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 December 8, 2012)

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

Keeping Table Rows Together

When you create a table that extends beyond a single page, you may want to make sure that the information in a table row ...

Discover More

Grouping and Ungrouping Objects

When you add multiple graphic objects in a worksheet, it can often be beneficial to group those objects together. Here's how ...

Discover More

Setting Consistent Column Widths in Multiple Tables

Tables are great for organizing and presenting information in a document. If you have a document containing multiple tables, ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Creating Default Formatting for Workbooks and Worksheets

Not satisfied with the way that default workbooks and worksheets look in Excel? You can easily create your own defaults for ...

Discover More

Automatically Hiding the Personal Workbook

If you leave your Personal.xls workbook visible from one Excel session to another, you may find that you unwittingly make ...

Discover More

Creating Individual Workbooks

Workbooks can contain many worksheets. If you want to pull a workbook apart and create a whole series of workbooks based on ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 0 + 7?

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.