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XLS Files created by SSRS will not open in Numbers on the iPad

1019 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 28, 2012 1:50 PM by peteisams RSS
peteisams Calculating status...
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Nov 28, 2012 12:49 AM

The company I work for creates business intelligence reports which are used in an education environment and are created daily and e-mailed out to staff.  These reports contain fairly simple tables with pupil data.


One customer uses iPads extensively to maximise the quick response to this (behaviour) data.  There is an issue which seems to be prevalent in newer versions of Numbers where these documents can not be opened.  I note a previous discussion on this matter where the only solution was to save the file in excel and then the sheets would open.  This is not really an option here.


I presume that there is some data missing in the header of the XLS file or something but if anyone has any information on this, especially if I can adapt the report in any way to include this data, please let me know if you have overcome a similar issue and how you went about it.



Pete H

  • Jeff Shenk Level 4 Level 4 (2,000 points)

    Have you examined an "xls file created by SRSS" to see if it is really an xls file?  I have read (but not encountered myself) that some programs will create CSV files with the xls extension, which Excel will then quietly import. If that were the case with these files, changing the extension to CSV might allow Numbers to import them.

  • Badunit Level 6 Level 6 (10,765 points)

    I'm not sure what your last test was.  You said it is definitely not a CSV but that CSV works but without formatting. Did you mean you changed the XLS extention to CSV and it did not work, you got gibberish, and in a separate test you created a CSV file (either by exporting it that way to start with or by saving it as a CSV in Excel) and the import worked but without some of the features/data you needed?


    Also, you mentioned earlier that only newer versions of Numbers have this problem. Is it for sure that some non-updated versions of Numbers on the iPad will open these files? You've tested one of the recently created xls files to verify this?

  • Badunit Level 6 Level 6 (10,765 points)

    Was this the other post you mentioned?



    It would appear that SSRS creates non-standard headers and Numbers doesn't know how to process them.  I'm not sure what to recommend. CSV might work as a go-between except that it is only the data, no formatting. Is there any way to change the workflow on your end so that the generated file goes to someone at your company who then re-saves it in Excel and emails it to the client(s)?


    Alternately, if the client only needs to read the data, not interact with it and make changes, maybe another app will read the files correctly. You could give GoodReader a try.


    And another alternative might be for them to use Quicklook instead of opening the file in Numbers.  Not another app, it is one of the options for opening the document on the iPad.  I don't know if Excel readbility is a built-in feature of iOS or if I can read Excel files because of some app on my iPad. Something you can test I hope.


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