How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Pat Your Own Question
Pat, Consultant
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 171
Experience:  10 years of systems administration experience in mixed Mac and Windows environments
Type Your Computer Question Here...
Pat is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have Microsoft Office for a Mac and had my excel documents

This answer was rated:

I have Microsoft Office for a Mac and had my excel documents from my pc transferred to the Mac. The Excel spreadsheets that I am trying to edit (that were originally on my pc and transferred to my Mac) are not saving after adjustments are made. I receive the error message: Microsoft Excel can not access the file Macintosh. There are several possible reasons:
The file name or path name does not exist.
The file you are trying to open is being used by another program.
The name of the document you are trying to save is the name of another document that is read only. Try saving the workbook with a different name.

I checked the original document and it is "read and write". Any suggestions? I can't possible change the name of all of my past excel spreadsheets. Thanks!
Its possible your filename includes characters which are not permitted in the Mac directory structure. Can you give me an example of the filename?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
That filename is XXXXX XXXXX does the file reside on your computer? I.e. is it in your documents folder? How did you copy these files from your windows machine? What version of Excel are you using?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your help!

It is in a folder marked "Wedding" under Documents. The apple store transferred all of my files to the Mac. I am using Excel 2008 for Mac.
And you can save the file to this same location by choosing "Save as" and giving it a new name? I understand that you don't want to rename the file, but this step is important in the troubleshooting process.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am able to give it a new name and save it to the desktop but not my wedding folder. I receive the same error message when I try to save it under a different name.
Ok, the permissions of the wedding folder must be wrong. Navigate to the folder location in Finder, click on the "Wedding" folder and choose "get info" from the file menu. Change the permission for "everyone" to "Read and Write"
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
After further investigation it appears that all of my excel documents are "Read Only". I went to "Get Info" on the wedding folder and I am not given the option to click read &write (it is greyed out) and says:
Nobody: Read and Write
Staff: Read Only
Everyone: Read Only

I will try unlocking it to see what happens (just noticed the lock symbol)

After unlocking I tried to change Nobody to "Read and Write but my only options are
1) Read and Write 2) Read only 3) Write Only

Staff: same
Everyone: same
The problem is that the files have no "owner" because of the way they were imported onto your system. You can try using Disk Utility and running the "repair disk permissions" tool to see if that fixes it. However, I believe this only checks the permissions of some system files and not the contents of your home directory.

There is one thing you can try. Get Info on the "weddings" folder again, unlock the permissions and then click the little "+". Add your username and give it "Read and Write" permissions. Then click the cog icon located between the lock and the "-" and choose "Apply to Enclosed Items"
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I unlocked everything under "Documents" and changed it to everyone: "read and write", I did the same with the Wedding folder. I've tried to open several spreadsheets since and they still say "Read Only" when opened. Any other advise?
Let's try the Unix command prompt method. Click on spotlight "the magnifier at the top right of the screen" and type "terminal" without the quotes and press enter. You'll see a command prompt. Type "pwd" without the quotes and press enter. Then copy/paste the result back to me. I need to know your directory names in order to give you the rest of the steps.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Last login: Wed Jan 6 19:25:03 on console
Sarah-Skinners-MacBook-Pro:~ sarahlskinner$ pwd
Sarah-Skinners-MacBook-Pro:~ sarahlskinner$
ok, you're going to type the following. Press enter at the end of the line:

sudo chown -R sarahlskinner:staff /Users/sarahlskinner/Documents/Wedding

It will ask for your password, go ahead and enter it. This should fix the problem.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am at the point where I can enter a password XXXXX it is not allowing me to type further, it's as if it froze.

Now I messed it up. I x'ed out of the original terminal and tried to reenter everything but "password" as an option isn't coming up again.
The password XXXXX XXXXX as you type it, you just type it and hit enter. Quit "Terminal" and reopen it and try again
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok, I did that and the spreadsheets are still showing "Read Only"
Restart your computer. Open finder and get info on one of the documents. Does it show your name as the first name instead of "unknown" now?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
no, my name is XXXXX XXXXX listed. I can add it though.
Try creating a new folder inside your documents folder and move those documents into the new folder.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It is all of my excel spreadsheets. They are all in their own folders and some are floating around alone under documents. I would have to create many many folders in order to do that. Thanks for trying but I'm giving up!
I don't understand why the permission change I gave you to do didn't work. Can you try one more thing? Open the terminal again and this time issue this command:

sudo chown -R sarahlskinner:staff /Users/sarahlskinner/Documents

This should change the ownership of everything in your document folder to your user.
Pat and 3 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you

Related Computer Questions