25 June, 2009

Columns in Edit in Datasheet View are read-only

Few Days before, we encountered a weird error message, not error we can say but normal properly working list or document library turned out to be readable only and we were not able to edit anything by using datasheet.
In standard view, it worked properly but our users wanted to use datasheet view only because they are more comfortable with that view and also it is more flexible to apply the metadata for multiple documents in datasheet view. I tried to reproduce the issue and strange thing is i am also facing the same behavior.

After lots to research and troubleshooting, we are able to find out the cause as well as resolution.

User was using Office 2003 and then later installed an Office 2007 component so the Windows SharePoint Service Support tool portion of Office defaulted to using the Office 2007 version. Office 2007 will by default use Access instead of Excel for opening lists in Datasheet view. The types of columns that were being used in the list did not translate correctly to Access from Excel and so were changed to read-only.

This issue is by design and Microsoft is working on this one:

This will in effect remove the Office 2007 integration with SharePoint and change it back to using Office 2003 integration.

On the client machine:-
1.   Go to Add/Remove Programs
2.   Select the Office 2007 component, if there are more than one, do this for each of them.
3.   Select “Change” and then Add or Remove Features Expand the Office Tools section and
4.   Change the install state for Windows SharePoint Service Support to Not Available (Right click on it and choose “not available”) Continue through the wizard.
5.   Reboot

Go to Add/Remove programs --> Select Office 2003 -->Select Change and then Repair-->Continue through the wizard.

I hope the above steps helps you to resolve your problem and you are able to use the data view properly. If you face any issues after applying the above steps then please let me know!! Thanks!!


  1. Hi Amol,

    One of the user have the same problem. When he tried to open the datasheet view nothing is show i.e empty. But when i edit the same document library i' am able to see all the documents in data sheet view. very weired.

    Is my problem is same as you mentioned.


  2. Hello Praveen,

    It seems that this issue is related to the permissions only. I guess, you have high permissions level as compare to that user.

    User is able to open the list as he has read permissions but when we changed the view from standerd to datasheet, we can modify the list without any problems just like the excel sheet. Could you please check his permissions levels and let me know?

    Is this list inheriting permissions from the parent or created with unqiue permissions ?

    is this user able to edit/modify the same list in standerd view ?

    Please check and let me know,thanks...

  3. Thanks for your reply Amol.

    No user have contributor access and she also able to edit the list item in the standard view.

    Any thoughts?

  4. Hello Praveen,

    It seems that this problem is machine specific.

    Could you please tell the user to try from different machine and check the results ??

    If he is able to see the datasheet view from different machine then the problem is with Microsoft Office Only which is installed on users machine..

    as per the microsoft recommendations, Office 2007 is the perfect platform with SharePoint(MOSS) 2007.

    I am pretty much sure that the problem is with machine specific and related to permissions..

    Please check and let me know the results,thanks for your patience.. Have a great day ahead..

  5. hi Amol,

    I really appreciate you for your reply. I will try with here and let you know the result.
    Thanks once again Amol.


  6. Hi Amol, this workaround that you describe works even you have the settings on the document library as Check out before editing, usually when we try the datasheet view and try to update some metadata, it appears the error that is need to chek out the docuemnto to edit it, I check out from another browser and then when I try it give me another undefined error. Is posible to work with this feature in a library with those settings. We have Office 2003 for the end users and SahrePoint 2007 for the server. Let me know your input.

    Thanks Silvia

  7. Office 2003 has some discrepancies in which some features will not work as expected. I have just tested out the same with Office 2007 and works without any issues.

    In fact Microsoft recommended to use Office 2007 which is compatible with SharePoint 2007 and features are well supported too..

    As a workaround, Please make that option as 'NO' i.e. check out before editing and guide the user to check out the document before editing. manual check out will works without any problems. Please check and let me know in case of any further queries/questions, Thanks

  8. Hi Amol,
    I'm in the process porting data from an existing ChaneRequest log site into a similar WSS 3.0 site.
    After porting for multiple lines text columns, if I am allowing Append Changes to Existing Text,its appending my name along with date when I view the entry. How to avoid it ,of course w/o turning off version history ?


  9. two conditions:

    -if both the site resides under the same site collection then we can achive this requirement by means of content and structure

    -if both the site collections are different then there is no way(OOB) to move the data along with metadata. If you save the list as template then also it will show your name againt the items.

    If possible then you can use this: http://spdeploymentwizard.codeplex.com/ - excellent tool by which we can preserve the metadata

    OR docave: http://www.avepoint.com/sharepoint-backup-and-restore-docave/

    Please let me know in case of any further queries/questions, Thank you

  10. Hi Amol,
    I have one query, in datasheet view I have one column, Whose value is getting set through workflow.
    Column type is number, I don't want user to enter value in the column. Is there any way by means of which I can at least distinguished the column. Something like shading, Text displaying Not to enter any value. Something like this.
    I can not change the type of column. Also I am not allow to deploy any code. Please Help.

    Thanks in advance


Your feedback is always appreciated. I will try to reply to your queries as soon as possible- Amol Ghuge

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