XL2000: Errors Saving to an Earlier File Format When Transition Formula Evaluation Is Enabled

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Article ID: 215281 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you save your file, you receive one or more error messages similar to the following:
A formula in a cell (Cell:B7) could not be converted because it contains a function that is not available in the file format to which you are saving. If you continue the save, the formula and result will be saved, but the function itself will be converted to an error value.
followed by:
Microsoft Excel cannot convert some of the cells. The total number of errors found is 3.
followed by:
Filename may contain features that are not compatible with File format. Do you want to keep the workbook in this format?
Where Filename is the name of the file that you are saving and File format is the file format in which you are saving the file.

If you choose to save the file following these error messages, then when you reopen the file, Excel will convert the formula in the cells referenced to:


This problem occurs when the following conditions are true:
  • You saved your file to one of the following file formats:

    • Microsoft Excel 5.0/95 Workbook
    • Microsoft Excel 97-2000 & 5.0/95 Workbook
    • Microsoft Excel 4.0 Worksheet
    • Microsoft Excel 4.0 Workbook


  • Your worksheet contains any of the following functions:

    • MIN
    • MAX
    • STDEV
    • STDEVP
    • VAR
    • VARP


  • The Transition formula evaluation check box on the Transition tab of the Options dialog box is selected.


To work around the problem, use either of the following methods.

Method 1: Disable Transition Formula Evaluation

To disable Transition Formula Evaluation, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Transition tab, click to clear the Transition formula evaluation check box, and then click OK.

Method 2: Use the Corresponding "A" Function

For each of the functions listed in the "Cause" section of this article, Excel includes a set of functions that are designed to be 100 percent compatible with Lotus 1-2-3. These functions are known as the "A" functions because all of the function names end with the letter A.

For additional information about using the A functions, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
205548 XL2000: Using A Functions in Microsoft Excel 2000


Article ID: 215281 - Last Review: October 7, 2003 - Revision: 3.0
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
kbprb KB215281

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