Monday, August 24, 2009

Are You Having Trouble Downloading the Spreadsheets?

July 25, 2020:
There has been a problem with some of the spreadsheets that have to be downloaded. I am in the process of fixing the problems, starting with -- the INFLATION CALCULATORS/SPREADSHEETS, and PLANNING TO BUY A HOUSE SPREADSHEET (which is also used in the Benchmark Buyer post). Please try those calculators/spreadsheets first and let me know how it goes in the comments on one of those posts.

The on-screen calculators should all work; just enter your data and see the results on-screen.

For spreadsheets, first click on the link for the spreadsheet you are interested in. If you see a green tab above the speadsheet that says "View Only" you are already in Google Sheets. If you do not* see that, click on the message that says "Open with Google Sheets." Once you are in Google Sheets, at the top of the page, click on File-Download-Microsoft Excel. That should let you download the spreadsheet - then click on the downloaded file in your downloaded files. You will need spreadsheet software on your computer.

If you don't have spreadsheet software on your computer (or the above doesn't work for some reason)....
Create a new blank spreadsheet on Google Drive. (If you don't have one already, you will need to create a Google Drive account.)
Click on the the link for the spreadsheet you are interested in.
Copy my spreadsheet onto the new spreadsheet you just created
You should then have your very own copy of the spreadsheet that you can enter your own data into.

Let me know how it goes, and if you need additional instructions.

Since I have been on an extended hiatus, I am not sure of the status of the other spreadsheets. If this process works for others as well, please leave a comment for me.


This blog rarely gives advice, partly because I don't know the particulars of your specific situations. More often, I will share data and/or analytical tools with readers in order to help them make their own decisions, based upon their specific circumstances. Sharing my spreadsheets is an important part of this process. However, apparently some readers are having difficulties accessing the spreadsheets.

This post will provide a central forum where I address problems that I am informed of. If you are having a problem, PLEASE let me know; otherwise I probably won't fix it. However, it is best to leave your comment on the post where you encountered the problem. Otherwise, I won't know which spreadsheet is causing the problem.

Can't Download Spreadsheet

You can never download my spreadsheets by clicking on the image in the post; that's just a picture. Clicking on the picture will normally give you a larger, clearer version of the picture, but not download the associated spreadsheet. To download the spreadsheet, look for a link -- generally near the end of the post.

Google may deny access to Google Documents/Spreadsheets if you do not have a Google account. If you don't have one, go here (they're free). Let me know if you're having problems.

In some browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer) you'll see a dialog box asking you to either OPEN the spreadsheet, or SAVE it to your PC. In some other browsers (e.g., some versions of Chrome) you may need to click on a link that appears at the bottom of your browser screen -- or at the bottom of a new blank screen.

Note: In all cases you must have a spreadsheet program on your computer -- either Excel, or a program that can read Excel files.

Downloading From Google Documents/Spreadsheets

Some of the links take you to Google Documents/Spreadsheets. If you end up there, while in Google spreadsheets click on File - Download.

Can't Enter Data

To enter data you must actually download the associated spreadsheet; clicking on the screenshot will expand it, but not allow you to enter data. The link to download the spreadsheet and enter data is usually at the end of the post.

Multiple Worksheets

Many of the models are Excel workbooks containing multiple worksheets. To navigate between worksheets, click on the tabs in the bottom left hand corner of the workbook.

Problem: Spreadsheet Cells Contain ###### or #VALUE!

I’m sill having problems converting from Excel to Google Spreadsheets and back. In some cases, when you first open a spreadsheet you may see ###### or #VALUE! or #NAME in some cells.

First, try widening the column width of columns containing ##### by about 1/2" -- or until the #### in that column disappear.

If that doesn't solve the problem, click on the offending cells one by one, starting in the upper left and ending in the lower right, and hit the F2 key and then the Enter key for each; the correct numbers should magically appear.

#NAME errors

There are apparently problems converting range names when downloading from Google Spreadsheets to the spreadsheet on your PC. If you get #NAME errors, please let me know. You won't be able to resolve those unless I make changes in the spreadsheet as it exists on Google Docs.

Problems With Graphs

The graphs in my posts are created using Excel. When I upload to Google Spreadsheets (GS), the graphs disappear. I then try to replicate the graphs using Google Spreadsheets (GS) -- as best I can. Therefore, for some spreadsheets, I provide two links.

If you use the gs link you can work in GS, and the graphs I created in GS will be available to you (though they will generally be somewhat different from the graphs in the posts).

If you use the second link you can download to Excel. However, the graphs apparently do not export to Excel. You will have to recreate them. The good news is that you will be able to create the same graphs that I have included in the post (assuming you have basic Excel skills).

At least, I think that's the way it's working. Let me know if I'm mistaken.

Other Problems??

If you are aware of additional problems, please let me know. However, it's better to leave a comment on the post where the problem was encountered rather than here.

Last updated 7/30/2020


  1. Hello, I am involved in google spreadsheets, what formulas did you have in there so that when you exported it gave you ####### or #value? thanks!

  2. When I download the Stock Market Analysis Model ( ) virtually all of the cells show as either ##### or #VALUE!. It doesn't appear to matter what is actually in the cell. In some cases the formulas are built-in-functions (VLOOKUP, RATE); in other cases simple IF statements or basic arithmetic formulas.

    I just noticed, they're all #VALUE! issues. The ##### cells are cells that are not wide enough to contain #VALUE! If I make the cells wider, then the ###### changes to #VALUE!

    Is this a calculation sequence problem??

  3. Hey can you make a post about how to go about building models. Your models here are great by the way!

  4. Anon,
    Thanks for the idea. I've added your request to my rather sizable list of ideas for posts. Let me give it some thought so I can figure out how I want to approach.

    And, thanks for the compliment too!

  5. I basically get the #NAME? error like everyone else. Looks like your vlookup function is refering to a Data_table but the worksheet is called Dow Data.
    Not sure if it is related since I am unfamiliar with that function.
    It would be useful if you could revise the document on google docs or link to the correct one.

  6. Andre,
    Thanks for letting me know. I am able to duplicate the problem, but not yet sure what's causing it. I'll try to fix it this afternoon.

  7. Andre,
    BTW it is best to leave the comment on the post where you encountered the error so that I know which spreadsheet you are referring to. From your note, I'm guessing you're having a problem with the Stock Market Analysis Model (SMAM).

    My personal version of the SMAM model is fine, and the version uploaded on Google Docs is fine. At first glance, it appears that when you download from Google Docs, it loses the definition of Data_table (and probably other variables as well). If so, I have some tedious work ahead and probably won't finish until tomorrow.

    Thank you so much for letting me know. Others must have had the same problem, but did not leave a comment. Are you having problems with some of my other models as well?

  8. Andre,
    I've finished the changes to the Stock Market Analysis Model, and everything appears to be working again. As I suspected, some information was being lost in the download from Google Spreadsheets to Excel--an ongoing issue.

    Let me know if you have additional problems.


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