Article ID: 211919 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q211919
When you try to open an attached file that is sent to you in an e-mail message, you may receive the following error message:
where <file name> is the name of the file that you are trying to open.
<file name>: file format is not valid
This problem occurs when the following conditions are true:
To use the routing features of Microsoft Excel, you must route between compatible versions of Excel that all the recipients are using. If you want to send the workbook to all recipients at once without requiring routing features such as tracking or notification of returning, consider sending the workbook as an attachement to an email message instead of using routing. Before you send the workbook as an email attachment, first save the workbook in the file type that the recipient's version of Microsoft Excel will read.
Method 1: Use the Same Version of ExcelIf you need to use routing features, the sender and recipients must all use a version of Microsoft Excel with the same file format such as Excel 97 and Excel 2000. This way the workbook can be opened and the routing features can be used.
Method 2: Manually Send an E-mail AttachmentIf you want to route the workbook to all recipients at once, but not track status or return the workbook to you when it is done (all the advanced features of Microsoft Excel Routing), follow these steps:
When you route a workbook in Microsoft Excel, the workbook is always routed in the workbook format for the version of Microsoft Excel that you are using.
For example, if you route a workbook by using Microsoft Excel 97, the workbook is sent using the Microsoft Excel 97 format.
ExampleAssume that you route a workbook to a group of users and you are using Microsoft Excel 2000. The following table lists the users that appear on the routing slip and the versions of Microsoft Excel they are using:
User Version -------------------------- John Microsoft Excel 2000 Mary Microsoft Excel 7.0 Sue Microsoft Excel 5.0 Tom Microsoft Excel 97 Dave Microsoft Excel 7.0
John and Tom can open the routed workbook, save changes, and route the workbook to the next user. However, Mary, Sue, and Dave cannot open the file because they are not using a version of Excel that can read the Excel 97-2000 workbook format. They receive the error message described in this article. In this case, you cannot route this workbook to users running versions of Excel earlier than Excel 97. You must save the workbook in either the Microsoft Excel 5.0/95 Workbook or Microsoft Excel 97-2000 & 5.0/95 Workbook format, and send it as an email attachment.
For more information about routing features, click Microsoft Excel Help on the Help menu, type Distribute workbooks or worksheets to other people in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.