Formatting lost when saving in Excel 97-2003



My office desktop has Office 2007 installed, and my home has Office 2003. To
use at both places, I save my excel files in 97-2003. In a big file, i have a
peculiar problem - the formatting is lost when I open the file. I had no
problems till now and was using it normally. When i convert it into 2007
xlsx, if i close and open the file, the formatting remains. If i save it in
2003 xls, then i lose the formatting again.

Even the dates (whether typed as 11/26/2008 or today() )show as numerical

Any idea why this might happen??

Shane Devenshire


Excel 2007 allows many types of formatting that 2003 does not, all of those
will be changed or lost.

In complex files 2007 may support more styles 4000 in 2003, 65,536 in 2007
if you exceed the 2003 limit all the others will be lost for sure, but it may
be that all formats are lost if you exceed the 4000 limit. If so this is a

If this helps, please click the Yes button

Shane Devenshire
Dec 22, 2008
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Formatting lost when saving

Iam having the similar issue, with a macro enabled file. If the xls file is saved as macro enabled (.xlsm), the formatting remains. But when the file is closed and re-opened, all formatting is lost. All date and number formats are converted to text formats. Even the color of cells is lost. The strange thing is it happens on only one pc. If I do the same from someone else's machine with the same file, the file gets saved without losing any formatting.

Kinda weird.. im absolutely clueless, as to why this is happening. Any help is appreciated.




My team has the similar problem using Excel2003 where oponing the file saved
last time, all the formats lost totally left with recovered file where only
simple sum formulars and linkings amongst the sheets have changed to values.
This Excel 2003 file can be opened in Excel 2007 that only text box looks a
bit different.

We seeking your helps and thanks in advance. Warmest Regards,


May 27, 2009
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Lost Formatting in Excel 2007

Ok think I figured this out. It wasn't the conditional formatting, wasn't the .xlsx extension it was all in the links.

Specifically, if worksheet has links two things can happen. First, if the links are broken due to linked spreadsheet being renamed, deleted or otherwise made inaccessable then Excel 2007 will strip the formatting from the current workbook. Don't know why, but it does. Also, even if the linked source is still good if you change the location of the workbook you are working with it will cause the security function in Excel to shut off the links and strip the formatting.

In the 1st case delete or re-establish the links. In the 2nd re-establish the links. After doing this I was able to save and re-open my file with all the formatting intact.

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