Please help with this simple MS Excel problem!!
October 29, 2007 9:04 AM   Subscribe

MS Excel Problem: CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP? I am a very average PC user having unable to open spreadsheets. I borrowed a copy of MS Office Professional from a friend, but it did not install Excel properly. I no longer have access to those installation CDs. Whenever I try to open a spreadsheet, it prompts me for the CD's. So I bought Excel 97, installed it fine, but still when I try o open a spreadsheet it automatically tries to open it with the XP Professional version... How so I get around this to just use the Excel 97 version now on my computer??
posted by writingjulie to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Uninstall the XP version?
posted by enobeet at 9:08 AM on October 29, 2007

Uninstall XP, definitely. It might share files with the Excel 97, so you might have to reinstall the version you own after you uninstall XP.
posted by rocket_johnny at 9:15 AM on October 29, 2007

Uninstall the XP version. When trying to read from the installation disks, Office wants CD with the original CD-key or it won't accept the CD.
Alternatively, if you browse to the folder, Right Click --> Open With --> Either choose 97 Excel if it's there, or Choose Program. Hypothetically speaking, the Excel 97 program should be in the list of programs to choose from. If not, you'll have to browse to the installation folder (click the Browse button) and fine the Excel 97 the executable file. I don't have Office 97 on me, but it should be in C:\Program Files\Office [some variation]. If you don't uninstall XP, you'll have two Microsoft Office folders and you'll need to check to see which one's for 97.
Be sure to check the "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" to avoid going through this again.
posted by jmd82 at 9:17 AM on October 29, 2007

Like jmd82 says, you can always choose which program you want to open a file with. Just right-click and choose "open with." It shouldn't be hard to find Excel 97.

Good luck.
posted by koeselitz at 9:19 AM on October 29, 2007

Not what you asked for, but you might try OpenOffice if all else fails.
posted by cmiller at 9:24 AM on October 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Just right-click and choose "open with." It shouldn't be hard to find Excel 97.

You might have to hold down shift while you do that to get the "Open with" option to appear. When you do, check the box marked "always use this program to open..." and you will never have to go through this again.
posted by caddis at 9:30 AM on October 29, 2007

Open it in Google docs. Or Openoffice as cmiller suggested.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:47 AM on October 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Or, you could start Excel 97 by itself first, and then open the file from inside Excel 97.
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:20 AM on October 29, 2007

Excel 97 shares several registry points with excel 2003. You would be best served going thru the control panel, add/remove programs and remove all of the microsoft office files and then reinstalling office 97. If the spreadsheet you're working with is a newer version it can be saved in a format for older versions of excel. Also reiterate the option of using Open Office which will open and interact with any excel file you have.
posted by ptm at 12:23 AM on October 30, 2007

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