Read-Only in Excel, Problems with

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So far this is just notes...

Some problems that trigger Read-Only   (#triggers)

If I open a file from the task bar by double-clicking, I end up opening it twice because only a single-click is required. The result is that the second opening is "read-only". If I close that then the 1st open is okay except that my customized toolbars are destroyed.

Before you open the file check to see if the read-only attribute is turned on by right-clicking on the file and checking properties. If the file had been copied by copy/paste to a CD-Writer then the read-only attribute gets turned on.  XCOPY turns off the read-only attribute so such files are not a problem, but most other utilities result in setting the Read-only bit.

Look at your windows Task Manager to see if you have more than one instance of Excel, see if Help is working.

From the shortcuts area of the Windows task bar only one click is needed. Double-click results in invoking twice.

Make sure the "Ignore other applications" is not selected under Tools, Options, General.

Something More to Check: File, Save As, Tools, General Options, Read-Only option is on the same dialog that you use to set a password

Clear out all files in the Temporary Internet Directory.  Excel cannot have two files with the same name open at the same time.

Shared Workbooks   (#shared)

Normally you would not want to share a workbook, because if you do, you will not be able to change your macros, or update your workbook if someone else has it open for update.  You can check if the workbook is shared by looking at Tools, then if you see Share the workbook, it is not shared.  You can turn sharing on or off from the Tools menu.

Do you see [Shared] on the Title bar, if you do you might take a look at Highlight Change, as you may have experimented having changes you made marked automaticall.  It is a difficult to work with feature best used by several people just before finalizing.  It is very poorly used when one attempts to track every change made during it's life cylce.  It is very wasteful of resources and very restrictive in that sharing makes macros in the workbook very difficult to work with.

To remove a workbook from shared use
  Tools --> Share Workbook --> Editing (tab) --> uncheck Allow changes by more than one person --> OK --> Yes

Read Only Attribute   (#readonly)

As previously mentioned, if you backed up some files to a CD-R, most applications will set the read-only attribute.  Since a CD-RW can be written on they will not have read only attribute set by copy operations.  XCOPY is one applicaiton that will not set the read only attribute -- unless specifically asked to.  Check your directory and subdirectories for read only attribute (/ar) with...
    DIR  c:\temp\*.*   /ar  /s

You can use the ATTRIB command to turn read only on (+R) or off (-R), the following will turn off the read-only bit for the included directory and all subdirectories below it, also unhides (-H) any hidden files.
    ATTRIB  -H  -R  -S  c:\temp  /s  /d

A faster way to turn off the read only attribute for a directory and subdirectories is from the properties.  Right click on a file or a directory in a file manager or explorer listist and look at properties.  If you change read only it will affect the file, or if a directory it will affect the directory and all sub directories.
On the confirm attributes change dialog, click on the “Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files”.

Look at the HELP information for the following commands
    help dir         --or use--   dir  /?
    help attrib     --or use--   attrib /?

For your testing you can make a file read only
    cd c:\temp
    ATTRIB +R a.txt

Who Has the Read Only File   (#reserved)

Macro supplied by Harald Staff, Programming, 2002-10-14.
Sub test()
Dim wbk As Workbook
Set wbk = Workbooks.Open("C:\temp\book1.xls")
If wbk.ReadOnly Then
    MsgBox "Write reserved by " & _
End If
End Sub

Additional Alternative   (#alternatives)

Save as a different filename.

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