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Known Issues

for different versions of Microsoft Office


Excel – all versions

Helpful tips for all versions of Excel

Issue Solution

After we upgraded, some older documents won't open

(legacy documents created from older templates)

You need to either:

  1. Install the Legacy Compatibility Installer, or...
  2. Migrate your data from your legacy working document to your new template
"Locked for editing"

This is usually caused by slow memory.

Simply close, then re-open the file.

Calculations sometimes don't instantly recalculate.  Recalculate  CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+F9

Some features are disabled in a protected worksheet.

Learn more

Most Systems2win templates are NOT protected.

If protected, there is no password, so simply unprotect.


When Excel is launched programmatically from any third-party application...

such as SharePoint, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, PDF, etc....

then Excel is designed to NOT load add-ins.


  1. All add-ins are disabled
  2. You might see the error: file not found: filechck.dll (bCheckActivationStatus())

Why did Microsoft do that?

Because the designer of the third-party application might not appreciate some add-in application generating some error that the user then believes is caused by THEIR application.

Please note that this is not a Systems2win thing. No add-ins will be launched when Excel is launched by clicking a link from a SharePoint server or a Word document, PowerPoint, PDF, etc.

You need to TRAIN your users how to use YOUR chosen Alternative User Interfaces.


1) Use Systems2win's normal ways to find and open your Systems2win templates, (which work flawlessly).

2) If you want to use Alternative User Interfaces, then follow our guidelines for how to design your own custom user interfaces, and train your users to use them.

Also see: How to re-enable your Systems2win add-in

Features that don't work correctly

with ANY Microsoft Excel workbook (not just a Systems2win template)

Known issue Solution
Hey Cortana If you turn on the 'Hey Cortana' voice command feature in Windows 10, Excel will take much longer to load. Learn more


NEVER trust a "repaired" document.

Use your latest unrepaired document instead.

If your original file is damaged, and you don't have a backup, then open the "repaired" document only to transcribe the data to a fresh new blank template.

The ONLY safe way to copy from a corrupted file is by using Paste Special > Values.
If you paste even one thing using regular Paste, or any other form of paste, then there is a high likelihood of transferring the corruption.

Keep dated backups

Ideally using some type of archive system, so that you keep copies of revisions with different filenames (for example appending the filename with the date)

Rather than attempting to use these Excel features that have never worked correctly...

make team communications easy by using the specially-formatted Team Communications non-printing text box found in Systems2win menu > Shapes.

Right-click shape > Order > Bring Forward or Back Use Bring To Front or Send To Back instead.

Keep your templates upgraded!

Systems2win is "all about continuous improvement", and is constantly working on your behalf to improve your tools for continuous improvement, so keep an eye on what's new, and keep your upgrades current.


Excel 2016 or 365

Excel 2016 comes as one of your optional ways to install Office 365. See System Requirements.

Amazingly, we have not yet identified any new issues unique to Excel 2016 or 365.

And some of the bugs from prior versions appear to have been fixed, but some remain.

(see prior versions below)


Excel 2013

Excel 2013 also has most of the same issues as Excel 2010 (see the next section below)

Excel 2013+ Issue — Second blank grey window

With Excel closed, when clicking a link from Windows File Explorer,
(or the desktop, or SharePoint...)
Excel either opens with a second gray blank window,
or Windows Error: There was a problem sending the command to the program

This happens because Windows doesn't work fast enough to find and open the host application (such as Excel) within a reasonable amount of time.



Simply open the same file the same way again.
Now that Excel is already open, it will work just fine.

Tip: You can simply ignore that 2nd blank grey window, but if you close it, it will also close all other open Excel documents.


Have Excel already open
before beginning to open files from Windows File Explorer.


Open your files through Excel

Excel > File > Open

Excel 2013+ Issue — New workbook opens beneath

When opening a template, Excel 2013 often opens the new workbook beneath the workbook that is currently displayed.


That's the new way Microsoft Excel 2013 opens documents.

Just know to go look for your new workbook that got opened, but not displayed.


Excel 2010

Existing users will want to upgrade to the latest version of Systems2win, and/or download the latest free update, which fixes several known issues with all versions of Excel.

Training & video: How to make Office easier to use Excel Training video

Excel 2010 issues & tips

Excel 2010 issue Solution
Shapes sometimes appear zoomed to 100% when the remainder of the page has a different zoom.

As of March 2009, we brought this to Microsoft's attention, and they have acknowledged it as a bug, but have not yet announced when it will be fixed, so we changed all of our templates to start with 100% zoom — to eliminate this bug.

View > Zoom > 100%.
Then View > Zoom > to the percent that you want.
The shapes will now be sized correctly.

Training video: Issue: Zoom bug Excel Training video (1 min video)

Because Microsoft has no intention of fixing this bug, we revised most Systems2win templates to start with 100% zoom. And then you can manually change to any zoom that best fits your screen.

If you forget to use the special button in the Systems2win menu to 'Protect Sheet',
then when you unprotect then re-protect a sheet, it unchecks the checkbox to 'Edit Objects'.

(And then you can not select or edit any shapes, pictures, charts, or other objects)

Version 14 and higher has special buttons in the Systems2win menu to 'Protect Sheet' and 'Unprotect Sheet'.

These buttons overcome Microsoft bugs.

Or (old version):
When you unprotect, then re-protect a sheet, you must manually select the checkbox to 'Edit Objects'.

(which is at the bottom of the list, so you need to scroll down)

Even if you correctly use the Systems2win
Copy Sheet utility...

(instead of Excel's bug-prone normal way of copying sheets)

in a new workbook that you have just created
(or copied)...

when copying sheets between workbooks — Excel can simply crash.

If you close and then re-open Excel after creating a new workbook — this bug is eliminated.

From then on, you never have to worry about it with that workbook. You don't have to do this every time that you
re-open your saved workbook.


If no printer is set up, when the Generate Report button is pushed in the Work Instructions workbook, it gives "Left Footer property" error. Set up a printer — even if only a PDF virtual printer.
After running Print Preview,
the Systems2win menu disappears

Restart Excel to get your Systems2win menu back.

And to avoid this in the future — don't click Exit to get out of Print Preview. Instead, simply click any one of the other tabs in the Ribbon bar (such as the Home tab).

Charts sometimes require manual alignment

Charts on the Gantt Chart and Standard Work sometimes need to be manually re-aligned.

In the OEE template — the headers in the chart table for the Summary by Date chart are shifted one column to the left.

This is a Microsoft bug that we can't fix programmatically on our end... and is pretty easy for a human being to make the "mental shift" to correlate the correct header with the next column over.

If it really bothers you, on any given Filter worksheet that has already been generated by clicking the Generate Filtered Worksheet button... you can manually change all the chart data ranges to exclude the horizontal thin gold lines.

This will remove the problem for the one Filter worksheet containing known data — but would mess up your ability to create new Filter sheets if you were to do this on your master OEEFilter worksheet.

Some day Microsoft might simply release an update that resolves this bug, and it will magically work like it did in Excel 2003.


Excel 2010 issues that are resolved when you upgrade

Issues resolved when you upgrade
Excel 2010 issue Solution
Your Office Updates might not be up to date.

If you experience any problems not itemized here — then updating to the latest Release Service Pack will often resolve the problem.

Excel > File > Excel Options button > Resources > Check for Updates
Charts on a copied worksheet still reference the data on the originating worksheet.

The user will usually just notice that "the charts don't work".

Office Updates have not been kept up to date on this computer.

Excel > File > Excel Options button > Resources > Check for Updates

When copying an entire cell between worksheets, images sometimes don't paste correctly.

They paste in a very collapsed format — so that they are invisible unless you use the Select Objects Arrow to highlight them.

On August 12, 2010, and again in March 2012, we released bug fixes for our Work Instructions template, and with version 16, we introduced the ability to adjust the number of milliseconds of delay when pasting images, by manually adding the following to your Systems2win.ini file:

(or any other number of milliseconds. 1000 milliseconds = 1 second)

If you run into this bug anywhere else, use the Select Objects Arrow to highlight the collapsed images, and then stretch them back to normal size.

Compatibility Checker dialog comes
up with warning that there will be
"Significant Loss of Functionality"
if you save your file in .xls Excel 97-2003 compatibility format.

This affects only legacy templates before version 12, when all macros were eliminated from Systems2win templates.

Most of these warnings are simply wrong.

It itemizes the functionality that might be lost, so you can test it for yourself, but you will find that there is usually no loss of functionality.

Many Systems2win customers routinely save all of their Excel files in .xls 97-2003 compatibility format — and everything works just fine.

See tips for choosing file formats

After selecting a shape that is a macro button, it isn't easy to de-select it.

After selecting a macro button shape, you need to select some other non-button object in order to de-select the button.

Note: All macro buttons have been eliminated as of Systems2win version 12.

Error: "There are not enough system resources to display completely"

This bug only affects files saved in .xlsm or .xlsb format. The same file will work just fine when saved in .xls or .xlsx format.

This only affects legacy templates prior to version 12, when Systems2win eliminated macros from all templates.

Save your files in Excel 97-2003 compatible .xls format

(because this bug often affects only .xlsm and .xlsb files)
Learn more

Microsoft has attempted to troubleshoot this rarely surfacing bug, and has only been able to conclude that "there must be some hardware driver somewhere that gets stuck in a loop somewhere".

If your computer is one of the few that experiences this problem, their recommendation is to simply save your files in .xls format.


When you double-click to open your downloaded file,
if you see this 'Protected View' message bar...

and you click the button to Enable Editing...

If your workbook closes, and you see a dialog saying either:

"You are experiencing the Microsoft Protected View bug",

or (in earlier versions)...
"This Systems2win template appears to have been intentionally altered"...Protected View warning bar

then you are experiencing a known Microsoft bug.

Or... your workbook might not close, and you see a dialog saying:

"Method wait of object... failed."

More details:

This Microsoft "protection feature" appears when attempting to open a Microsoft Office file
(an Excel, Word, or PowerPoint file...) that has been downloaded from:

  1. an email attachment, or
  2. the Internet

    (and because the Systems2win portal uses a browser user interface, it is treated as "the Internet",
    even though your master templates are stored on your own local computer or network)

and you saved that file to a folder not marked as a Trusted Location.


Solution 1) Upgrade.

As of August, 2015, the Systems2win portal pages now include
Microsoft's 'Mark of the Web', which (usually) eliminates the Protected View message from appearing when you open your templates from your Systems2win portal.

If your Annual Maintenance cycle is not coming up soon, then you don't have to wait.
You can use any text editor (such as Notepad) to edit the html pages found in the 'nav' folder of your S2winPortal folder (where your master templates are stored).

Simply replace this line of code near the top of each html page:

<!-- saved from url=(0014)about:internet -->

with this one:

<!-- saved from url=(0016)http://localhost -->

And also in August, we added some code to greatly reduce the probability of Protected View crashing Excel. Download latest free update.

Solution 2) Simply reopen the file.

Simply double-click the same file (that you already downloaded).

It will (usually) now work.
Microsoft recently added a new "feature" that sometimes crashes Excel,
so be sure to close all open documents first.

Do not re-download it from your portal,

(because that would overwrite the original file, and start all over)

just double-click the same file that you already downloaded.

(perhaps saved in your browser's download folder?)

Solution 3) Save your working documents in a Trusted Location. This is often the best option.

When you get in the habit of saving your files in a Trusted Location,
you not only eliminate the Protected View dialogs,
you also eliminate Microsoft's other (non-value-add) Security Warnings.

Solution 4) Unblock the file (leaving Protected View enabled for other files).

In Windows Explorer or My Computer,
the file > Properties > click the button to Unblock

Solution 5) Disable Protected View.

Excel > File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings button > Protected View

Uncheck the first 3 checkboxes.

Protected View

Slow to select a large number of columns

On a worksheet that is protected, with the option box checked to allow the user to insert hyperlinks...

when you select (and then try to do something with) a large number of columns...

it could take several minutes before Excel 2010 allowed you to continue.

There is only a small time delay when selecting rows. Long delays are only experienced when selecting a large number of columns.

This bug happens only in Excel 2010 and higher, and only under the circumstances defined above.

This bug does not exist in:

  • all lower versions of Excel
  • worksheets that are unprotected
  • worksheets protected with the Insert Links option box unchecked

In January 2012, the Microsoft development team closed this bug as a "won't fix" — with the possibility of addressing it again in the future.

If using a Systems2win legacy template version 11 or lower...
here are a few suggestions for how to deal with this Microsoft bug that occurs only in Excel 2010 and higher:

  1. Upgrade your Systems2win templates.
    In October 2014, (version 12), we gave up hope that Microsoft will ever fix this bug,
    and changed protection settings so that any protected sheet requires the user to unprotect the sheet to be able to Insert Hyperlinks.

    In January 2012, we reduced or eliminated this bug in most templates.
    You might need to transcribe your data from your old working document to a copy of the new template.

  2. Unprotect the worksheet,
    then reprotect it again after working with a large selection of rows or columns.

    (If a Systems2win template is protected, it is usually without a password — so you can simply unprotect it. The only exceptions are the VSM-PowerTool and and VSM-Supply Chain Map.)

  3. Change the worksheet protection.
    Unprotect your worksheet, then reprotect it, unchecking the box for Insert Hyperlinks.
    And then if and when you need to insert a hyperlink...
    unprotect your worksheet to insert the hyperlink, and then reprotect the sheet (so that you don't accidentally mess up formulas as you work)
  4. Rather than selecting entire columns, select just the cells you need.

    Example: If you want to hide or unhide some columns, select just the cells in one row — spanning the columns that you want to hide or unhide. And then Home tab > Format > Hide & Unhide > Unhide columns.

  5. Simply wait.
    You can work on something in another application while waiting for Excel to unfreeze.
  6. Ctrl+Alt+Delete > Start Task Manager > then End Task Excel
    (You will lose any unsaved changes)
  7. Send feedback to Microsoft — using your own words
    and your own case history to reinforce our request to fix this bug — being sure to reference Case # REG:111101449093725 first submitted by Systems2win in October of 2011.


Excel 2007

Systems2win version 17 and higher no longer supports Excel 2007.


Excel 2003

Systems2win version 12 and higher no longer supports Excel 2003.


International Language versions

Systems2win templates are compatible with most language versions of Windows and Office.

Limitation of language version Solution

International Dates

if a date is entered in the Formula Bar,
Excel can freeze

Enter the date in the cell itself —
rather than in the Formula Bar.

Compile error in hidden module: MRibbon

when you have Chinese, Korean, or Japanese regional locale selected.

Quick fix:
Control Panel > Region > Administrative tab > Change System Locale button
select English (United States)

or any language that works correctly (which is most non-Eastern)

Issues resolved when you upgrade
Compile error in hidden module: MGlobals

Quick fix:
Control Panel > Region > Formats tab >
Additional Settings button > Decimal Symbol

must be a period, not a comma

Permanent fix: Install the free update

In international versions of Excel,
pop-up help displays fewer words than the English version
(thereby cutting off some longer help text)

View the entire text:
Data > Data Validation > Input Message tab

Tip: From here, you can also copy and paste to Google Translate.

Some Systems2win templates version 5 and lower do not work with the German version of Excel. Upgrade your Systems2win templates


Features disabled in a protected worksheet

Due to Excel limitations, the following functions are always disabled in any protected worksheet.

Solution to eliminate ALL of these issues:

Most Systems2win templates are NOT protected.

If protected, there is no password, so simply unprotect it.

Feature disabled Solution
Insert > Hyperlinks

Unprotect the sheet.

Fill > Series Unprotect the sheet, or...
Create your fill series in an unprotected worksheet, then copy it
Edit > Replace Unprotect the sheet, or...
Use Edit > Find, then manually replace
Insert > Picture Unprotect the sheet, or...
Paste a picture copied to clipboard instead
Format > Sheet > Background Unprotect the sheet, or...
Paste a picture copied to clipboard instead
Format > Cells > Alignment > Merge Cells Unprotect the sheet, or...
Use a text box for odd-size data — snapped to grid so that it looks and acts just like a merged cell
Format > Style > Add, Modify, or Delete Unprotect every sheet in the workbook, or...
Use Systems2win's pre-formatted styles, or format cells without using styles.
Tools > Spell Check Unprotect the sheet, or...
Copy any suspect words (or the entire worksheet) into an unprotected document to check spelling
Tools > Error Checking and Tools > Formula Auditing > Trace Errors Unprotect the sheet, or...
Use Formula Auditing Mode, and Evaluate Formulas instead
(And Systems2win has already programmed 99% of the formulas you need, so being locked is actually a safety feature to keep you from messing up your formulas)
The only thing you can do from the Data menu is Sort These features would mess up any Systems2win template that is copy protected, so this is actually a safety feature. And for that matter, be very careful when using Sort.
Data > Import External Data Unprotect the sheet, or...
Use simple formulas that link one spreadsheet with data from another


Word – all versions

Limitation of Word Solution

When you try to open a Word template through the Systems2win menu in Microsoft Excel, you get:

Error: Cannot activate S2W_OpenTemplate2

Open Word, then try again
(using Excel > Systems2win menu > Systems2win Templates)

There are a few known issues with Word Numbered Outlines. See Systems2win help for Numbered Outlines.



Known issue Solution

Any browser:

The Systems2win Portal home page opens in a text or Word format - rather than opening in your chosen default browser.

Someone changed your default program settings.
(and made a poor choice)

Control Panel > Default Programs > Associate File Type or Protocol with a Program > .htm > choose your browser

Any browser:

If your browser does not give you the option to open a file immediately after downloading it...

Someone must have changed your browser default settings,

so you need to set up your browser to easily download files.

Google Chrome:

When following a link from a Microsoft Office document (such as Excel, Word, or PowerPoint...)

if the link is to a bookmark within a page (rather than the top of the page)

then Google Chrome has a bug that only takes you to the top of the page.


In the browser address bar, click 'Enter' again.

It will now take you to the bookmark within the page.

Internet Explorer:

When following a link from a Microsoft Office document (such as Excel, Word, or PowerPoint...)

if the link is to a bookmark within a page (rather than the top of the page)

then Internet Explorer has a bug that will generate a 404 error.


See our 404 error page

for a full description
of the Internet Explorer "bookmark bug",

and solutions for how to quickly get around it,

and how to permanently eliminate it.


Or use a different browser.
Internet Explorer is the only browser that has this bug.

Internet Explorer:

Warning: This program is not commonly downloaded and could harm your computer.

(or some similar warning that this program might be dangerous...)

and then there is no obvious way to override — to install a trusted installation file despite Microsoft's dire warning.



The file is safe to download. 

The message is an indication that the file is not in the list of commonly downloaded programs. 

Per Microsoft’s site:

“It doesn't necessarily mean the website is fraudulent or that the program is malware, but you probably shouldn't download or install the program unless you trust the website and the publisher.”

This is Microsoft's extremely overprotective way to try to get software developers to pay extra money to sign their code.

Microsoft calls it "SmartScreen Filter" or Phishing Filter.

How to turn it off:

Internet Explorer > Tools > SmartScreen Filter > Turn Off SmartScreen Filter


Report possible new issues

Request Microsoft to fix known issues





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