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Error on opening Excel files created successfully by TfDA

We use TfDA 2.5.1 and have several automated jobs creating Excel extracts from our Oracle-based Psoft system. Some of these jobs have been running for years without incident. I just created a new job that creates several Excel output files and it runs to completion without a problem. However, when a subsequent VBScript task attempts to open any of these files - it hits an error: “Excel found unreadable content in ‘File-namehere.xls’ Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook? If you trust the source, click Yes.”
This error is prevents the VBScript from executing. I also get the error when manually attempting to open the files. All other Excel files created by TfDA are able to open just fine. I’ve double-checked the .TAS and .TXP files for inconsistencies between earlier jobs and this most recent one and do not see any discrepancies.
Has anyone else run into this problem - and have a remedy we can try?
Many thanks in advance for any insights.

Additional info:
We use the Export Wizard to write an EXCEL FILE.
We are using EXCEL 2010.
Hope this helps.

I have the same problem and believe it is something to do with use the table object in my report along with having a description fields, which are taken from a table field with type nvarchar(MAX).

When I open the Excel format file attached to the automated email. MS Excel displays the message "Excel found unreadable content in <>. Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook? If you thrust the source or this workbook, click Yes."

When I open this Excel file some of the description fields are filled with hash '####' characters. The cells containing the description are of type 'Text' and if I change the cell type to 'General' (no specific format). This manual adjustment will display the full description as intended.

My question is; What do I need to change in my reports to prevent this error occurring and remove the need to manually adjust each time?

Thank you in advance.



Is that possible to give us your export template (txp) file and the table DDL to replicate the issue at our side? Do you concur with David that you have nvarchar(max) column in your table?



Could you please provide the following info:

  1. Version of TDA
  2. Database platform
  3. Version of Excel
  4. Export to Excel file or Excel Instance

And if possible the export template (txp) file and table DDL to us to replicate the issue.
I tried export a table in Sql Serve with nvarchar(max) column, it works fine for me.



During your testing did you make sure the nvarchar(MAX) field had a large amount of text in it?

**My details are as follows:

Version of TDA =**

Database Platform = Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (SP1) - 10.0.2531.0 (Intel X86) Mar 29 2009 10:27:29 Copyright © 1988-2008 Microsoft Corporation Express Edition with Advanced Services on Windows NT 5.1 (Build 2600: Service Pack 3)

Version of Excel = Microsoft Office Excel 2007 (12.0.6545.5000) SP2 MSO (12.0.6545.5004)

Due to corporate confidentiality I am unable to post files for item 4.


I put about 6000 char in nvarchar(max) column and exported it to excel, the file opens without issue.
Do you have data export to an existing Excel file or new Excel file?


The TDA report and automation script exports to a new Excel file in .xlsx format.

All Excel cells in the export are of type ‘Text’, but only those cells with a large amount of characters display hashes ‘###’.

Looking back I originally created this report to export in PDF and then had a request to change this report to export to Excel format. Could this be the reason for the issue?

Hope this helps.



How many char in your nvarchar(max) column? could you please send us your export template file ( txp ) file to investigate? the template file only contains metadata of export configurations so you don’t need to worry about data exposure.



If my nvarchar(max) text fields have more than 255 charactors they are displayed as hashes ‘###’.

Please see the attached export template file.

My_ExportTemplate.txp (2.17 KB)

The export template you sent is exporting some table to sql scripts so it does not help.
I have managed to reproduce the “###” display issue, this seems not happening in Excel 2010 but Excel 2007.

You can try setting the cell format of the nvarchar(max) column from “text” to “General” as suggested in this link

However, I still cannot reproduce the original issue
“Excel found unreadable content in <>. Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook? If you thrust the source or this workbook, click Yes.”

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