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Microsoft KB Archive/104837

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Microsoft Knowledge Base

Excel Err Msg: "Cannot Open Protected File," with Text File

Last reviewed: September 12, 1996
Article ID: Q104837

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 3.0, 4.0, 4.0a, 5.0
  • Microsoft Excel for OS/2, version 3.0
  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, versions 2.2, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0
  • Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 3.0, 4.0, 4.0a, 5.0, 5.0c

SYMPTOMS

In Microsoft Excel, if you attempt to open a tab-delimited text file that begins with the characters "C" or "K", you may receive one of the following error messages:

   Cannot open protected file.

   -or-

   Cannot open protected dBASE file.

CAUSE

This error may occur if the first three characters in a tab-delimited text file are, in the following order:

   (C or K)(any character)(return/line break)

For example, any of these sequences may cause an error:

   CA   KT   Cz   Ku  C9   K@

Note that this problem is case sensitive: "c" and "k" (lower case) do not cause the error to occur.

This sequence signifies to Microsoft Excel that the file being opened is a dBASE file. If the file is not truly a dBASE file, Microsoft Excel will be unable to convert the file into a usable format, and an error message will be displayed.

WORKAROUND

To open a tab-delimited text file with a filename that begins with the characters "C" or "K":

  1. Open the file in a text editing program, such as Windows Notepad (Windows) or or TeachText (Macintosh).
  2. Replace the "C" or "K" with any other character.
  3. Save the file in its original format.
  4. In Microsoft Excel, open the file.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

MORE INFORMATION

In Microsoft Excel versions 2.2 and 3.0, the following message is displayed:

   Cannot open protected dBASE file.

In Microsoft Excel versions 4.0 and 4.0a, the following message is displayed:

   Cannot open protected file.

In either case, the file will not open.


KBCategory: kberrmsg

KBSubcategory:

Additional reference words: 2.20 3.00 4.00 4.00a 5.00 dbf



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Last reviewed: September 12, 1996
©1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Legal Notices.