"Allow editing" absent in sent EXCEL file

  • Thread starter nomadreid
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  • #1
nomadreid
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I am showing a school pupil (over the Internet) how to use EXCEL. He can work with an EXCEL file that he opens himself (on a free version of Microsoft office). However, when I send him a file (either one I opened on my computer or even one that he sent me and I send back to him), he finds that he cannot write on the spreadsheet. I know that when I am sent something in EXCEL or Word, my computer freezes it into Read-only at first with a warning that "files downloaded from the Internet can ....", but then gives me a button at the top to allow editing. His computer does not explicitly give him this option that I can see on his screen (he shares his screen so that I can check). I am not sure what to advise him; any indications would be greatly appreciated.
(I wasn't sure whether this should go in this forum or the STEM Education forum, but as the problem is technical, I opted for this one.)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #3
nomadreid
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Thanks, jedishrfu. Interesting suggestion. I will try that.
 
  • #4
Tom.G
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I have no direct experience with Excel, but two ideas come to mind:

1) Your Excel copy may be saving the file with an internal flag set for editing.
2) Try sending the file as an Email attachment. Which he saves to disk before opening it.

Please let us know what does/doesn't work.

Cheers,
Tom
 
  • #5
nomadreid
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Thanks, Tom.G. I already did #2. In #1, if you mean my Excel copy, no, as I have sent EXCEL files to other people along the same path, and they were able to write in them. If you mean his (the pupil's) file, then this is a possibility, so one possibility would be that he has to open the document, go to "File"> "Options">"Advanced" >"Allow editing directly in cells" , making sure this latter is checked. (I would be surprised, as this is usually a default setting.) (By the way, i meant "Enable editing" rather than "allow editing". ) But I am not sure. I will have my next session with him in a few days, and I will walk through this with him, including via Google docs. I will report back what worked (or didn't work) after my next session with him. Thanks in advance for following up on this if nothing works.
 
  • #6
Tom.G
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Look at this thread, especially posts 6, 10, 12:
https://www.excelforum.com/excel-general/1076243-excel-locked-for-editing-by-me.html
(above found with:
https://www.google.com/search?&q=excel+file+locked+for+editing+by+me

And there is this from (doesn't seem especially applicable though):
https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2283530-excel-file-locked-for-editing-but-file-is-not-open
(above found with:
https://www.google.com/search?&q=excel+file+locked+for+editing

Delete the owner file.
It is in same location.
It has the same file name with the first 2 characters replaced with ~$
See if that works.

Many Editors of various types create a temporary so-called 'Lock' file somewhere on the computer when a data file is opened.

If this temporary file is not deleted when the Editor closes, the next time the Editor is opened it thinks the data file is in use and refuses to edit it.
1) Sometimes just re-saving the data file then closing the application can clear this.
2) Also saving with a different name may work.
3) And you can try duplicating the file with the operating system File Copy facility.

Often, but not always, this 'Lock' file is in the same directory as the data file. Other time it can be found in the temporary or in the default directory for the Editor.

There are software diagnostic programs that can monitor ALL file accesses and detect this behaviour. Not for use by the faint-of-heart though!

Cheers,
Tom
 
  • #7
russ_watters
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I'm not sure if the free version has the same setup, but:
Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Message Bar > Show message bar....
 
  • #8
nomadreid
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Thanks, Tom. Some interesting suggestions there, and I will go through these with the pupil's father (given the pupil's limited computer literacy).

Also, thanks, russ_watters and pasmith; I was just informed by the pupil's father that the pupil was mistaken when the pupil told me it was a free version. (The financing was done via the father's employing institution. A bit too subtle for the pupil, apparently.)

russ_waters: when (on my computer) I follow that path, I have
Message bar in Excel.PNG

Are you saying that the pupil (or his father, given the warning against changing the settings at the beginning of this path) should go there to make sure that his message bar settings match these?
 
  • #9
russ_watters
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russ_waters: when (on my computer) I follow that path, I haveView attachment 281569
Are you saying that the pupil (or his father, given the warning against changing the settings at the beginning of this path) should go there to make sure that his message bar settings match these?
Yes. I think Excel just isn't showing the notification and that will bring it up.

Alternately, he could reduce the security settings so it doesn't block such content to begin with, but there is risk in that.
 
  • #10
nomadreid
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Thanks very much, russ_watters. I have just passed this on to the pupil's father, and hopefully he will, with the help of this and the other possibilities so helpfully given in this thread (for which I am grateful), get it straightened out.
 
  • #11
anorlunda
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This is a guess, not verified. If you use Save-As in Excel and save the file in an earlier Excel format, or a portable format, you could re-read the new file into Excel and edit without the lock.

1618496729284.png
 
  • #12
nomadreid
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Thanks for the suggestion, anorlunda. I will check it out.
 
  • #13
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I was just informed by the pupil's father that the pupil was mistaken when the pupil told me it was a free version. (The financing was done via the father's employing institution. A bit too subtle for the pupil, apparently.)
Just a wild guess, but is it possible that the software settings are still managed by their IT?
 
  • #14
nomadreid
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Thanks for trying, Rive, but no. I did wonder that myself, actually.
 

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