Friday, 5 September 2014

Having to open Excel spreadsheets twice

For as long as I can remember I have had an issue on my work laptop where if I open a spreadsheet, Excel will open but only the application. I then had to open the spreadsheet again in order to view it.

Most solutions I cam across said to uncheck the "Ignore other applications" setting in excel options but this didn't work in my case.

Today I came across this blog post by JClermont which has resolved my issue.

  1. First, open any folder in Windows XP.
  2. Click on the Tools menu, and choose Folder Options.
  3. From the dialog that pops up, click the File Types tab. You will now be presented with a list of all document types recognized by your computer.
  4. Scroll down to XLS, select it, and click the Advanced button. Now you'll see several "Actions" registered for Excel worksheets.
  5. Usually, Open is the default (indicated by being in bold). Select "Open" and click the Edit button.
  6. The main piece of data in here is the field labeled "Application used to perform action". This should point to your Excel executable, followed by some command-line arguments. Here's how it appears on my PC: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\EXCEL.EXE" /e "%1"
  7. It is very important to make sure that the %1 is surrounded by quotes. %1 is the variable representing the full path and file name of the document you are opening. If it contains any spaces, and this is not surrounded by quotes you will get a flurry of weird errors.
  8. "Use DDE" is normally checked. Now, make sure that "DDE Message" is empty. Click OK.
  9. Click OK back at the Edit File Type dialog. Click Close on the Folder Options dialog.

In my case, the "Application used to perform action" was missing the "%1" parameter.

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