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Invalid Names when Opening Workbook

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Invalid Names when Opening Workbook.

Vivek received a workbook from a colleague and when he tries to open it he gets an error: "One or more invalid names were detected in this workbook. Those invalid names have been changed to #REF." This means he can't see some of the calculations. The same workbook is okay when sent to another colleague, so Vivek wonders why the workbook won't work for him but it does for his colleague.

This problem is probably due to one of two things. First, it is possible that your colleague's system has some add-ins loaded that allow the workbook to function properly, but you don't have them. The solution is to display, on your colleague's system, the add-ins that are being loaded. Write them on a piece of paper, start Excel on your system, and then make sure you have the same add-ins loaded.

The other possibility is that the workbook includes formulas that are linking to external data from other workbooks. It is entirely possible that your colleague's system has access to those other workbooks (either locally on his system or over a network) and you don't have access to them. The only way to determine this, again, is from your colleague's system. Have him load the workbook and look for external links it may contain. Figure out where that external data is located, and then make sure you have access to that same data on your system.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (5897) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Invalid Names when Opening Workbook.

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Comments for this tip:

Nguyen Thanh    19 May 2013, 05:17
I am receiving a message in newly installed Excel 2007 when opening a
spreadsheet in Excel 97 format that I never received when using Excel 2003.
The error message is:
"One or more invalid names were detected in this workbook. Those invalid
names have been changed to #REF"

However, I can't find any cells or worksheet names that show #REF. There
are no external links in this document.

How can I find where the error is coming from?

thank you,
DaveK    10 Dec 2012, 04:44
In Excel 97 (i.e. Menu interface) take the menu options Edit, Links to display the links in the workbook.

Similarly, use the menu options Tools, Add-ins to see what add-ins are loaded.

Hope this helps you.
Dave
Tim    08 Dec 2012, 15:36
How to display "the add-ins that are being loaded?"

Also, how to display a list of external links a workbook is referencing?
 
 

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