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Microsoft KB Archive/102338

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Excel: "Cannot Open Normal Multiplan Document" with Text File

Last reviewed: September 12, 1996
Article ID: Q102338

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 2.x, 3.0, 4.0, 4.0a


When you attempt to open a text file in Microsoft Excel, if the second character of the file begins with an ASCII character in the ASCII range 234 to 239, you may receive the error message "Cannot Open Normal Multiplan Document."

When you choose Help in the error message dialog box, you will receive a message stating that Microsoft Excel cannot open a file in normal Multiplan format and suggests that you open the file in Multiplan and save it in the SYLK file format. This help message is misleading since the file is in the text file format.


To determine if a file is in the Multiplan file format, Microsoft Excel checks the second byte of a file. If the second byte of a text file is in the range of approximately EAh-EFh (or 234 to 239 decimal), Microsoft Excel interprets the file as a Multiplan file and will display the above error message.


To work around this problem, open the file in a text editor and insert a blank line at the beginning of the file. Inserting a blank line will ensure that there is no ASCII character in the range 234 to 239 (decimal) in the second byte of the file.


"User's Guide 2," pages 147-149

KBCategory: kbusage


Additional reference words: 2.00 2.01 2.10 2.10c 2.10d 3.00 4.00 4.00a
2.1 2.1c 2.1d

Last reviewed: September 12, 1996
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