How to Use Old .NetMap Workbooks With the Latest .NetMap Version

Oct 22, 2008 at 7:45 PM
Edited Oct 24, 2008 at 7:01 PM
If you're using .NetMap version or later and you try to open a .NetMap workbook that was created with version or earlier, you'll get a couple of baffling error messages from Excel:

    "There was an error during installation."

followed by

    "The customization assembly could not be could not be found or could not be loaded."

The problem occurs because I changed the way the .NetMap setup program works in version  The new setup is a big improvement over the old one, but as a side-effect it changed a custom property hidden in each workbook that tells Excel where to find the .NetMap program.  When Excel goes looking for .NetMap in the old location and fails to find it, it complains with the messages shown above.

The good news is that this won't occur going forward.  Workbooks created with version or later should be forward-compatible with future versions.  The bad news is that to use an old workbook, you have to either copy-and-paste its data to a new workbook, or manually change the custom property in the old workbook.  Here is the procedure required to change the custom property.  It looks complicated, but that's only because custom properties are buried in Excel and it takes several clicks to find them.

If there is enough demand for it, I can write a small program that runs this procedure automatically.

-- Tony

Procedure to Fix the Problem
  • In Excel, open the old workbook.  When you get the "There was an error during installing" message, click Close.  When you get the "The customization assembly could not be could not be found or could not be loaded" message, click OK.
  • Click the Office Button (the large round button in Excel's upper-left corner), Prepare, Properties.  A Document Properties bar appears below the Excel ribbon.
  • Click the Document Properties button, then Advanced Properties.
  • In the MyFile.xlsx Properties dialog, click the Custom tab.
  • In the Properties list, click _AssemblyLocation.  (You might have to expand the Name column to see the entire property name.)
  • Select all the text inside the Value text box, and replace it with the following text.  (This assumes that you installed .NetMap in the location suggested by the setup program.)

    file:///C:/Program Files/Microsoft Research/Microsoft .NetMap Excel Template/Microsoft.NetMap.ExcelTemplate.vsto|aa51c0f3-62b4-4782-83a8-a15dcdd17698|vstolocal
  • Click OK.
  • Save the workbook.
  • Close the workbook.
  • Reopen the workbook in Excel.  You should no longer get the mysterious error messages.