Trying to open .xlsx submission export file in Office for Mac "This file is not in a recognizable format"

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    Asked on March 24, 2014 at 06:22 PM

    Suddenly, just starting today, they download as .xlsx (extra x on the end) rather than .xls.


    So I'm downloading them anyway, and changing the file extension after download so Excel can try to open it.  THEN, it gives me an error that the file is still not in a recognizable format.  I click OK on the error box, and it opens as gobbledy gook.


    I also checked my other forms.  It's all my forms, all suddenly affected.  In the past, when someone put a disallowed (for Excel, but unfortunately NOT for the form itself) character into a text field, the Excel downloads wouldn't open.  But they've never downloaded with a different file extension or opened as complete garbage before.


    Can someone please do something about this ASAP?  None of my stuff is usable.  Thanks.


    EDITED TO ADD:  Now, just a few moments later, none of my forms will download.  They try for a few minutes, then error out, "Failed - network error."  This is messsed up.  I'm going to panic now.  Can someone please get back to me ASAP?  Thanks.

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    Answered on March 24, 2014 at 08:39 PM

    I checked on this with your form and this actually isn't a bug since excel is actually built to read both xls and xlsx as of 2007. But the thing is that it really wasn't used that much too begin with when the file change first came out where it was later on that more recently where it was realized that this helps to keep files more intact and working properly especially with massive data and huge downloads.

    You can read up on this more here -

    With our servers I know originally we had been using the older format xls but I found that earlier this morning we had commited a change that to update to this newer version of the file extension for xlsx. I think this was partly to help fix and prevent a known problematic file corruption due to known xml errors with was one of many common problems we had with the older outdated version. Also, On a positive note it also allows more than 256+ columns to be used too which is highly beneficial.

    I tested this further on your file and also on a separate test but I am seeing this work fine and open the file on my end. I've cleared your form cache so I think that should help. If you are using an older version of excel before 2007 then I would advise updating or swapping to a more recent opensourced software such as OpenOffice as an alternative and that should help as well. Please try again and let us know if you are still having garbled problems with it on your end.


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    Answered on March 24, 2014 at 09:02 PM

    I'm using Excel X for the Mac.  It could very well be older than 2007, I don't know.


    Are you saying that if it is, you've just now, with no warning, completely invalidated my ability to open my Excel downloads as I always have since setting up my account with you a few years ago?  The way I import my data, it really has to be Excel.  I really and truly don't feel like spending a lot of money upgrading just so I can continue to use jotform.  I have absolutely no need to upgrade Excel for any other reason whatosever.


    Isn't there some way I can continue to download my forms in the format that was available to me for YEARS and still available as of yesterday?  


    If not, that's really just completely awful.

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    Answered on March 24, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    We do apologize for the inconvenience. If by any chance you are using Miscrosoft Office 2004 for Mac, please review the following Knowledge Base article for a solution to opening the more recent Excel File Type: 

    Trying to open .xlsx, .docx, or .pptx file in Office for Mac 2004: "This file is not in a recognizable format"

    Do let us know if you need further assistance. Thank you.