Excel Macro Issue

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Photo Jeanne
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Excel Macro Issue

Post by Photo Jeanne » Sat May 11, 2013 1:02 pm

Our local camera club has a problem with an Excel file that contains macros. The file originated on a PC (poor guy), is next used by me on my Mac. I then have to copy that changed file and give it to a different person to use on a different PC (another lost soul). Here's what the originator says about the file and the problems.

"The procedures now in place will not work, obviously. MAC computers do not recognize certain elements of PC computing. Saving from one to another ignores some parts and then eliminates them when saving. The jist of this is that Jeanne (that's me) cannot send a completed/renamed file to Ed (the other lost soul). This being the way it is (‘cause I don’t own a MAC to build and test …) He goes on to make some suggestions as a work around.

My question, if there's someone who knows everything about crossing platforms, is why won't it work from a Mac to a PC as written? Any help is appreciated here.

Thanks,
Jeanne

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Excel Macro Issue

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat May 11, 2013 1:44 pm

Does the file open for you intact? Are you using Excel for Mac, or opening the file in Numbers? If Excel, is your copy at the same version, generally? I mean, are you trying to convert to a different Excel file type and back? What are the actual symptoms after you modify the file? What, exactly, are you modifying?
This statement "MAC computers do not recognize certain elements of PC computing." doesn't really make any sense. [Never mind that it's "Mac," not "MAC." :) ] Excel files should cross platforms fine. This sort of file sharing goes on all the time in businesses, and Microsoft advertises that ability heavily.
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Photo Jeanne
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Re: Excel Macro Issue

Post by Photo Jeanne » Sat May 11, 2013 6:26 pm

I open an empty file in Excel and fill in the data. Then I save it as a macro-enabled file and give it to the next person. I'm wondering if the version of Excel I have (the latest version of Office for Mac) isn't backward compatible with the next person's version. Could that be causing the problems?

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Excel Macro Issue

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat May 11, 2013 9:52 pm

Photo Jeanne wrote:I open an empty file in Excel and fill in the data. Then I save it as a macro-enabled file and give it to the next person. I'm wondering if the version of Excel I have (the latest version of Office for Mac) isn't backward compatible with the next person's version. Could that be causing the problems?
Yep.
If the Windows recipient is using an earlier version of Excel, that is to say one that uses an earlier Excel file format, that's probably the problem.

In Word, this would be like creating a .docx file (the current Microsoft standard), then using a Microsoft converter in Windows to make it into a .doc file (the several-year-old Microsoft standard), and then opening that file in Windows. If that's a fair comparison, then I'd say the file-format conversion is the issue.
In Word, you have the choice of saving in the older .doc format. That might be a way to go here. Another test you might do is to see if the Windows person can create the file and then send it to you. You can modify it and send it back. That might leave the file in the older format.

It's not just a file-format problem. Microsoft may well have added features to Excel that older Excel versions can't read.

My wife, who works at Peninsula College, says she sometimes deals with Excel files created in Windows, edits them on her Mac (filling in cells), then sends them back, and there's no problem. But they're likely all using the current Excel file format.

The current versions are Office 2013 for Windows, released on October 11, 2012; and Office 2011 for OS X, released October 26, 2010.

The issue, I suspect, is that Microsoft made a radical change to their file formats for Office. They did this because European governments threatened to legislate against any use of Microsoft products unless Microsoft's file formats were future proofed to some degree.
But even before that, Microsoft file formats have been notorious for not being backward compatible and Microsoft software has been notorious for not reading older Microsoft files. I have dozens of Word files the current version of Word can't read, even if you use the trick of using the Open File menu item. (TextEdit can open them!)
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Jim Martin
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Re: Excel Macro Issue

Post by Jim Martin » Sun May 12, 2013 11:03 am

Would Open Office help in this case?

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JerryFreilich
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Re: Excel Macro Issue

Post by JerryFreilich » Sun May 12, 2013 10:07 pm

You guys are jumping all over the place. Visual Basic was the Excel macro language for many years. Microsoft, in its wisdom decided to delete it from the Mac version in Office 2004 (or thereabouts). My understanding is that it is now back in Office 2011. The first question I would ask is if the macros are actually USED in the spreadsheet in question. I've had many older spreadsheets, created on a PC, where the file opens on the Mac and makes a big fuss about macros not running .... but in actuality the macros were not USED and are not necessary to open, view, and work with the file. So the first big question is... are the macros needed to see or view the thing you need?

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