Microsoft Excel 2003 errors with "Problems During load" when trying to open a list of objects exported from Service Desk Manager (SDM).

Document ID : KB000050369
Last Modified Date : 14/02/2018
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This situation manifests itself when you have a list of objects (ex: Incidents) and one of the fields contains a special characters in it, such as ']' or '<' (see Figure 1 below in which the field contains the text, 'Problem]will<occur on Excel2003').

When you export the list using the 'Export' button, you cannot open the resulting .XLS file using Microsoft Excel 2003. Instead, you receive the 'Problems During Load' popup message shown in Figure 2.

Figure 1. The field in an item in a list contains special characters.

Figure 1

Figure 2. Microsoft Excel 2003 cannot handle the special characters.

Figure 2

If you open the exported .XLS file using a text editor, for this example, you may see the following:

<Data ss:Type="String"><![CDATA[Problem]will<occur on Excel2003]]></Data>


Microsoft Excel 2003 cannot handle such special characters as a value. It misunderstands them to be special tag characters and so it cannot open the file properly. That's why the error. This is a limitation with Excel, and not with SDM.

Microsoft Excel 2007 on the other hand handles this better and it recognizes the characters properly.

So, the alternative is to use Microsoft Excel 2007 to open the file.