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.

Invalid Names when Opening Workbook

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 29, 2017)

3

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.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Updating Calculated Fields in a Form

When creating a Word form, you use special form fields to collect information from users. You can even perform ...

Discover More

Shading a Cell Until Something is Entered

Conditional formatting provides the opportunity to get very creative with your formatting. One such creative urge can be ...

Discover More

Determining Mouse Cursor Coordinates On a Graphic

Add a graphic to a worksheet as part of an Image object, and you can use some very handy event handlers to figure out the ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Limiting Who Can Delete Data

Excel allows you to protect your worksheet data in several different ways. Unfortunately, it doesn't allow you to protect ...

Discover More

Renaming a Workbook

Renaming a workbook from within Excel can seem daunting, but it is actually quite easy. All you need to do is use the ...

Discover More

Printing a List of Named Ranges

You already know that you can define names that apply to different ranges of cells and other elements such as formulas. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 0?

2013-05-19 05:17:20

Nguyen Thanh

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,


2012-12-10 04:44:01

DaveK

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


2012-12-08 15:36:11

Tim

How to display "the add-ins that are being loaded?"

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


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.