Today I received a call from one of my clients requesting help with a SharePoint error.

The client had uploaded an Excel spreadsheet and when trying to update the properties of the document, SharePoint displayed this error “Unable to update the information in the Microsoft Office document”.

On further probing, I got the following information

  • Document library consists of similar Excel spreadsheets.
  • Updating (editing) properties of these without any issues.

As always it was very urgent and client could not wait for me to get to their office or remote in (was on a different client site)!

It always helps to ask some basic questions and this is what materialised

  1. File size was 19 MB.
  2. Creating a new spreadsheet and editing properties worked.

So I suggested the following

  1. Backup the Excel spreadsheet
  2. Reduced the size of the file to 5MB by deleting content.
  3. Upload the revised file and edit properties.

That worked. Client could edit the properties of the revised file. Hmm ..

So, I asked the client what version of Excel was this spreadsheet saved as. Answer Excel 2003!

Duh! I know the clients had Office 2007, so I asked her to save the 19MB file as Excel 2007 file and then upload the file.

Yay! It worked. Client was able to edit the properties of the spreadsheet. I didn’t get to know what was the size of the spreadsheet that was saved in Excel 2007 format, but it helped resolve the error!