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If you automate Microsoft Excel with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET, Microsoft Visual C# .NET, or Microsoft Visual C++, you may receive the following error when calling certain methods:

Error: 0x80028018 (-2147647512)
Description: Old Format or Invalid Type Library


You receive this error calling an Excel method when the following conditions are true:

  • The method requires an LCID (locale identifier).

  • You run an English version of Excel. However, the regional settings for the computer are configured for a non-English language.

If the client computer runs the English version of Excel and the locale for the current user is configured for a language other than English, Excel will try to locate the language pack for the configured language. If the language pack is not found, the error is reported.


To work around this problem, you can use one of the following methods:

  • Install the Multilingual User Interface Pack for your version of Office.

  • Execute the Excel method or property by using InvokeMember so that you can specify the CultureInfo for the call. For example, the following code illustrates how you can invoke the Workbooks object Add method with "en-US" as the CultureInfo:

    Dim oApp As New Excel.Application()
    oApp.Visible = True
    oApp.UserControl = True
    Dim oBooks As Object = oApp.Workbooks
    Dim ci As System.Globalization.CultureInfo = New System.Globalization.CultureInfo("en-US")
    oBooks.GetType().InvokeMember("Add", Reflection.BindingFlags.InvokeMethod, Nothing, oBooks, Nothing, ci)
  • Or, set the CultureInfo prior to calling the Excel method. For example:

    Dim oApp As New Excel.Application()
    oApp.Visible = True
    oApp.UserControl = True
    Dim oldCI As System.Globalization.CultureInfo = _
    System.Threading.Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = _
    New System.Globalization.CultureInfo("en-US")
    System.Threading.Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = oldCI
  • Create a 1033 directory under Microsoft Office\Office11. Then, copy excel.exe to the 1033 directory, and rename it as xllex.dll.

    For more information, click the following link:

When you use one of these workarounds for a computer where the regional settings do not match the current language version of Office, you should be familiar with how Excel behaves and how Excel will interpret data that might be formatted for a specific locale. For more details about writing globalized Excel solutions with Visual Studio .NET, please see the following articles in the MSDN:

Creating Office Solutions for Use in Multiple Countries/Regions and Localization Issues for Solutions Created with Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a bug in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More Information

Steps to reproduce the behavior

  1. Verify that the locale for the computer is set to a language other than English.

    For Windows 2000:

    1. In Windows Control Panel, double-click Regional Options.

    2. On the General tab, select a location, and then click OK.

    For Windows XP or Windows Server 2003:

    1. In Control Panel, open Regional and Language Options.

    2. On the Regional Options tab, select a locale, and then click OK.

  2. Start Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.

  3. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Project. In the New Project dialog box, under Project Types, click Visual Basic Projects. Under Templates, click Windows Application, and then click OK. By default, Form1 is created.

  4. On the View menu, click Toolbox, and then add a button to Form1.

  5. To display the code window for the form, double-click Button1.

  6. In the code window, replace the following code

    Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
    ByVal e As System.EventArgs) _
    Handles Button1.Click
    End Sub


    Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
    Dim oApp As Object
    Dim oDoc As Object
    oApp = CreateObject("Excel.Application")
    oApp.Visible = True
    oDoc = oApp.Workbooks.Add
    oDoc = Nothing
    oApp = Nothing
    End Sub
  7. Add the following line to the beginning of the Form1 code module:

    Option Strict Off
  8. Press F5 to build and run the program.

  9. To generate the error, click Button1. The error occurs on the line that reads:

    oDoc = oApp.Workbooks.Add


For more information on Office Automation, visit the following Microsoft Office Development Web site: Additionally, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

301982 How to automate Microsoft Excel from Visual Basic .NET

302084 How to automate Microsoft Excel from Microsoft Visual C# .NET

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