Excel 2007 - Cannot Open Excel File by double clicking on it

Hi,

I wanted to post a fix to a common problem I've seen.  There are many posts 
on the internet concerning this but I've only seen the true fix once.  Here's 
the problem, someone installs Office 2007 and then when they try to double 
click on an Excel file, it opens Excel but the Excel file itself does not 
open.  So, you are left looking at the Excel 2007 screen, but it is blank 
with no workbooks open (not even the default one that usually opens).  Here 
is the official Microsoft solution: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/924074 - 
however, this only fixes about 20% of the cases.  This is where you adjust 
the DDE setting.

Of course, you can leave Excel open and then doubleclick but nobody wants to 
that.  And you can to "Office Button" Open and open that way, but nobody 
wants to do that all the time.

A user named Glaswegian posted the fix which solved the problem.  His post 
is the only one I could find anywhere. So, I have to give him credit for 
solving this.  You can find his response here:  
http://www.techsupportforum.com/microsoft-support/microsoft-office-support/168818-unable-open-excel-2007-documents.html

Here's the problem that no one seems to have figured out.  The reason Excel 
is not opening is because it's hitting a startup directory file which it 
cannot resolve and so it stops there. 

Here is the location for the offending files I've fixed 3 of my users' pcs 
with:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\XLSTART

In most cases they had XLA files in that directory which were hold overs 
from a previous install or a program whose toolbar add-in is not supported in 
this version.  I think one of them is PDFMaker.xla (holdover from a previous 
version of Adobe Acrobat) - these different XLA files are probably not 
compliant with Office 2007 - hence the problem.  To fix this issue, I just 
create a folder within this directory and move them into that directory so 
they are not getting hit on the startup of Excel 2007.  Of course, if a user 
needs that XLA to start then you are going to have to find a workaround.  
Typically if they are running anything less than Adobe Acrobat 8 (assuming 
this is the offending XLA), then the file won't work and will keep Excel 2007 
from opening fully, because the Excel 2007 ribbon will not display buttons 
for anything under Acrobat 8.  Keep in mind - if you are running Acrobat 8 
you have to run all of the updates to see the buttons in the ribbon (they 
show up on a seperate tab).

Of course, the DDE example (see MS article above) does resolve a few of the 
cases, so I'm not ruling it out. 

Also - let me tell you about a totally wrong approach to this problem.  If 
you open up windows explorer/my computer and then go to Tools/Folder 
Options/File Types - then you are going to be barking up the wrong tree in 
trying adjust what programs open which file extensions.  What's worse is that 
if you make a certain change there - it won't let you reset the change and 
you get a bunch of bizarre error messages.  So, it gets to a point where you 
have to un-install Office 2007 and re-install Office 2007 - and I can't 
remember if the "repair" option even worked.  So, watch out going down that 
path, there be a lot of pain in that.

Thanks again to Glaswegian!

-Alex Zimmerhaven
0
3/25/2009 4:27:02 PM
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