I am a coder that thinks that the reach of the world wide web can be used to make it (the world) better. In fact much better. The fact that the knowledge about how to solve a problem can be instantly shared with millions of people still blows my mind and I’ve been in the industry since 1992. I think people that have the ability to help other people simply have an obligation to do so. I had incredible fortune to have my work featured in one of Bill Gates presentations once and on another special occasion I presented in a segment in his keynote speech in front of more than 2000 people. The intent of this blog is to share some of the knowledge and insights that I was fortunate enough to gain so far by being in the right places at the right time.


60 Responses to About

  1. Jason Gardner says:

    Great Work. I am an Excel power user building fairly complex financial models and never encountered this problem until 3 weeks ago. Your utility appears to have corrected the issue and eliminated my pending and future problems.

  2. Michael T says:

    Thank you, for everything!

  3. Yicheng says:

    I really appreciate you distributing the Excel File Cleanup Tool. I use it every single day (no exaggeration here) to keep my files running clean.

    Thanks you so much! You have saved me so much time!

  4. Ellen Schwindaman says:

    I have a spreadsheet that needs to be cleaned up, but my IT department will not allow me to download anything from the internet. Do you have some other way for me to access this product?

  5. Ellen Schwindaman says:

    Thanks, this worked well and I was able to get eliminate the “too many cell formats” error message. Obviously still have some other issues to work on with this spreadsheet as I cannot copy cells from other spreadsheets into it.

  6. Hana says:

    Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful outcomes of your work!!!! I really appreciate it!!!

  7. Brad says:

    XLGeek, is it possible to automate XLStylesTool.exe? I have 100’s of files that have this problem with being able to copy data properly from. Using this tool fixed every file so far but I am worried there may be a lot of time involved in manual labor and the frequency of this labor.

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Brad, you can use command line version of the tool for bulk file processing. Read “Adding more utilities” post that has XLBulkCleaner app link. This was top ask from enterprise users since the spread of bad styles is exponential.

  8. Giorgio says:

    Thank you for your work and help to the excel world community!

  9. Martin says:

    Hi! Your work looks like amazing and i really need it for a corrupted xls file. I cannot change formats, it is really unconfortable. I have tried dowwnloading your app from Windows store, but it cannot be found. Is there any other way you could send it to me? I am quite desperate because it is urgent. Thanks for all your help and best wishes!

    • XLGeek says:

      Can you please provide some details: what operating system are you using or have access to: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.1? What is the file format? XLStyles Tool will not work on binary files with .XLS (<-you mentioned extension in your comment) or .xlsb extensions. You will need to save them as .xlsx or .xlsm using Excel 2007 SP3 or higher. You can use Silverlight app on Windows with no installation if you have Silverlight already installed. What is the exact problem that you have when downloading the windows app? All various tool access links are readily available.

  10. hi. I am running on windows 8. I have excel, extension .xlsx. dont have silverlight.Your app just does not appear in windos store. Not even clicking from your web site. Please help. Thanks

    • XLGeek says:

      Can you please tell me what Windows app store market are you in? I’m not restricting any markets, but there may be issues with specific market. Also, can you get me the exact version of your OS? Run command window (run cmd -> ver [ENTER]) and let me know the exact build.

  11. Martin says:

    Hi! I am running version 6.2.9200. At this moment I am at work, so not even windows app store works (due to internal restrictions). But at home, windows app does work and I cannot find your app. Thanks for your help!

    • XLGeek says:

      That most likely is the problem: Win8.1 is Microsoft Windows [Version 6.3.9600], and older Win8 is 6.2.9200. App store is organized by version. Is it possible for you to upgrade? 8.1 is much better: faster and more secure.

  12. Shervin says:

    Hi Sergei,

    Your tool has been life saver. I was wondering if there is anyway that you can give me the source code of the tool?

    Thank you,

    • XLGeek says:

      Hi Shervin, what is the intended use and for which tool? XLStyles Tool source code is protected by the US patent and European patent is pending. What scenario do you have in mind that is not covered by what is already published?

  13. Grant Sinks says:

    Hello Sergei,
    My work lapptop was recently “tech refreshed”. On the old machine I was running Excel 2010 over Windows XP, and your tool performed beautifully. My new laptop runs Windows 7 and Excel 2013. My question is, “Can I run the XLStyles tool with Excel 2013?”

    Thank you,

    • XLGeek says:

      XLStyles Tool has versions that work on all Windows platforms and Excel 2007+. Silverlight 5 version works even on the Mac. Windows 7 comes with .net framework pre-installed, so all you need to do is just run the original version of the app. Are you running into any issues?

      • Grant Sinks says:

        I have not run into any issues. Just wanted to check before running on the new machine as it is locked down. If I had run it and there was some issue with win7/Excel 2013, then I would have had to engage the helpdesk to reinstall, and that process takes too long.

        The tool worked flawlessly on my old box, looking forward to running it on the new one right after I get done with this note. THANK YOU again!

      • XLGeek says:

        Thanks for the follow up Grant. Let me know if you run into any issues if you are more locked down now. I want to collect as many scenarios as possible, so that I can cover all user cases (when possible) as the world evolves. Just out of curiosity: does your organization plan to go to Windows 8.1 or 10 in the future and do you have Silverlight 5 installed?

  14. Ethan says:

    Hi, thanks much for writing this. I am using the silverlight version as I couldn’t find the Windows 7 download. I noticed 1 “bug” that you have to manually add the .xlsm extension for a macro-enabled sheet, otherwise it saves as .xlsx. I ran two files through the silverlight app, but I am still getting the pasting error copying in between them. Is this normal? Do I need to also install the Windows registry fix?

    • XLGeek says:

      You need to ensure that both the source and destination are clean. If the style count is normal in both files, your copy error may relate to another object that you have in the source workbook that Excel has difficulty handling. If you want to share the files I can check it out. The requirement for entering proper extension is not a bug. It is explicitly called out in the SL5 version of the app release post. Silverlight has limited access to the local resources, as a result I can’t provide default filename. Open XML file type content declaration must match the extension for proper serialization.

  15. Anton says:

    Installed, the app won’t see any files or folders on my PC. Please advise

    • XLGeek says:

      Most likely OS or runtime issue on your end. Also note that XLStyles Tool will only “see” files with xlsx or xlsm extensions. Which app version: WinForms, Windows app store app, SL5 are you trying to use? What OS (exact version and build) are you using?

      • Anton says:

        OS Win 8.1 Pro 64-bit
        Excel MS Office Pro Plus 2010
        Files .xlsx
        App was downloaded from the app store

      • XLGeek says:

        XLStyles Tool uses standard file access object for modern apps. Try modern PDF reader app and see if you can see any files. PDF reader uses the same object to access local files.

  16. Thomas Smith says:

    Is there a similar tool to fix Word files that have grown too large and have too much formatting?

    • XLGeek says:

      I’m not aware of any. Word formatting attributes and embedded objects typically are not hidden (unless container size is set to 0x0), so you don’t really need a tool to drop down the file size.

  17. Bill van Loon says:

    Do you have a software license or license statement?

    • XLGeek says:

      Why do you ask? Windows store app has all disclaimers and privacy statements that apply to all apps. XLStyles Tool deep file cleaning algorithm is patent protected to prevent anyone from trying to profit from this situation.

  18. Thanks. I am a software asset manager and as such having a license or declaration from an author helps me to determine if my company can or should use any given software program.

    • XLGeek says:

      This makes sense. All apps and their versions have been reviewed and approved before publishing in MS KBs by qualified 3rd party auditors. Reverse engineering or any other commercial use of my apps is prohibited (i.e., using my tools and charge for services). Patent protection helps enforce that. Distribution mechanism for organizational use is the same as for consumers: individual users are expected to obtain their own copy via download from my site or via app store. I don’t allow or authorize any other means of distribution. Rationale: ensure users get proper updates and apps are verified.

  19. Bill van Loon says:

    We’d be using your tool for internal purposes only (i.e., no selling a service or any other distribution). We are a commercial enterprise however. I assume we are permitted to use your product based on our intended use and your declaration.

    • XLGeek says:

      I’ve never had anyone ask this question before and various versions of the tool were out for while. If you are using my tools to remove corrupted content from Excel workbooks and don’t charge for it you are using the apps as they were intended to be used. I believe this is your scenario. My goals is to make sure that no one profits from styles related Excel flaw. Thank you for checking with me.

  20. Bill van Loon says:

    No problem. One of the key roles of my job is to protect our own intellectual property (IP) plus make sure our company properly uses/acquires the IP of others like yourself. Thank you for responding and helping us.

  21. sonjeho says:

    It’s really amazing tool!!

    I’d like to know that anyone can use this tool.
    For example, Can company use this tool, or not?

  22. Tony Dip says:

    Sergei – I’m trying to run your tool on WINDOWS SERVER 2012 OS and neither version is working (NET 3.5 or 4.0). Obviously, this OS does NOT have the APP STORE app. Any ideas?

    • Tony Dip says:

      The URL Silverlight link does NOT work either on WINDOWS SERVER 2012 – it gives a message saying “WIndows 8 or later users: Download from APP Store”

      • Tony Dip says:

        Maybe you could just post the actual .exe file for NET 4.0 and then users can download and run from there instead of using APP STORE?

      • XLGeek says:

        For all OS versions beginning with Win 8 and newer, app store is the preferred way to distribute the app and keep it current. If you dig through the app store app posts you will find the reason why XCopy deployment of the tool in Win 8+ is not optimal for the majority of the users. Since you are running the server, you are most likely working in IT, have administrator rights and have the skills to dig through multiple popups and enable executables. 99% of the app users are better off with the app store experience that guarantees silent and secure app updates.

      • XLGeek says:

        This is by design.

    • XLGeek says:

      If you were going to run unsigned executable, you are certainly better off with enabling desktop experience and using the store. Win 8 version (compatible with Win2012 server non-R2) is still available.

  23. MelissaS says:

    I am trying to run the XL Styles tool on my Windows 10 PC at work- but they block the App from downloading. Is there a windows 10 version available in your one drive that will install without the App?

  24. Ben says:

    Hello XLGeek,
    Our company is locking down MS Store, is there any alternate links for XLStylesTool (Win10)?
    Or can you forward the installer to my email ben92stanley at gmail dot com

  25. Duie says:

    We are being forced to migrate from Win7 to Win10 and are losing the XLStylesTool in the process.

    My company has locked down our laptops and refuses to build a private store.
    They said they would allow a sideload version and that they would allow that to be packaged/deployed.

    Will you work with me to get a sideload version?

  26. Hadrien_A says:

    Hello Sergei,
    Your tool is fantastic!
    Is there a way to implement a system to permit deletion of definedname with a pattern we could decide. I have an excel document with 72k defined name and I’m trying to delete it with a macro that is taking for ever.

    There, is the macro:

    Sub DeleteDeadNames2()
    Dim nName As Name
    Dim lCount As Long

    With ActiveWorkbook
    For lCount = .Names.Count To 1 Step -1
    If lCount Mod 10000 = 0 Then
    Debug.Print lCount
    End If
    If InStr(1, .Names(lCount).Value, “fdsup”) > 0 Then
    End If
    Next lCount
    End With
    End Sub

    Your tool can list the definedname but you can delete them by value, it would be a huge plus.

    Thank you.

  27. Hadrien says:

    Hello Sergei,
    Thank you for this amazing tool!
    Would it be possible to implement a way to delete definednames with a choosen pattern of the user.
    I have 72k define named and delete them with a pattern would be very usefull.

    Thank you.

    • XLGeek says:

      My tool doesn’t provide name pattern setting for defined names. The tool is removing named ranges based on two triggers: broken references (these are guaranteed to be invalid and not usable) and user has an option to remove named ranges with external references. Your case is pretty rare. This many named ranges are usually created pragmatically: via a marco or an add-in. Your VBA approach should work pretty well since 72k is not that big from the data type stand point. Have you tried disabling screen updating and switching calculation mode to manual during your code execution?

  28. Chris McClurg says:

    Hi, my XLstyles tool crashes every time i attempt to open it. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix this?

    • XLGeek says:

      What version are you using: WinForms or the App Store? Windows error logs (Application) will give you exact error message. If you share it, we can try figuring out what is wrong.

  29. RobR says:

    Hi Sergei, can I contact you about XLStylesTool?

  30. Adrian says:

    Been using XLStyles tool for years! Thanks for this amazing tool. I have one request however – I want to get rid of named ranges without using the name manager and before I open the file. Is it possible if you could add that functionality to the app? Right now it just shows the defined name range count.

    Thanks again!

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