Microsoft KB Archive/174658

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XL: "Merge Handler" Error Message Dragging Files into Briefcase


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel 97 for Windows
  • Microsoft Excel 2000

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if a problem occurs. For information about how to do this, view the "Restoring the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring a Registry Key" Help topic in Regedt32.exe.


When you a drag a file that is not a Microsoft Excel version 7.0 or Microsoft Excel 97 file into a briefcase, you may receive the following error message:

Update Briefcase
'<Filename.xls>' will not be updated because its merge handler cannot be loaded.


This problem occurs if both of the following conditions are true:

  • The file you are dragging into the briefcase opens by default in Microsoft Excel 97.


  • The file is not saved in the "Microsoft Excel 5.0/95 Workbook (*.xls)" format or the Microsoft Excel 97 workbook format.


To correct this problem, use the appropriate method for your situation.

NOTE: If the Microsoft Office 97 SR-1 Patch is installed, it is necessary to remove a registry key in the registry. To remove the registry key, use Method 2 instead of Method 1.

Method 1: Use If SR-1 Patch Is Not Installed

If you have not updated Office 97 by running the SR-1 Patch, remove Office 97, and then install the Office 97 SR-2 Replacement CD. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. On the Start menu, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add/Remove Programs. In the list of installed programs, click Microsoft Office 97, and then click Add/Remove. If you installed Microsoft Office from a CD, you are prompted to insert the first CD.

If a dialog box notifies you that programs are running, quit the programs, and then click OK.

  1. In the Microsoft Office 97 Setup dialog box, click Remove All.
  2. When you are prompted to remove shared components, click Remove All.

If you are prompted to restart the computer after Setup is finished, do so.

  1. Install Microsoft Office 97 SR-2.

Method 2: Use If SR-1 Patch Is Installed

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it.

If you have updated Office 97 by running the SR-1 Patch, follow these steps:

  1. On the Start menu, click Run. In the Open box, type "regedit" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK.
  2. In the Registry window, click the plus sign (+) to the left of the following keys, in order:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT CLSID {00020820-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} Roles

Then, click the yellow Reconciler folder on the left. The text that appears in the status bar should be the following:

\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00020820-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} \Roles\Reconciler

  1. On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click Yes to delete the key.
  2. On the Registry menu, click Exit.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Microsoft Office 97 for Windows. This problem was corrected in Microsoft Office 97 SR-2 Replacement CD.

For additional information about SR-1, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q172475 : OFF97: How to Obtain and Install MS Office 97 SR-1


This problem occurs because the Xlrec.dll file attempts to use the shared workbooks functionality that is built into Microsoft Excel 7.0 and Microsoft Excel 97 to share the workbook in the briefcase. Other file formats that are opened in Microsoft Excel do not support the shared workbooks functionality and thus have no merge handle to load. This functionality was changed in the Microsoft Office 97 SR-2 Replacement CD so that all files formats that you open in Microsoft Excel can be shared in a briefcase.

For additional information about the error message, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q161445 : OFF97: Errors Appear When Dragging Files into a Briefcase

Additional query words: XL97

Keywords : kberrmsg
Issue type : kbbug
Technology : kbExcelSearch kbExcel2000 kbExcel2000Search kbExcel97Search kbZNotKeyword3

Last Reviewed: October 22, 2000
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