Known issues

This page contains a list of the known issues when using SpreadsheetConverter to convert Excel spreadsheets to live, calculating web pages.

Development

Designing the spreadsheet

Cells that contain both text and numbers

When we designed SpreadsheetConverter we wanted to allow for extremely large spreadsheets, and still provide exceptionally fast response times on slow hardware. This forced us into a few minor compromises, of which one was that if you ever assign a character string value to a cell, it is always treated like a character string.

When you reference such a cell in your spreadsheet, it always returns a string value, even if it’s a number. The cell contents will always be left-aligned, also for numbers. In string comparisons the operation compares character for character from left to right, so numeric string values may give unexpected results, e.g. ‘9’ > ‘10’ and ‘09’ <> ‘9’.

Example: a formula that returns either text or a number

=IF($E2=0, "Error", ROUND(0.8/$H2,2))

SpreadsheetConverter will see that the formula may return the text string Error and internally defines the cell as a string value, which will always left-align the cell – even if it contains a number.

To avoid this from happening, divide the functionality into two cells, one with the numeric value

=ROUND(0.8/$H2,2)

And another with the error indication

=IF($E2=0, "Error", "")

Example: A formula that tests if a numeric cell is empty

When you want to test if a numeric cell is empty, you would typically use a formula like

=IF(A1=0,"Empty", A1)

This works fine in Excel, but SpreadsheetConverter regards empty cells as text strings and so the test will fail because “” is not equal to 0. The obvious circumventions are:

  • Never use empty numeric cells – always insert a default value of 0
  • Never use formulas to assign text values to numeric cells.

If you really, really must have a cell that contains both text and numbers, an error-proof test for it being empty is

=IF(OR(TRIM(A1)="", A1=0), "Empty", A1)

Converting the spreadsheet to a web page

The conversion never finishes

If you start a conversion and the progress bar seems to get stuck around 32%, you may be using conditional formatting on a very large cell range, e.g. an entire column. This problem is easily solved, just apply conditional formatting to only those cells that actually contain data.

Viewing the result

Cannot scan barcode to see the web page

When the conversion is complete, you may be shown a QR code to scan with your mobile device. If the barcode doesn’t appear automatically, you can open the History List and show the barcode from there.

If the web page doesn’t appear in your mobile device when you scan the barcode, and you get messages saying the web site is unavailable, impossible to connect to or doesn’t respond, you may need to add an exception to the Windows Firewall. Read more in the online help for Instant Testing.

Handling forms

Delivering forms via e-mail

Our Free and Advanced e-mail services run on secure web servers, where incoming form submissions are saved. For each new form we receive on your behalf, we send an e-mail to one or more e-mail addresses designated by you, with the contents of the submitted form. 

E-mail is built on a store-and-forward architecture, and in the worst case, an e-mail from our server may have to pass multiple servers before it reaches its recipients. The e-mail infrastructure is beyond our control and there is simply no way for us to guarantee that you will get all the e-mails we send you.

With the Advanced Submit Service, you get a personal login to our forms database. We recommend that you periodically use this login to monitor our server manually for new form submissions, in case the corresponding e-mails have been discarded by the e-mail infrastructure.

The risk of losing e-mails increases when you use File Attachments. We recommend that you use our Secure Delivery feature to have the e-mail contain just a link to the form instead of the form’s full contents with attachments.