Using ACNE with Excel 2007 or 2010

ACNE was originally developed to run in Windows XP and with versions of Excel that used the .XLS format (97 & 2003). Excel’s file format changed to the .XLSX format with the release of Office 2007 and continues with Office 2010. Both ACNE and Excel need some adjustments to make ACNE work properly. Without these tweaks ACNE will produce worksheets with 1-million-rows, about 127MB in size, and will take a month of Sundays doing so. Fear not – this is easily fixed.

ACNE and Excel …

1. Go to Excel options … in 2007 …


…or Excel options in 2010 …


2. Set Excel to save as Excel 2003 format (XLS, not XLSX) by default…


3. Also make sure it creates 3 worksheets. That is the default setting …


In ACNE, when you specify the name of the spreadsheet to save, make sure you type the “.xlsx” extension. You have to type it –  the dropdown list of file types (all one of them) will save it with the .XLS extension but it will actually save the file as the newer format.


If you leave the extension as .XLS then it will actually save it as the latest version but when opening Excel, it will warn you that the file extension does not match the type the file is saved as. This won’t break anything but it’s not a good look if you’re sending these file to people you are trying to not unimpress.

As an aside, notice how I named the spreadsheet in my example? This format makes it very easy to keep track of all the different cable schedules. In a nutshell …

  • ACNE = whatever you’d like to call the spreadsheet
  • yy = the year
  • mm = month. Always use 2 digits so it sorts properly
  • dd = day. Always use 2 digits so it sorts properly
  • x = today’s version. I use a-z. When you get to z you’ve had enough – go home.



It’s a little tedious but with these workarounds ACNE will happily generate cable schedules in using the latest version of Excel.

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