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  1. #1
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    Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    Since I have had Vista (before and after SP1) and Office 2007, I have the Preview Pane turned on in Explorer and it seems to work perfectly. However, if I view an Excel file and then double click it to open it, I get a message saying that Personal.xlsb is in use. Sometimes the whole menu bar is dead, not reacting to the mouse.

    Either way, all my macros are unavailable and in the View tab there is no file to Unhide (Personal.xlsb is not running). An attempt to run a macro from my quick access bar results in Microsoft Visual Basic error 400. If I then manually find and double click Personal.xlsb to open it, the Unhide button is no longer greyed out and my macros are available. I seems as though the preview process locks the Personal.xlsb even though there is no need for that file to be used for the preview. I cannot preview an Excel file that contains macros, but I can understand why that might be necessary.

    I have Excel12.xlb in C:UsersJohnAppDataRoamingMicrosoftExcel and I have Personal.xlsb in C:UsersJohnAppDataRoamingMicrosoftExcelXLSTART

    Can anyone help me to prevent Preview Pane from using Personal.xlsb so that it is available whenever I open Excel itself? I shall be most grateful; I have not been able to find any reference at all to this problem despite months of searching.

  2. #2
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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    Welcome to Woody's Lounge!

    Just a wild guess:
    - Start Excel.
    - Click the Office button.
    - Select Excel Options.
    - Click Advanced.
    - Make sure that the check box "Ignore other applications" in the General section is clear (off).

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    Many thanks for your reply, Hans. It didn't make a difference. To be sure, I enabled that feature, then disabled it.

    I am fairly sure the answer lies with the Preview Handlers. There seems to be a lot of work to do for someone in this area; few programs are catered for, even text files need a handler loaded. As far as Office is concerned, the previews did not work until I loaded Office 2007. I certainly did not fiddle with Microsoft handlers on a Microsoft system!

    I am willing to try almost anything, I have confidence in my backups.

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    Apparently the preview pane always opens a separate instance of Excel. Until Microsoft repairs this, I don't think there's much you can do about it. I'd turn off the preview handlers...

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    Hans, thanks for looking into this. I feared the answer would be along these lines. Not using the Preview Pane is too high a price to pay. However, a plan is forming.....

    If I get the message telling me that Personal.xlsb is locked (by me) I can double click a shortcut I just created to Personal.xlsb and everything them works. Presumable I am opening a second instance. The macros are availableI and I could unhide the Personal.xlsb file if I wanted to.

    Would it be possible to create a macro that runs whenever Excel is opened, checks to see if Personal.xlsb is already open somewhere and then opens it again? I think it might be called Auto_Run but I'm not sure. These steps are, in effect, what I am now doing manually. In which file should such a macro be kept, Excel12.xlb? And what would the macro consist of? I am very much a beginner at writing macros.

    Waiting for Microsoft is ultimately rewarding but currebtly frustrating.

    John

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    The problem with your plan is that the location for a macro that automatically runs whenever Excel is opened is ... Personal.xlsb. <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    Hans

    In my searching I have discovered that Excel will open any file that is located in the XLSTART folder. I have experimented and put a file in there and indeed Excel does open it when it runs. What I should very much appreciate is some help with the wording of a macro that can live in a new file that is placed in XLSTART, so that it will run Personal.xlsb, possibly checking to see if it is already open first.

    John

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    But have you tested to see what happens if you preview a workbook then open it? Don't you get a message that the workbook that you placed in the XLSTART folder is in use?

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    Hans

    I am getting closer to identifying the problem, but as far from finding a solution. Here is what appears to be happening:

    When you preview a file, an instance of Excel.exe is started, as shown in Task Manager. Double clicking the file opens it and all is well, everything works, including the loading of Personal.xlsb and any additional file in XLSTART. There are no messages. However, if you navigate away from the previewed file, that instance of Excel.exe is NOT CLOSED. Double clicking a file, the same one or a different one, opens Excel but with the blocking problem, because the first instance is still open.

    This accounts for the apparently erratic behaviour; it all depended on whether or not Excel.exe was already running in Task Manager but invisible on the surface.

    Functionality can be restored by closing Windows Explorer because this then closes the instance of Excel.exe. Or, as before, manually opening Personal.xlsb works. All in all, the problem is rooted in Explorer and the preview handlers.

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    You could try this: select Office button > Excel Options > Resources > Diagnose > Continue > Start Diagnostics.

    If that doesn't help, I fear that there is nothing we can do about this problem.

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    If you don't make many changes to your personal.xlsb, try to set the file as readonly (in explorer, after turning off the previewer temporarily). It might circumvent the problem.
    Jan Karel Pieterse
    Microsoft Excel MVP, WMVP
    www.jkp-ads.com
    Professional Office Developers Association

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    Or combine that with the other suggestion and have a read-only workbook in XLSTART that does nothing but open Personal.xlsb from another location? That way you can at least keep Personal.xlsb freely editable.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    Hans

    Thanks for the suggestion. I ran the diagnostics and everything came up smelling of roses, not too surprising because I try to keep my machine as lean and clean as possible.

    I shall just have to wait for Microsoft to discover the problem and slip in a fix with some future update. Meanwhile, thanks for a stimulating session.

    Regards

    John

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    Re: Preview Pane blocks Personal.xlsb (2007 on Vista SP1)

    This is in reply to both pieterse and rory - thanks to both.

    Setting Personal.xlsb to read only does not change any behaviour. I did manage to create a file in XLSTART that just opened Personal.xlsb which I had relocated in a folder under Documents. It worked OK apart from leaving Excel open with no blank sheet, but I was able to add another line to the new file cause a new workbook to open. So far so good. But, having once previewed an Excel file, Explorer keeps that instance of Excel open and this thwarts any attempts to get round the issue.

    I am quite convinced now that this is a Windows Explorer problem that affects Excel and is not directly an Excel problem. It does the same thing with Word. I checked and there is an instance of Winword running after a doc preview and it stays open unless you close Explorer. In this case it doesn't seem to affect my setup or use pattern with Word.

    I do have a question open with Microsoft on this subject and I promise that if anything useful comes of that I shall let you know. The whole process has been far from zero outcome, I have learned a bit even if it wasn't what was inteded. Thanks.

    Regards

    John

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