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Bug in Excel 2016: Excel starts with no default workbook or start page if an XLL is registered RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    We reproduce this issue using a sample project taken from Excel SDK. The issue occurs in Excel 2016 16.0.8201.2075 32bit and 64bit. I'm ready to provide more details.


    Regards from Belarus (GMT + 3),

    Andrei Smolin
    Add-in Express Team Leader

    Please mark answers and useful posts to help other developers use the forums efficiently.

    Friday, June 9, 2017 1:00 PM

Answers

  • Hi Deepak,

    I am also able to reproduce the issue that Andrei reports on my Excel 2016 (16.0.8067.2115) 32-bit, and believe it is a bug introduced in a recent Excel update. 

    (Peter: The ANALYS32.xll is treated specially by Excel and just loads FUNCRES.XLAM. The UDF functions which used to reside in the Analysis ToolPak are now built-in functions in Excel, so this is an unusual .xll. It might not be a representative .xll add-in.)

    When installing (adding to the Excel Add-ins dialog and ticking the checkbox) any other .xll add-in, either those from the Excel SDK or an Excel-DNA add-in, the unexpected startup behaviour appears.

    Detailed instructions to reproduce:

    • Install Visual Studio 2017 with C++ tools.
    • Download and install the Excel 2013 XLL Software Development Kit from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-za/download/details.aspx?id=35567
    • Open a "Developer Command Prompt for VS 2017" and then change directory to the SAMPLES subdirectory of the XLL SDK.
    • Rebuild the samples by entering "MAKE.BAT RELEASE BUILD X86" at the developer command prompt.
    • Check that the file SAMPLES\EXAMPLE\RELEASE\EXAMPLE.xll has been created.
    • Open Excel and press Alt t, i to open the Add-ins dialog. Press Browse and navigate to select the EXAMPLE.xll add-in. It should display as "Example Standalone DLL", with the checkmark next to it. Click OK - a message will pop up indicating that the add-in was installed.
    • Close Excel and reopen.
    • Notice that Excel has opened with no Workbook, and with the Recent / New backstage display that is normally displayed.
    • Create a new workbook, press Alt t, i to display the Add-ins dialog and remove the add-in.
    • Close Excel and reopen to confirm that everything is back to normal.

    Please replay if there are any problems in following these steps to reproduce the bug.

    -Govert

    Excel-DNA - Free and easy .NET for Excel

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017 9:30 PM
  • Hello All,

    As it looks now, the issue gets fixed at last; see here. I'm really sorry for the mess I created above.


    Regards from Belarus (GMT + 3),

    Andrei Smolin
    Add-in Express Team Leader

    Please mark answers and useful posts to help other developers use the forums efficiently.

    • Marked as answer by Andrei Smolin Monday, October 9, 2017 1:46 PM
    Monday, October 9, 2017 1:45 PM

All replies

  • Hi Andrei Smolin,

    please provide detailed steps to reproduce the issue.

    we will try to reproduce it on our side.

    if we reproduce the issue successfully then we can redirect you to Excel user voice to submit the feedback regarding this bug.

    Regards

    Deepak


    MSDN Community Support
    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Monday, June 12, 2017 1:44 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello Deepak,

    Thank you for looking into this.

    You need to create an XLL add-in. In our case, we used a sample project provided by Excel SDK. Once you have it, register it and you''ll see that Excel starts with an Excel window that doesn't contain anything.

    By default, when you starts Excel from the Start menu, Excel is started with the Startup screen showing your options. If an XLL is registered, Excel starts with no startup screen. If you've turned the Startup screen off (say, as described at https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Turn-off-the-Start-screen-1f2834b4-09d4-490d-9c04-5d9f1b25ff70), then starting Excel should create a default workbook called Workbook1. But, if you have an XLL registered, Excel starts with no default workbook opened.

    To sum up, if an XLL is registered, Excel opens in the "all workbooks are closed" state assuming that you start it from the Start Menu.


    Regards from Belarus (GMT + 3),

    Andrei Smolin
    Add-in Express Team Leader

    Please mark answers and useful posts to help other developers use the forums efficiently.

    Monday, June 12, 2017 1:38 PM
  • Hi Andrei,

    I can't offer any suggestions but for my interest could you clarify what you mean by "if an xll is registered" . . "Excel starts.."

    My limited understanding is an xll file is registered with RegisterXLL or its functions individually when loaded, then the registered state persists only for the lifetime of session. If closed normally, should be re-registered next time. But I take it from your description your xll's functions are permanently registered, is that right?

    FWIW I have ANALYS32.xll installed as an addin in my 2016-64 and don't have the startup issue you describe, though I assume it registers its functions in its load event.

    Monday, June 12, 2017 3:24 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Deepak,

    I am also able to reproduce the issue that Andrei reports on my Excel 2016 (16.0.8067.2115) 32-bit, and believe it is a bug introduced in a recent Excel update. 

    (Peter: The ANALYS32.xll is treated specially by Excel and just loads FUNCRES.XLAM. The UDF functions which used to reside in the Analysis ToolPak are now built-in functions in Excel, so this is an unusual .xll. It might not be a representative .xll add-in.)

    When installing (adding to the Excel Add-ins dialog and ticking the checkbox) any other .xll add-in, either those from the Excel SDK or an Excel-DNA add-in, the unexpected startup behaviour appears.

    Detailed instructions to reproduce:

    • Install Visual Studio 2017 with C++ tools.
    • Download and install the Excel 2013 XLL Software Development Kit from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-za/download/details.aspx?id=35567
    • Open a "Developer Command Prompt for VS 2017" and then change directory to the SAMPLES subdirectory of the XLL SDK.
    • Rebuild the samples by entering "MAKE.BAT RELEASE BUILD X86" at the developer command prompt.
    • Check that the file SAMPLES\EXAMPLE\RELEASE\EXAMPLE.xll has been created.
    • Open Excel and press Alt t, i to open the Add-ins dialog. Press Browse and navigate to select the EXAMPLE.xll add-in. It should display as "Example Standalone DLL", with the checkmark next to it. Click OK - a message will pop up indicating that the add-in was installed.
    • Close Excel and reopen.
    • Notice that Excel has opened with no Workbook, and with the Recent / New backstage display that is normally displayed.
    • Create a new workbook, press Alt t, i to display the Add-ins dialog and remove the add-in.
    • Close Excel and reopen to confirm that everything is back to normal.

    Please replay if there are any problems in following these steps to reproduce the bug.

    -Govert

    Excel-DNA - Free and easy .NET for Excel

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017 9:30 PM
  • Hello Govert,

    Thank you very much!

    To all,

    This issue doesn't exist in Excel 2016 32bit Version 1707 (Build 8231.1000) - I've installed Office Insider Fast.


    Regards from Belarus (GMT + 3),

    Andrei Smolin
    Add-in Express Team Leader

    Please mark answers and useful posts to help other developers use the forums efficiently.

    Thursday, June 15, 2017 6:00 AM
  • Hi Govert and Andrei Smolin,

    thanks for informing us about this issue.

    It will be helpful for community members who will have same issue in future.

    Regards

    Deepak


    MSDN Community Support
    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, June 15, 2017 9:59 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Deepak,

    I am finally upgraded to Excel 2016 version 1707 (32-bit version 16.0.8326.2062) on the Current Channel, which is newer than the version Andrei was using.

    I definitely still see this problem on my updated version with any .xll including the Microsoft Excel SDK samples.

    Could you perhaps check on your side whether you can reproduce this bug using the instructions I posted earlier?

    -Govert

    Excel-DNA - Free and easy .NET for Excel

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017 3:44 PM
  • Hi Govert van Drimmelen,

    I think that , you got the different result then Andrei  because Andrei  is using Office insider fast.

    you can also try to install it and make a test with it.

    the advantage is you can submit your feedback to the developers.

    which you cannot do in current version.

    in one other thread, Andrei was suggested to use Office insider to submit the bug reports instead of posting it to Excel user voice.

    because Excel user voice is for new feature request.

    What is Office Insider?[

    Be an Office Insider

    Regards

    Deepak


    MSDN Community Support
    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, August 10, 2017 3:19 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello Deepak and Govert, Most probably I was wrong saying that the bug is fixed. Our guys said to me they observed the bug in Excel builds published after the build I tested. I am on vacation now and I can't re-test it. Sorry for the confusion.

    Regards from Belarus (GMT + 3),

    Andrei Smolin
    Add-in Express Team Leader

    Please mark answers and useful posts to help other developers use the forums efficiently.

    Thursday, August 10, 2017 5:26 AM
  • Hi Deepak,

    I'm not able to install the Insider Fast at the moment, but I have reported this through the File->Feedback mechanism.

    I will also try to get authorization to open a support ticket with Microsoft to make the bug report.

    If anyone else is able to confirm the bug, or report it to Microsoft through a corporate sales channel, I'd be very grateful for the help.

    Cheers,

    Govert

    Excel-DNA - Free and easy .NET for Excel

    Thursday, August 10, 2017 1:37 PM
  • We can confirm that this issue appears for us using Excel 2016 32 and 64 versions.

    When we start Excel with an XLL addin enabled it opens but without the start page or a new workbook.

    The functionality in the XLL works correctly when you open a new worksheet.

    Regards,

    Tomas

    Thursday, August 10, 2017 3:04 PM
  • Hello Govert,

    Do you have any news? 


    Regards from Belarus (GMT + 3),

    Andrei Smolin
    Add-in Express Team Leader

    Please mark answers and useful posts to help other developers use the forums efficiently.

    Monday, September 18, 2017 2:35 PM
  • Hi Andrei,

    No.

    I have copied the post to the Microsoft Answers support site: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_excel-mso_win10-mso_o365b/bug-in-excel-2016-version-1707-excel-starts-with/9c013a9c-d600-4681-a04b-c3eeac207030?auth=1

    and reported it via File -> Feedback from inside Excel, but I've not heard anything.

    I was not able to open a paid support ticket (due to a bug in the Microsoft Partner site).

    Can you confirm that you can still reproduce this with the latest Excel version?

    -Govert

    Monday, September 18, 2017 2:41 PM
  • Hello Govert,

    I have reproduced the issue on the latest Office Insider build 8530.1000. Tomorrow, I'll try to ask forum moderators to check if they can reproduce the issue; probably, I'll start a new topic; I'll post a link in this case. When I have a confirmation of the moderators, I'll use File | Feedback to report the issue to Microsoft. Unfortunately, this is a one-way communication.


    Regards from Belarus (GMT + 3),

    Andrei Smolin
    Add-in Express Team Leader

    Please mark answers and useful posts to help other developers use the forums efficiently.

    Monday, September 18, 2017 2:57 PM
  • Hello Govert,

    I have reproduced the issue on the latest Office Insider build 8530.1000. Tomorrow, I'll try to ask forum moderators to check if they can reproduce the issue; probably, I'll start a new topic; I'll post a link in this case. When I have a confirmation of the moderators, I'll use File | Feedback to report the issue to Microsoft. Unfortunately, this is a one-way communication.


    Regards from Belarus (GMT + 3),

    Andrei Smolin
    Add-in Express Team Leader

    Please mark answers and useful posts to help other developers use the forums efficiently.

    Hi everyone,

    I can reproduce this issue with Office 365 (Version1707, Build8326.2017 Click-to-Run)

    For test purose I downloaded a third-party XLL from Excel-DNA:
    https://github.com/Excel-DNA/ExcelDn...r/Distribution

    The issue also happened with the test XLL( ExcelDna.xll )
    1. start Excel;
    2. go to Options->Add-ins->Excel Add-ins, and click Go button;
    3. turn on only ExcelDna.xll;
    4. restart Excel;
    Result: Start screen does not show up;

    Workaround:
    1. go to Excel->File->Options->Add-ins;
    2. select Excel Add-ins option from Manage combox, and click Go button;
    3. turn on the test XLL and at least one other XLL from Add-ins available window (such as Analysis Toolpack);
    4. restart Excel;

    Result: Start screen does show up; 

    Regards,

    Xin Gao

    Email: xin.gao@caseware.com


    stone

    Tuesday, September 19, 2017 2:13 PM
  • The issue also happened with the test XLL( ExcelDna.xll )

    1. start Excel;
    2. go to Options->Add-ins->Excel Add-ins, and click Go button;
    3. turn on only ExcelDna.xll;
    4. restart Excel;
    Result: Start screen does not show up;

    Workaround:
    1. go to Excel->File->Options->Add-ins;
    2. select Excel Add-ins option from Manage combox, and click Go button;
    3. turn on the test XLL and at least one other XLL from Add-ins available window (such as Analysis Toolpack);
    4. restart Excel;

    Result: Start screen does show up; 

    Regards,

    Xin Gao

    This workaround did work for me.  I began observing this behavior after upgrading to 1705 (Build 8201.2193 Click-to-Run) today.
    Thursday, September 28, 2017 12:56 AM
  • Hello All,

    Sorry for the delay with fulfilling my promise. A minute ago I posted a question at https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/a2b1b34e-5914-48df-bc19-71fa502477d2/excel-2016-bug-the-excel-window-shows-no-content-at-startup-if-an-xll-is-registered?forum=exceldev. When I have news on this issue, I'll post them here.


    Regards from Belarus (GMT + 3),

    Andrei Smolin
    Add-in Express Team Leader

    Please mark answers and useful posts to help other developers use the forums efficiently.

    Wednesday, October 4, 2017 11:55 AM
  • Hello All,

    As it looks now, the issue gets fixed at last; see here. I'm really sorry for the mess I created above.


    Regards from Belarus (GMT + 3),

    Andrei Smolin
    Add-in Express Team Leader

    Please mark answers and useful posts to help other developers use the forums efficiently.

    • Marked as answer by Andrei Smolin Monday, October 9, 2017 1:46 PM
    Monday, October 9, 2017 1:45 PM
  • Hi Andrei Smolin,

    thank you for informing us that your issue is solved now.

    Regards

    Deepak


    MSDN Community Support
    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:40 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Govert, 

    I had this problem a while ago, I followed the above steps and the issue had been completely sorted out. This week I opened Visual Studio and the same problem came up again. I tried to follow all the steps again but this item the issue is not being resolved. Do you have an alternative solution?

    I tried to re-install the Visual Studio C++ tools and also Excel 2013 XLL Software Development Kit, but nothing helped. 

    Thursday, January 17, 2019 9:35 PM