Windows 8 Version of the XLStylesTool

Privacy Policy: XLStyles Tool for Microsoft Excel doesn’t collect any information about the user. The permission to use Internet connection is requested to support delivery of in application advertisement content administered by Microsoft AdCenter (see Microsoft Online Privacy Policy) which keeps this version of the application free.

Documentation:
Refer to the original version of the XLStylesTool user comminity contributed information and “how to” video.

Windows 8 Version Specifics:
All original application features and settings described in the user community contributed documentation, comments and older posts on this site for the most part apply to the Windows 8 version. The user interface has been upgraded to Windows 8 immersive experience and the processing algorithms have been adjusted to run in the sandboxed environment. The reason for this upgrade is the drastic change in how Windows 8 runs older .Net applications in the desktop mode. All unsigned applications get blocked with the message that would stop most users from launching the app the first time. Since I don’t have digital certificate and want to keep the application free, I chose to write Windows 8 version that is very user friendly and is fully trusted by the Windows 8 OS because it is distributed from the Windows App Store. This version of the tool will also be supported on the Windows RT – ARM processor based Windows 8 tablets that will also run MS Office. Old .Net or Silverlight apps won’t work on Win RT. Please take a note of the following differences in functionality:

  • There is no “Commit changes and open in Excel” check box. Because of the brokered file system access I can no longer launch the processed file. Also, unlike in the WinForms version of the app all file changes once you click “Process File” button are permanent. Please work with file backups if you need to try out various option combinations on your files.
  • Processed file will show noticable drop in size after you preview and save it in MS Excel for the first time after it has been processed. Previously file was opened automatically and Excel was prompting you to save it on file close.
  • Error message: “Selected file is not readable. Access is denied.” This error message is specific to Windows 8 and in most cases means that the Excel file that you selected is opened in another application (most likely Excel) or by another user, so the app can’t open it with exclusive rights. Close the file in the app that has it opened and try to scan again.

Original Post History:

UPDATE [7/9/12]: Windows 8 Metro version of the XLStylesTool was submitted to the store to be released on the RP build, but I just found out that it won’t be available until General Availability of the Windows App Store (Windows 8 goes RTM first week of August). They won’t publish any more apps at the store until GA. Please use browser based SL5 app in the desktop mode for now if you are on Win8.
UPDATE [9/24/12]: Updated for Windows 8 RTM app has been submitted to the store at 9:24PM PST. If it gets published I will go through the effort of adding Windows 8 version specific help content in this post. This post is linked to the Help pane to ensure the content is always current.
UPDATE [9/27/12]: The app failed certification because it didn’t have a URL to Privacy Policy statement. I just added it to this post to meet this requirement. Let’s see what happens next.
UPDATE [10/01/12]: The app got certified and published: XLStylesTool for Windows in the Windows App Store . I will update Windows 8 specific info in this post very shortly.
UPDATE [10/22/12]: First wave of Windows 8 users provided their feedback (Thank You!). There was only one reported usability issue so far: users that already had their Excel file open in the Desktop Excel app got “Access is denied…” error message and some didn’t know what to do. I added bolded text bullet in the Help section of the post above and submitted Release 2 to the store. Release 2 will have more explicit error message: it will suggest to close already opened file.
UPDATE [10/20/13]: Release 3 that contains Windows 8.1 version of the XLStyles Tool passed App store certification and is available to Windows 8.1 users.

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51 Responses to Windows 8 Version of the XLStylesTool

  1. TimeBandit says:

    I have some problem to run XLStylesTool. Ireceive the following message as I try to run the application :
    ” Microsoft Windows NT 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 is not supported. Please download ‘XLStyles Tool’ for this OS from the Windows APP Store.” What’s the problem exactly ? And much more important What’s the solution ? ;0)

    • XLGeek says:

      This message doesn’t really make much sense if you are running XP SP3 (which is what it implies). Is your Windows OS fully activated (I have to ask since you have ‘Bandit’ in your name)? This message should only come up for Windows 8 or later Windows OS builds (Version 6.2 or higher). Do you want to describe your setup: is it 32 or 64 bit OS? Is it localized? What happens when you run Windows Genuine Advantage tool? You can use browser based Silverlight 5 tool as an alternative.

      • TimeBandit says:

        Hello XLGeek,
        First of all “TimeBandit” is just my gamer’s nickname, I’m using 100% official Microsoft software.
        My Windows OS is XP Professional version 2002 SP3, so, if I don’t make a mistake, 32 bit OS.
        I’m on a company network.
        The more disconcerting is that the IT manager can run the application on remote mode.
        But if I try to run it with an administrative log in, it doesn’t work and I take the error message I describe.
        So I don’t know exactly where is the problem, maybe here on your network but …
        I’m searching here for a solution but if you have an idea, don’t hesitate ! ;0)
        Thanks you in advance.
        I’m going to try browse based Silverlight 5.
        Your sincerely.

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi TimeBandit, please take no offence on the OS check question: I had to ask since this would be the most obvious reason for the OS version check mismatch. I tried the app in several Windows XP virtual machines and everything runs fine. OS check kicks in only for Windows 8. Does your IT department tweak system images that can alter OS version? Your options are: 1. You and I can schedule remote assistance (I’m really curious to find out what is going on; if you reply with a yes I’ll send you an offline e-mail), 2. You can run VBA to call GetVersionEx and see what version it reports.

      Hope that Silverlight 5 app worked for you.

      • TimeBandit says:

        Hi XLGeek, no problem with the OS check question but I want to dissipate all misunderstanding directly.
        For the rest, we are searching for a solution here because it seems to be a problem with the user right so … wait and see. I keep you inform of the development.
        Bye … And thanks a lot for informations and disponibility

      • XLGeek says:

        Nice to hear that it is only one user that is affected. Please post a reply with the resolution. This is very unusual situation.

      • TimeBandit says:

        No, No, that’s all the users that haven’t the highest level right on the network so 95% of the users. But it seems to be a solution to give the possibility to run it. Finally, the problem is a user network right, so no problem with the apps. Thanks you for your precious help and keep the way, you’re great things. Thanks. Bye.

    • XLGeek says:

      Thank you for the follow up and positive feedback. Silverlight 5 app on Azure was created to address highly locked down corporate networks. If you can post what exactly you linked the problem to (and if you found a resolution) you can save other app users in the similar situation a lot of time. Really appreciate your follow up.

      • TimeBandit says:

        OK Sergeig888, No problem for the follow up, that’s the minimum I can do to thanks you for the app that save us from deep problems ! I have finally tested the silverlight 5 app and, as you are an enchanter, that work straight with no problem. I have to say, Mister Sergei, Thanks a lot for your help and your terrific app. ;0) . You bring me THE solution to my serious excel problem and I’m far and away grateful to you. Bye so long.

  2. Raj says:

    I am trying to download XLStylesTool.exe but have not been able to locate the download site, could you plesae direct me to it?
    Many Thanks
    Raj

  3. Stephen says:

    Hi – I’m using this on Windows8 Pro 64-Bit. I opened the file direct from a storage drive (a Nexus 4 mobile) and whilst it opens the file, analyses and summarises results correctly upon clicking process, it just stops there and doesn’t save the file down and in fact crashes out back to the Windows 8 “metro” (or whatever it’s called now!) tile screen.

    I then copied the file from the Nexus 4 to the desktop, re did the steps and it correctly saves down the processed file (confirmed by opening file explorer from desktop view and checking the last modified date/time stamp). Not a show-stopper but i thought you may wish to know. My only other comments other than congratulating you on solving a problem that every Investment bank I’ve worked in have struggled with over the last few years is to say that some sort of visual clue or prompt to indicate to the user that the processing has indeed saved a new version of the file. Maybe even a nice old traditional Save button, or “Done” windows 8 top right notification message?

    Keep up the excellent work

    Stephen

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for the feedback.
      1. App crash on file save is in the OS layer. Any other app that will be accessing the same file on the same drive will also fail. I’ve seen this before. That is just how WinRT binary api works.
      2. New UI should be minimalistic, so current UI flow is blessed by the UI “police”. More feedback like this may change their stance.
      Keep the feedback coming.

  4. Bill Thornton says:

    Is there a version that runs on OS7? I am on a corporate machine and cannot upgrade
    When I go to the app store, I do not get a download icon, I get an upgrade to 8.1 option

    • XLGeek says:

      Yes, please see earlier posts or click on the page menu bar next to Home and About. You will find links to .Net4.0 and .Net3.5 versions. If you don’t have .Net4.0 installed, original version will work without any extra steps. I also published Silverlight version that requires SL5 that is deployed to most Win 7 machines.

  5. Toby Zahn says:

    Why is there no download button for the xlstyles tool???

    • XLGeek says:

      This post is specific to the Windows 8 version of the app and contains tool privacy policy. Nevertheless there are several download related hyperlinks on this page: XLStylesTool button right below the banner picture will take you to the page with access to all version of the tool and post Update from 10/01/2012 has app store link for Win 8 app.

  6. PC says:

    Hi! I get a “We can’t find any apps by this publisher” in the Windows Store with Win 8.1. Is it possible that you might have restricted the regions where you software is available?

    Thanks!

    • XLGeek says:

      There are no regional restrictions for either 8.0 and 8.1 versions of the app. May be a temporary quirk in the app store since Update 1 is on the way. I can see both apps available in the store. Searched “XLStyles Tool”. I can work with you offline on other options to use the tool if you are pressed for time. Win 8 made downloadable win forms apps somewhat painful to distribute and use.

      • I’m not pressed for time, but have in mind that I’ve tried a couple of times already in the last few days.

      • Jelle says:

        This seems like a great tool, but I have the same problem (from Costa Rica, Windows 8.1 Pro): “We can’t find any apps that match your search”. Thanks!

      • XLGeek says:

        This could be Windows app store issue. They are telling me there are no issues: all markets are open. You can use console app (Bulk Cleaner tool) while it gets resolved. Same algorithm that will work on win 8.1 after you jump through modern UI warning hoops. I am working on .net compiled to native version of the app. I’ve heard the feedback from non-US locations and will address it as soon as I get native compilation working. It is in the preview phase.

  7. Thanks a lot for the offer, though.

    • XLGeek says:

      Let me know if you want me to reach out to you directly. Thank you for the comment: I will look more into it. Win 8.1 Update 1 got rolled out today. Hopefully this will change.

      • PC says:

        I still have the same problem with 8.1 update 1. Your link redirects to the store home, and looking for you as a publisher yields “We can’t find any apps by this publisher”. :/

      • XLGeek says:

        This is odd. Try searching using the app name: “XLStyles Tool”. The app is not restricted by market from my side. Argentina falls under Rest of the World bucket in the app store from what I understand. Let me know how you want to proceed. I can work with you off line via email on what we can do here.

  8. Jax Loh says:

    Can email the tools to me? I failed to find the tools in Windows 8.1 too.

    • XLGeek says:

      All markets are opened for download of the modern XLStyles Tool. I don’t support sideloading of modern apps. Unsigned Winforms experience in Win 8.1 is terrible for wide app distribution, so not an option for you. Is your Windows 8.1 genuine?

      Press Windows key + X
      Click System
      Press Alt on your keyboard
      Click Help
      Click ‘Is this copy of Windows legal?’

  9. Mike H says:

    Is there a Version of this Tool that will run as a Stand Alone App for Server 2012? I would like to run this on a Terminal Server, But you can’t publish Windows Store Apps on a Remote Applications Terminal Server (RDS). When the Stand Alone tool is run on Server 2012, It says this OS is not compatible, and to run the Version from the Windows Store.

    I also Tried running the Silverlight Web Version, but it essentially displays the same message (Download the Version from the App Store). Any Chance there is a Way we could run this on Server 2012 without using the Windows Store, since that Version can not be published on a RDS environment?

    Thanks,

    • XLGeek says:

      You should try using command line based utility. It is designed for server use.

      • Mike H says:

        Ideally we’d like to use a client Based tool that Individual Users can run themselves if they have any issues with Their Excel Documents.

        However, If that is absolutely not an option on Windows Server 2012, Where can I find the Command Line Based Excel Cleanup tool? I wasn’t able to find it while searching your site.

        Thanks again for your help,

      • XLGeek says:

        Hi Mike, you want to use Bulk Cleaner tool from this post. The tool is specific for providing access to the clean up share in the enterprise environment to multiple users and to allow them to clean up multiple files. Let me know if you have any questions after you read through the instructions.

  10. keelta says:

    Whenever I run XLStyles Tool.exe it reports “This application can only run in the context of an application container”. I’m running Win 8.1. .Net 4.0 is an integral part of this PC.
    What should I do?

    • XLGeek says:

      It sounds like you are trying to launch WinForms app. I wrote MS App Store version of the XLStyles Tool for Windows 8+. Please get it from the store. WinForms apps are considered legacy in Windows 8. There may be all sorts of issues running them especially if they are unsigned (like my app). Microsoft wants to steer app developers to the app store style apps.

  11. Chris Macro says:

    Hey, I have been an avid user of your tool and would love to share it with my website visitors. Do you mind if I put a link to this page via my Analyst Tools Recommendation page (http://bit.ly/data-addins)?

    Also, while I’m here, I’d like to throw my 2 cents in for a feature request. It would be nice if we had the option to do bulk (multiple) file cleans at once. At my company, some of our BI programs love to add hundreds of cell styles to Excel our files and there are points where I am having to clean up a ton of files.

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Chris, thank you for asking. You can link to anything as long as you don’t take copies of the distribution packages and start distributing from your shares. This would prevent users from getting the latest updates and increases the probability of injecting a virus in the package. I posted multiple warnings to the users that stated that they somehow found and downloaded my tools from some shady sites. This happened during OneDrive service outages. I guess some people like to live dangerously and mine bitcoin for others. The console based bulk file cleanup tool is available and published in an earlier post. That app is designed for people in sysadmin role to process 100s of files in multiple folders. It is very light weight and optimized for performance. Your users most likely don’t add styles knowingly. They are dealing with an issue in Excel and probably create styles without even knowing. Post #2 explains how this happens.

      • Chris Macro says:

        Yes, I would definitely be linking back to your site and not hosting the download. Could you provide a link to your bulk file cleanup tool, as I am not sure where to go?

      • XLGeek says:

        Instructions and download package link are in this post: https://sergeig888.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/adding-more-utilities/. Learning curve will be short. Your comment prompted me to do a quick web search. Sure enough saw some random site distributing an .exe file that claims that it has Windows 8 version of the XLStyles Tool. Windows 8+ apps are distributed from Microsoft App store. I hope no one is dumb enough to run an EXE directly off of some rogue web site. I distribute pre-Windows 8 versions using ZIP packages that can be inspected prior to extraction and execution.

  12. Sam T says:

    Hi there

    I can’t seem to find a link anywhere that will allow me to download the tool for Windows XP?
    I’ve tried looking all over the site but cant seem to find one?
    Please help??

    • XLGeek says:

      All WinForms versions of the app for .Net3.5 and .Net4.0 will work on XP. What version of .Net do you have installed on your XP machine? Browser based Silverlight 5 app may be the easiest option for you if you don’t have .net. Silverlight app will run in your browser. Oh, clicking on XLStylesTool link in the black bar below the banner picture (between Home and About) will take you to the .Net4.0 post with the download link. Let me know if you have any issues.

  13. Brian says:

    Hi XLGeek!

    I was hoping that you might have a way for me to work with you to sideload this application on end user PCs so that each user who would like to use this does not need to create a Windows Live account to download the program from the Windows store. This can be rather problematic in a corporate environment especially for non-tech savvy users.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Brian, I’ll certainly work with you. MS account/app store access was never an issue before, but I never worked with orgs that made the jump to Windows 10 from Win 7. If you can confirm that the e-mail you associated with this comment is the valid contact e-mail I will connect with you directly.

  14. Simon says:

    I don’t know if this thread is still being followed by anyone, but I am SOOOO tired of having to reset my Normal style to general when it switches over to Accounting. Was hoping this utility would fix the problem, but it hasn’t. Anyone managed to find a simple solution to this?

    • XLGeek says:

      There is a difference between the cell style and cell formatting properties. My tools remove unused and custom styles definitions that cause very specific file corruption. Existing formatting remains intact. That is actually the main value add of the tool: remove corrupted content and keep the file as it was before. Sounds like you expect formatting to change based on your comment. You will need to keep style property of the cell for that if you need to change it globally. I would very much appreciate if you change Win 10 app rating. The app never claimed to alter cell formatting. Just like you shouldn’t complain about using microscope to hammer in nails – it was never intended for it. If you send me your workbook with detailed issue repro steps I may be able to help you.

      • Simon says:

        Fair enough! That’s what happens when you give a microscope to a inept DIY woodworking enthusiast. Review amended appropriately. Can’t send you the file as it contains sensitive info but maybe you can make some suggestions as to why the NORMAL cell style changes from Genera to Accounting every few days? I’ve looked everywhere online for a solution to this (that’s how I found you) and I know I’m not alone with this problem. I have a feeling the switch happens when I working with more than one s/sheet, but what the trigger is, I have no idea…

      • sergeig888 says:

        I really appreciate it. I won’t need any of the data in your workbook should you consider sharing it. I can contact you via e-mail if you want to give it a try. Built-in Style Normal can be modified and altered. Customizations are merged on workbook load. Altered style definition is stored in the workbook. My understanding is that styles get merged as you open multiple workbooks and stay cached in memory even when you close source of altered style workbook. So if you open a workbook with modified style and start working on the new one it is possible that the new one may inherit modified style. Sometimes I’ve seen styles getting modified programmatically. I will need exact issue repro steps and sample workbook(s) without any data. If this is common (sounds like it is based on your search) and there is a way to fix it we can integrate this into the tool with your help. A very quick manual fix may be to try to reset to default styles using “Merge Styles” option. Simply merge styles from a workbook (could be brand new workbook created on a machine with fresh Excel install) that has style definitions that you want.

  15. Barracuda says:

    Hello!
    This tool is really useful, thank you. Now I use Excel 2010 32bit, but I am thinking about Excel 2016 64bit version. Does XLStylestool support also 64bit version of Excel 2016?
    For your answer thank you in advance.

  16. Barracuda says:

    Hello. I have one question: Does XLStylestool support also 64bit version of Excel 2016? For your answer, thank you in advance.

    • XLGeek says:

      XLStyles Tool operates on the Excel files and doesn’t require Excel to be installed at all on the PC where it runs. Office bitness has no impact on the tool. File format is the same.

  17. linsey says:

    Can I use in business?

    • XLGeek says:

      Can you please clarify: do you want to charge someone for it or just use it at work? You can’t use my algorithm in your apps to profit from it. It is patent protected. You can use the app on any device you can install it.

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