Excel Error – Unable to read file followed by file format or extension is not valid

Sometime, the users suddenly start getting the error- “Unable to read file.”, every time a new excel sheet is opened.
In such situation, generally, the error appears every time the user opens an existing or even new excel file.

On clicking OK, another error is displayed as below.

When clicked Ok, the file opens fine.
Following is the solution which worked for me:
  1. Search for the “XLStart” folder in machine. It can also be at multiple locations.
  2. C:UsersAppDataRoamingMicrosoftExcelXLStart

  3. Delete the file – “~$Book.xltx”. or other corrupted file as displayed in the message.
  4. Open excel again to verify that the error message is not displayed now.

How To Find If The MS Office Version is 32 or 64 Bit?

Whenever we need to install a new software or tool, the most basic question one need to answer is to find the MS Office version installed. So, want to find if you’re running the 32 bit or the 64 bit Office 2010? 
Following are the steps to  find out:
1. Open any MS Office application – Word/Excel/Power point or any other.
2. Click ‘File’ Menu.
3. Click at ‘Help’.
4. The Office version is displayed on right hand side as highlighted in red box.

ms office version

MS-Excel 32 Bit
And it’s done! Quite easy right?
The steps to find the version would be almost similar for all office applications and any windows version. 
Hope it helped.
Also check the below link for more posts related to MS Office:

Save a powerpoint presentation as a template

Many times, we choose a presentation template and apply some changes to suit our need. In fact, most of the companies have a predefined template for presentations to be used. This is achieved by creating customized templates and saving them as template files. A template file (.potx/.pot) saves all the customizations made to slide masters, slide layouts, and themes to reuse in other presentations.

When we create a presentation, and then save it as a Power Point Template (.pot) file, can be reused more than once. Thus saving the presentation as a template offers the following advantages:
  • The exact slide layout can be used in other presentations
  • The template can also be to existing presentations to quickly update the way they look.
  • The template can be used to quickly create a new presentation.
  • The template file can be shared with friends and colleagues.

To save the presentation as a template:
  1. On the File menu, click Save As.
  2. In the File name box, type a name for the template.
  3. In the Save as type list, click PowerPoint Template (.potx/.pot). As soon as the type is changed to power point template, the default location(might be different for different windows and office versions) “C:UsersName>AppDataRoamingMicrosoftTemplates”. Copy and save the path somewhere for future, in case the template does not appear by default in the list while creating new templates.
  4. Click Save.

Multiple Time Zones in Outlook Calender

Many times, we interact with people in other parts of the country or in other countries. Time differences make it difficult to stay connected — never mind actually trying to get work done together. You’ll be glad to know that Outlook can help you keep track of their time as well as your own.
Two separate time zones can be displayed in the Calendar. The two time zones can be, for example, your local time zone and the time zone of a city that you often travel to. The second time zone is used only to show a second time bar in Calendar view, and does not affect the way in which Calendar items are stored or displayed.
 Below are the steps along with snapshots for Outlook 2010
  1. Go to File in the pull-down menu in Outlook and select ‘Options’
  2. Select the ‘Calendar’ option
  3. Scroll down to Time Zones
  4. Name the default time zone
  5. Check to show the second time zone
  6. Name the second time zone and set the time zone and Click OK at above step. Two time zones are now visible in Calender
For Outlook 2003, Following steps would apply:-
  1. Tools Menu -> Options
  2. Click Calender Options
  3. Click Time Zone

How to recover an un-saved Microsoft Office Excel, Word, or PowerPoint file

How often have you faced a situation when you worked upon a new MS office excel/word/PowerPoint file and accidentally close the document before saving or worse lose power and the system shuts down – not your fault? I am sure there would not be a single person on this planet that never had this crunch.
Here is the good news…. 🙂
Microsoft Office has a fantastic feature built in where it can recover unsaved new documents!
To use this feature, ‘Auto Recover ‘ and “Auto Save” features should be enabled. Below are the steps to do so:-
1.     Click the File tab.
2.     Under Help, click Options.
3.     Click Save.
4.     Make sure the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes check box is selected.
5.     In Word 2010, Excel 2010 and PowerPoint 2010, make sure the Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving check box is selected.

Below are the steps to take to recover your unsaved new document in Microsoft Office Excel, Work, or PowerPoint 2010 if you inadvertently close it before saving it:

1.     Open the Office 2010 applications that you were using.
2.     Click the File tab.
3.     Click Recent.
4.     Click Recover Unsaved Documentsif you are in Word 2010, Recover Unsaved Workbooks if you are in Excel 2010 or Recover Unsaved Presentations if you are in PowerPoint 2010. 

5.     Your saved drafts folder will open in a new window. Select the file and then click Open.
6.     In the business bar at the top of the file, click Save As to save your file to your computer. 
Below are alternative steps to access these files:
1.     Open the Office 2010 application you were using.
2.     Open a new file or any existing file.
3.     Click the File tab.
4.     Click Info.
5.     Click Manage Versions.
6.     Click Recover Unsaved Documentsif you are in Word 2010, Recover Unsaved Workbooks if you are in Excel 2010 or Recover Unsaved Presentations if you are in PowerPoint 2010. 

7.     You will see the list of your unsaved files. Select the file and click Open.
8.     In the business bar at the top of the file, click Save As to save your file to your computer.

Another alternative!!!  Depending on the operating system, files may also be browsed at following locations:

  • Windows 7/Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
    C:Documents and SettingsUser_NameLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOfficeUnsavedFiles 

I read somewhere, Ctr+S is still your best friend…:D