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How do I open an Excel file for editing without MS Office installed?

  • While I have MS Office 2007 installed on my PC (running Vista), I am trialing MSOffice 365 on a cloud (remote desktop server, running Windows Server 2008) that does not have MS Office installed.  I copied an Excel file from my PC to my cloud desktop and uploaded it into SharePoint, but I can't open the file within the Excel Web App. When I try to "edit" the uploaded file, I get the following error message:


    "The document could not be opened for editing. A Microsoft SharePoint Foundation compatible application could not be found to edit the document."



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  • Hi

       It seems like that the Office Web Apps was not installed on your PC.I suggested that you may install the Office Professional Plus which is the component of Office 365.Office Professional Plus includes the new Office Web Apps, online companions to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, which let you review and make light edits to documents directly from a browser.



  • Are you trying this in IE and allowing sharepoint to install any necessary plugins?

    The following SharePoint features may not be supported or have limited functionality on non-Internet Explorer web browsers:

    • Context menu

    • Drag and Drop (of Web Parts)

    • Edit in Datasheet view

    • Edit In (Microsoft Office application)

    • Explorer view

    • List attachments

    • Multiple file upload

    • New Document

    • Part to Part Connections

    • People Picker

    • Rich text Toolbar

    • Send To

    • Web Discussions

    • Web Part menu

    • Export to Spreadsheet

    • Date Picker Control

    • Summary Links Web Part

    • Excel Calculation Services

    • Slide Library

    • Excel Web Access

    • Open in Excel

    • Open Snapshot

    • Sorting and Filtering (Excel Services)

    • Signing forms (Forms Server)

    • Rich Text (InfoPath)

    • Rich text editing in Forms Server forms

    Plan browser support (SharePoint Server 2010):

  • Hi,

    Please make sure you have enable the function for editing document in OWA. You could enable it in the sharepoint management panel.

    1, Click Site Action -> Site Settings.

    2, Click Site Collection Features.

    3, Enable Office Web Apps.



  • I am using MS Office 365 in IE8. On the Home page under Team site I see icons for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. I can open Excel, but then I can't open an Excel file that I transferred to the cloud and uploaded to Sharepoint. That's when I get the message listed above. I go to the Team Site, select the uploaded Excel file under Documents and then select Edit Document from the Library Tools. Is this correct? Am I missing something? Thanks, again, for any help.

  • Allan, I have confirmed that I have OWA enabled. Any other ideas?

  • Hello, it may be because the document is saved in Excel 97-2003 format? Try saving in 2007 format.

  • The Excel document is saved as an Excel 2007 macro-enabled workbook. Any other ideas?

  • Hi DEK,


    Try to add the SharePoint site to the Trusted Sites zone of the browser. Details are illustrated in the following link.




  • Same problem here except the error is:

    "You do not have appropriate permissions to create a new workbook in the specified location."

    WA enabled, IE8, admin log in, can't add to trusted sites because it's http not https.

    This should just work without having to go through all these gyrations. Is this why they call it the cloud because you can't actually see anything??!!


  • Allan, I did as you suggested--added the Sharepoint site to my browser's (IE8) Trusted Sites--however, I still get the same error message: "The document could not be opened for editing. A Microsoft SharePoint Foundation compatible application could not be found to edit the document." This is getting very frustrating--I'm about ready to give-up on MS Office 365. -DEK

  • The default edit is for the people with Office 2007 or 2010 install on the computer.

    If you don't have office on the computer, you need to go to the documents library by click the 'Documents'.

    You will see the list on document, right click the document uder 'Name' and select 'edit in browser'.

    Or you can change the document webpart by adding edit.