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After trying to open an Excel spreadsheet, you receive the following error message:

Error Message
ODBC Excel Driver Login Failed: External table is not in the expected format.

As a result you are unable to use the existing ODBC link to connect to the spread sheet.

Potential Causes:

  • The Excel spreadsheet was created saved as an Excel 2003 Workbook (filename.xls) format.
  • The spreadsheet was opened and re-saved in Excel 2007 format Workbook (filename.xlsx) creating a version conflict.


If the file was saved in the format "Excel 93-2003 Workbook (*.xls)", then the ODBC can correctly read the file as a table.

If the file was saved in the new XML format using "Excel Workbook" in Excel 2007, the external table is actually in XML and not the expected format which is a native Excel table object. Although Excel 2007 successfully opens these files when double-clicked,  just opening the file in Excel is not sufficient to determine if the file can be read using ODBC.

You need to go to your ODBC administrator and add a new entry for the new format of Excel files. When you click on Add, there should be an entry for a Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls, *.xlsx, *.xlsm, *.xlsb) . You may also need to delete your old Excel entry.

The new ODBC DSN should read the new format for the .xlsx file.
Re-link the fields on the label by selecting each one connected to the .xlsx spread sheet, beginning with the database key field and working through the database data fields.


Article Number



 All LLM/LPS versions.


All supported installation environments.

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