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From Julien Oster <julien.os...@terrasel.de>
Subject some excel templates work, some won't work at all, and we don't quite know why
Date Fri, 23 Mar 2007 15:19:14 GMT

Relevant versions first: we're using Excel 2000 and tried out POI
versions 2.5.1, 3.0alpha3 and the current SVN version.

we're having a problem here which is very hard to isolate and which
causes us quite some headache (unfortunately it's also pretty urgent).
it seems to be something very odd, which might be a pain to debug. (or
maybe it's something really, really simple.)

stripped down to its basics, the scenario is the following: we open an
excel file, which serves as a template. then we change some strings (but
even if we don't the problem still persists, so we can leave that out
here) and then, still using POI, we output the Excel file (the
HSSFWorkbook) again.

the problem is this: sometimes it works just perfectly, which means that
we are still able to open the document with excel after it's been opened
and saved by POI (and the content looks fine, too).

and sometimes it doesn't work at all. depending on the POI version and
on the content Excel refuses to load the file with one of two errors:
"Excel cannot read the file" (translated from german because our Excel
ist german) or a complete Excel crash which causes Windows to terminate
the process without further error message from Excel.

as mentioned, this appears even if we don't change anything with POI,
just outputting an opened document again is enough.

now, the last few days, we were trying to find the exact element that
makes Excel dislike our document. unfortunately, we did so with less
than satisfying success.

in our case, it somehow seems to be connected to images. if we add
certain images, Excel refuses to load the file. but we can't find out
what's wrong with the images, why some work and why some won't.
filesize, image dimensions, format, color... doesn't seem to really matter.

to make matters worse, images sometimes are accepted and sometimes
aren't. so it's not necessarily the images themselves. quite frankly, we
don't know what it is.

ANY help would be appreciated, even if it's just telling us what seems
to be the difference between the "good" Excel templates and the "bad"
Excel templates, or the difference between the processed Excel files.

You can find four examples here:


the documents are pretty simple. the ones suffixed with _poi have been
opened and saved by the POI SVN version.

good1.xls and good2.xls are untouched Excel documents whose result after
POI processing, good1_poi.xls and good2_poi.xls, works.

bad1.xls and bad2.xls are examples for Excel documents which are fine
before being touched by POI but crash Excel afterwards. you shouldn't be
able to open bad1_poi.xls and bad2_poi.xls, at least we aren't.

as mentioned, it's urgent, so workarounds are appreciated, too.

Thanks in advance,

Julien Oster
IT Systementwicklung
terrasel software GmbH
Landshuter Allee 174
80637 München

tel:  +49 89 178991 32
fax:  +49 89 178991 50

Geschäftsführer: Dr. Matthias Baron
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executive director: Dr. Matthias Baron
register court Munich: HRB107092
place of business: Munich
VAT-No.: DE166182346

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