Excel Services Compatibility Checker sometimes does not find External Links

There have been a few internal queries about this and I think I have finally found the problem. The Excel Services Compat Checker will sometimes say that a workbook is compatible with Excel Services, and when that workbook is loaded on the server, it will fail to load due to "External references (links to other workbooks)".  Sherman Der and I have traced this back to an inconsistency with the Excel OM. It seems like there can be External Workbook References which do not appear in the Excel OM call of Workbook.LinkSources method.

For now, if you are seeing this issue (taking the workbook through the compat checker and then having it not load for the External References reason), please go over the names defined in the workbook (by using the Formulas/Name Manager button) and see if any there translate to a #REF error and seem to contain an External Reference.

Comments (7)
  1. Alejandro says:

    Hi there!

    You have any idea about why in the excel compatibility cheker sometimes the Find button doesn’t appears?

    The checker says that ,  as ex, there’re 3 cells having problems but is not possible to identificate them. Even copy to a new sheet doesn’t give you any info.

    Thanks so much,


  2. Shahar Prish says:

    What problem is detected? Sometimes I cannot show you the problem because there’s nothing to show,.

  3. Tony says:

    I had the same error message (not sure if it was the same issue) It was solved as follows:

    – In Excel 2007, go to the Formulas Tab

    – Click on Name Manager

    – Look for references in the list that are outside of your workbook

    – Delete / fix as required

  4. Mauricio says:

    I have the "missing FIND button" on comp-checker in excel 2007 too. just bought it 3 days ago. now I copy-paste some html content to a new sheet, and when I save it says the worksheet has 7 incompatibilities. but the FIND button will not show, so I can’t find them.

    (ok, actually I can, but because this was a test and I know where I pasted the content… but if I did not know that, it would be impossible to find the offensive cells)

    any way to fix this bug?


  5. Shahar Prish says:

    Can you please send me a workbook like that?

    Use the Contact feature of the blog to send me an email to which I will reply. Then you will be able to attach the file.

  6. Frank Rizzo says:

    Same thing here, The find button doesn’t appear and the workbook is full of email addresses and other confidential information so I can’t send it to you. Tell me, are Microsoft products even tested, or am I doing the testing for you for free on a licensed product that I paid for ????

  7. Shahar Prish says:


    Thank you for your comment.

    The tool in question is something I did on my free time and is not a supported Microsoft product. Since there’s no actual or implied support for the tool, if it causes you grief, I suggest you stop using it.

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