Microsoft Excel - What is up with Excel asking to save the changes on a workbook that was saved already?

Asked By chaz d'chaz on 27-Jun-14 02:14 PM
A spreadsheet is manipulated on Excel 2007 and sent to us. We open it in Excel 2010, do nothing to it, and attempt to close it.  Then we get a "Do you want to save the changes you made to 'blah_blah_blah.xlsx'? (Save, Don't Save, Cancel).

This is an issue because stuff is happening programattically and it's wigging out the user, who is oversensitive by nature.

Since I'm supposed to be the expert, it sort of falls on me to explain what's happening (in addition to fixing it, which is easily accomplished by programitically saving it), so I think it's incumbent upon me to understand the process better.

Thank in advance.
Robbe Morris replied to chaz d'chaz on 27-Jun-14 02:27 PM
The explanation is quite simple.  Microsoft does stupid crap like this.  One of the more annoying "features" of Microsoft Excel.  Excel has done this for years and still does it in the most recent version.  It will do it even if you are opening the same version.  Ugh
chaz d'chaz replied to Robbe Morris on 27-Jun-14 02:38 PM
Agreed, but here's what's curious:  It doesn't happen on their 2007 version.  So we're back to wondering what exactly the differences are...
Robbe Morris replied to chaz d'chaz on 27-Jun-14 02:47 PM
I suspect that when 2010 opens a 2007 file, it changes the file to update the version.  This probably triggers some sort of "changed" flag internally.  I'd also bet they have bugs in there that are triggering the changed flag when calculations run when the file is opened.
Harry Boughen replied to chaz d'chaz on 27-Jun-14 04:22 PM
Hi chaz d'chaz,
One possible cause is that the workbook contains dynamic named ranges.  In that case if you turn off automatic calculation the 'problem' goes away - but then if you do make changes and you want to see the results you have to manually recalculate (F9).
chaz d'chaz replied to Robbe Morris on 30-Jun-14 03:51 PM

Not sure about what you mean by "bugs" but I believe you are correct about the behavior of 2010 vs. 2007.  It appears from the MS site that, when opening on the same version the workbook is created on, recalculation may not necessarily take place, but it absolutely will when opening on a version subsequent to the created version.  I don't know about version updating, but they claim the old workbook is "fully optimized" for the new version by doing this.

That answers the user's question, for now.

chaz d'chaz replied to Harry Boughen on 30-Jun-14 04:08 PM
Thx, Harry.  Turning off autocalc also prevents Excel from forcing a global recal per my post above, so, yes.

But your post made me curious, so I removed all name references from the original (2007) file and tried again, but no difference -- the prompt appears because there are still formulas present.  But they aren't dynamic ones, so it doesn't really apply.

Harry Boughen replied to chaz d'chaz on 30-Jun-14 05:48 PM
Hi chaz,
Thanks for the feed-back.  I never did use 2007. All of my old files are from 98 but the only ones that exhibit this effect are those that have dynamic named ranges in them.  I sort of theorised that it was because it had to work out the ranges and thus it thought it had done a calculation and so needed to be saved.  Just another idiotsyncrazy from MS perhaps.