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Buggin' Out #1: Hyperlinks in Excel .xls Files

2 August 2016

Microsoft updates means new and improved features, but it also means the odd bug slipping through. In this incidental series we cover some of the recent known issues that have cropped up and how to fix and / or circumvent them.

Hyperlinks in Excel .xls Files

Some users have discovered that old Excel 2003 / earlier (.xls) files containing hyperlinks open in Protected View after having been saved on a Windows 10 machine.

To test whether you are affected by this known bug, perform the following steps:

  1. Open an old .xls file format with a hyperlink inside it
  2. Save the file as an .xls on a Windows 10 machine
  3. Check to see whether the workbook is now flagged as potentially harmful and when it is opened again on any machine it is now shown in the “Protected View” state.

This is quite a significant bug for regular readers of SumProduct, as many of our free downloads in our Thought section have been deliberately created in Excel 2003 to ensure that all users may open our examples.

If you are affected, for Excel 2016 users, this issue may now be fixed by updating Office 2016 to any version 16.0.6868.xxxx or later. To get the latest updates, click File > Account > Update Options > Update Now.

For Excel 2013 and older versions (other than Excel 2003 and earlier obviously!) users, this issue was fixed on the June 7th update, released via Windows Update. If this has not been fixed for you, do ensure that you are set to receive Windows Updates as they become available.

We will report on other bug fixes and workarounds as and when necessary. Hopefully, this will not be too regular a feature!! In the meantime, if you experience any Excel issues and require help, do feel free to drop us a line at - we can't promise to answer every question, but we'll try our best.