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#43529 - 01/30/17 12:47 AM Excel 2011 question
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Since I upgraded to Sierra I see this when I QuickLook my Excel 2011 spreadsheets; the artifacts appear only in purely numerical cells and cells with dates such as 1/23 (but not other cells with / in them, such as 15/108).

Is anybody else seeing the same thing?
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#43533 - 01/30/17 07:52 AM Re: Excel 2011 question [Re: artie505]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Those look like scroll bars. Have you tried removing formatting from cells (font size in particular) to see if that helps? or reduce font size?
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#43534 - 01/30/17 08:16 AM Re: Excel 2011 question [Re: Virtual1]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks for the suggestion.

I tried removing formatting and reducing font size, both individually and in combination, in one cell, but nothing changed.

More: It didn't seem likely that it would work, because the artifacts appear in unformatted, as well as formatted, cells.


Edited by artie505 (01/30/17 08:23 AM)
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#43538 - 01/30/17 12:44 PM Re: Excel 2011 question [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I don't have an Excel file to look at, but I do not see anything like that in either Numbers or NeoOffice in either the .ots or .xlsx format.

As a guess, it may be a supposedly non-printing filler character inserted as a placeholder by Excel. Perhaps showing up because the font on your Mac is a 16 bit Unicode version of the typeface and not the 8 bit version.

To validate my guess you would probably need something like Hex-Editor to see if there is a character there and an ASCII table to see if it is valid or printable in the font used.

You might try changing the cells to another typeface.
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#43543 - 01/30/17 11:31 PM Re: Excel 2011 question [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks for your suggestions.

I tried switching fonts, but with no joy, and after I saw in Font Book that I had two copies of Verdana I resolved them, also with no joy.

And I spoke to the local witch, but she doesn't have her hexes edited by anybody, so I can't try that idea. tongue

Oh, well, it only happens in QuickLook, not the spreadsheets themselves, and although it's a nuisance, it doesn't cost me anything more than a bit of annoyance, so I'm not interested in getting any deeper into the issue than I've already gotten.

Update: I decided to tread on new ground and see what I could see with a hex editor, and I'm afraid that I couldn't see anything that meant anything to me.

None of the cells with the artifact appeared on the text side of the editor. Does that mean anything to you?

Thanks.
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#43548 - 01/31/17 07:45 AM Re: Excel 2011 question [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
If the issue is a non-printing character it would not necessarily show up on the text side, but there would still be a hexadecimal code in the corresponding location on the hex side.

Artie, I am sure you know this, but for the benefit of anyone reading this thread who is not aware. Hexadecimal is a shorthand notation representing exactly sixteen binary bits and using the numerals 0 - 9, A - F.
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#43565 - 01/31/17 11:11 PM Re: Excel 2011 question [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
If the issue is a non-printing character it would not necessarily show up on the text side, but there would still be a hexadecimal code in the corresponding location on the hex side.

I guess it's because I'm looking at an Excel spreadsheet, but the text side is completely garbled with all sorts of extraneous characters, and in absolutely NO coherent order (That's as opposed to prose I've looked at that looks exactly like what it is on the text side.), and even worse, eyeballing it doesn't locate the contents of so much as one single cell that displays an artifact, so even assuming that what I'm looking for actually is on the hex side, I can't locate it...no landmarks.
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#43568 - 02/01/17 07:49 AM Re: Excel 2011 question [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I don't know how far you want to push your search, but assuming you wish to continue…

The "garble" is your system's attempt to render code as some sort of printable character and particularly with Unicode16 those can end up as characters or symbols in many different different languages, which is the point of UTF16. This is further complicated because even if you are using a UTF16 font it is unlikely that it implements every possible alphabet character or ideogram which only serves to increase the number of blanks appearing on the text side of the Hex-editor.

A tactic I use is to search the text side of the hex-editor for an identifiable, and hopefully unique, character string that occurs near, or adjacent to, the position in the file I am interested in and use that as a navigational benchmark.
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#43577 - 02/01/17 11:45 PM Re: Excel 2011 question [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks for your help. I'd love to pursue this, but I think it's is beyond me. frown

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
...even if you are using a UTF16 font it is unlikely that it implements every possible alphabet character or ideogram which only serves to increase the number of blanks appearing on the text side of the Hex-editor.

But at least some of the blanks are numbers in the same font as the numbers that show up; the only difference between the visible and invisible numbers is the visible ones include a non-numeric character in their cells.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
A tactic I use is to search the text side of the hex-editor for an identifiable, and hopefully unique, character string that occurs near, or adjacent to, the position in the file I am interested in and use that as a navigational benchmark.

No can do; there's not a number I can identify that's got a "curious" cell anywhere near it. As a matter of fact, there's stuff I can identify that doesn't even appear in "text" in the same order it appears in my spreadsheet.

I imagine that an Excel expert could figure this out, but it's nowhere near important enough for me to go looking for one.
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