Advanced options there is a setting "Cut, copy, and sort inserted objects with their parent cells". PrecisionTree turns that property off, so that you can perform certain types of edits without corrupting the model. Unfortunately, if you open an .XLS workbook in Excel 2010 while that property is turned off, shapes are liable to be corrupted anyway. This is purely an Excel 2010 issue, which can occur even when PrecisionTree is not loaded.

To work around the problem, PrecisionTree simply needs to reopen the workbook while that property is turned on, then turn the property off again. Why does it display the prompt, rather than just silently do that? Because if your workbook is passworded, you will get another prompt for the password. Or, if you have macros set to perform certain actions when the workbook is opened, they will get performed a second time; and so on.

How do you prevent the prompt? This issue occurs only when opening .XLS files in Excel 2010. Therefore, if you simply save your file in .XLSX format (or .XLSM if it contains macros), and then use the new format instead of the .XLS format, you will never see the warning again.

Last edited: 2015-10-19

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