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Alteryx designer Discussions

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Cannot import XLS (97-2003) files. "External table is not in the expected format.\3274..."


I used a normal input tool, tried to import an XLS (microsoft excel 97-2003 worksheet) file I extracted using Abbyy Finereader. First I got the error "The 2017-10-10 windows security patch prevents the jet driver from reading .xls files; install the 2...". So I looked it up, found another thread here and the solution said to download and install this, so I did.


I try once again, and now a new error pops up. "Error opening connect string: Microsoft Access Database Engine: External table is not in the expected format.\3274 = -328602519. I need help. Any ideas? I am using Alteryx version 2018.3.4.51585


Does the file open OK in Excel itself?


Could you upload an example file?


Yes, it loads just fine in excel. Unfortunately I cannot upload an example as I am using OCR technology to capture sensitive data and export them to XLS. If I edit just a single byte of data by myself from the file and then save it, then it can be imported. But that does not solve the underlying issue. I need to be able to import it without re-saving it.


This to me seems like the system you are using to Export it isn't creating the XLS file quite right, as re-saving it fixes the issue due to Excel itself creating all the underlying parts needed.


Is there anyway you could export it as XLSX instead? 


The parts that you mentioned you installed are the parts that Alteryx is using, so it's not actually Alteryx itself that is getting the error is the Access Database Engine. I appreciate this doesn't help you fix it, but hopefully helps you understand what's going on.


The system I use to export does not have an XLSX option. It has an "Excel 97-2003 (excel 5.0/95 compatibility)" option however, that for some reason works with Alteryx. Any idea what this means?


I think that means that the XLS options from your system must be cheating a little bit in how it creates them. But then with the compatibility option it works fine.


I am collating excel "quote books" from our contractors to extract costs. I used to get this a lot. Mostly (not 100%) it was driven by password protected files. Removing the passwords fixed the issue 


Hope helps, easy to overlook the obvious