XLStylesTool Algorithm Patent Protection is Granted

The patent that protects cleansing algorithms of all versions of the XLStylesTool app titled “Removing Style Corruption From Extensible Markup Language Documents” was granted on 10/2/2012. This should further serve as a deterrent for all that try to reverse engineer the apps. My plan to continue to keep corrupted styles issue clean up apps free is working so far.

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8 Responses to XLStylesTool Algorithm Patent Protection is Granted

  1. stevebwa says:

    That’s great news. Congratulations!


    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

  2. Alsx says:

    Do you think you will keep it free forever?

  3. Phil35 says:

    Wow wow wow… really really deeply great app so full congratulations for the app & for the patent… I’ve spent many days and hours in vba under excel trying to figure out how to clean those “locked”/builtin styles out. I even tried looking at working on XML but did not have the right knowledge nor the tools yet to succeed in this.
    I would be now so curious to understand how you did it and what tools you have used for this (but obvioulys not the algorithm…) !
    Really a great job and the best of it, you kept it free which is a beautiful cherry on the cake !

  4. XLGeek says:

    Hi Phil35, thank you for the compliment. Much appreciated. You ran into the exact situation that I am warning people about on the blogs that post VBA code to deal with this. Hidden and built-in corrupted styles are not accessible through Excel Object Model, so you have to go with OpenXML. Some altered system built-in style definitions are remnants of old viruses and if not removed will continue to multiply and corrupt files. Messing with the internals of Excel files takes a lot of knowledge and single mistake even as minor as screwing up the letter case or sequence of a particular node will prevent the file from opening. I did everything by hand without any tools. This is why the algorithm is patentable. If you take on the task of learning OOXML format you won’t need me. If I will give you just a couple of pointers you will run huge risk of destroying your files. Reverse engeneering of my work will undoubtedly lead to legal action if it gets discovered.

    • Phil35 says:

      Tx again… I will not do reverse engineering on this. this is not my philosophy. I love writing code myself so I will for sure have a deeper look at OOXML as I started looking at the Excel structure with Open XML SDK. but that’s not sufficient and i believe that you spent lots of time on this.
      Anyway, now that I found your tool, it will lower my prioritization on that task 😀
      This will help me a lot as I am managing several hundreds of Excel files for my job, most of them becoming screwed up with the copy/paste from all people working on those files.

    • Bruner says:

      Dear XLGeek,
      I spent 3 days coding my own cleaner, only to conclude what you said above: not accessible through Excel Object Model. Getting into the excel file layers (I guess this is OOXML format) would take serious educational effort, cant afford now.
      To put it succinctly: many thanks XLGeek!!! You rule to keep it open and protected.
      What about commercial use? Can I share it in the workplace?
      Hugs Bruner

      • XLGeek says:

        Hi Hugs,

        I really appreciate your feedback. You can use all tools that I distribute on this blog on any PC as long as you don’t reverse engineer them and claim as yours or charge for their use. Your conclusion is absolutely correct: OpenXML is the only way to access 100% of the corrupted file content. OpenXML is also very complex and requires a lot of specialized training. The algorithm in my apps is tested on thousands of workbooks and is fully optimized. Getting even the sequence of attributes in the OpenXML file part wrong can often lead to full file corruption. Patent protection in my case serves one main purpose: it ensures that the tool is available for free and prevents professionals in this field from profiting from this unfortunate situation.

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