Microsoft KB Archive/107568

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XL: Pipe Symbols Disappear When Exported to Lotus

Article ID: 107568

Article Last Modified on 8/15/2003


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q107568


In Microsoft Excel, when you are working with a Lotus 1-2-3 sheet that contains pipe symbols (|), if the pipes are used for display purposes and are entered as text (label) and they are preceded with a single quotation mark, the pipes will be altered when you open them in Microsoft Excel and then resave them in a Lotus file format.


To duplicate this situation, follow these steps:

  1. In Lotus 1-2-3, create a .WK1 file that contains a pipe symbol entered as a label. Type the following in some of the cells in Lotus 1-2-3:


NOTE: You must include the single quotation mark that precedes the pipe symbol.

  1. In Microsoft Excel, open the .WK1 file.
  2. In Microsoft Excel, choose Save As from the File menu and save the file in a .WK1 file format.
  3. In Lotus 1-2-3, open the .WK1 file.

Although the pipe symbols are not displayed, they are still in the document: they are entered without the single quotation marks ('). When the pipes are entered this way they are considered sectional printing code symbols in the sheet; this situation may produce unexpected results when you print your document.


To work around this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Open the file in Microsoft Excel.
  2. Select all cells containing the pipe characters preceded by apostrophes ('|).
  3. From the Format menu, choose Alignment.
  4. Under Horizontal, select the General option.
  5. Save the file in the .WK1 file format.
  6. Open file in Lotus.

The pipes remain as labels and are visible.

Any combination of Alternate Formula Entry, Alternate Expression Entry, and Alternate Navigation Keys will have no net result on the pipe symbols when the file is saved in a .WK1 file format.

Additional query words: 4.00 vertical lines fill character

Keywords: kbconversion kbprb KB107568