File corruption

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mmacauley
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 3:24 am

File corruption

Post by mmacauley » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:54 pm

Since upgrading to PlanMaker 2010 (for Windows), from 2008, I've noticed a number of strange behaviors. Besides the slow saving, which I described in a separate post, there's sometimes difficulty with editing (the blinking cursor will disappear, or fail to appear, or appear in a different part of the screen) -- if anyone is curious, I can describe this also in a separate post. But what is most worrisome, and for which I haven't yet found a workaround, is the recent corruption of several documents I was editing.

What seems to have happened, in at least two documents which are currently open, is that many of the cell references have been shifted by one row. In one file, for example, which has lots of sums, the first 16 rows are normal, and the sums contained in those cells have correct references. However, starting in row 17, and continuing through row 326, the references for each sum are off by one row, compared with how they used to be (when I entered them, and for a while afterward). As an example, E18 used to be "=SUM(F18,J18)", but now it's "=SUM(F19,J19)".

There are plenty of examples comparable to that one. There are also a number of cells which have not only had their references shifted by one cell, but also their contents. So whereas row 38 used to be a row of sums, now some of those sums are in row 38 and some have moved to row 39. As an example, F38 used to be "=SUM(F22:F37)". Now F38 is blank, and F39 is "=SUM(F24:F39)". Notice it now includes a circular reference.

One other strange thing about this file: the outlining has been corrupted, so where I used to have columns outlined to 3 and 4 levels, now there are only two levels of outlining. This sort of thing has happened occasionally before, in other files.

I have no idea what I might have done to trigger this file corruption, or how to recover the data and formulas which it used to contain. At about the same time, another file has also become corrupted, in a (perhaps?) similar way. This other file doesn't contain any formulas, just text. But it has plenty of conditional formatting, and a good number of joined cells (always joining multiple rows, never multiple columns). The conditional formatting had been applied in a pattern. Within each of seven columns, there had been a pattern of one cell with one conditional format, two cells with another, and 52 cells with yet another conditional format. Below this, the pattern would repeat, and repeat, about 30 times in all. Now, for some reason, the conditional formatting has been shifted, so the pattern begins in a different place. In some cases, a set of cells which are joined, push the conditional formatting down, so that it's not the same across all seven of these columns. Once again, I have no idea what caused this file corruption, or how to restore it to how it was, or prevent it from happening again.

Please help. I love the features and speed of SoftMaker Office, but if I can't trust it to not eat my files and cost me many hours of work recreating what I've already created, I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy Microsoft Office, or try one of the free behemoth alternatives... :cry:

sven-l
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Re: File corruption

Post by sven-l » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:18 am

Can you please send us an example file to forum(at)softmaker.de? Thank you!
Sven Leßmann
SoftMaker Software GmbH

mmacauley
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 3:24 am

Re: File corruption

Post by mmacauley » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:25 am

This is turning into a nightmare. On the plus side, I was able to carefully restore some old data from a .bak file, and thus rescue (for the time being) one of my important files.

But now I've just finishing editing and formatting a whole column of headings and subheadings in a new worksheet, then switched to a different worksheet, and when I come back to the first one, most of the new headings have disappeared. I pressed undo about fifty times but to no avail -- although I reverted back to before I entered all of those headings, they still didn't reappear at any step along the away. PlanMaker has officially eaten them, it seems.

I opened the latest .bak file again and thought I could rescue them that way, and nearly did. But then I got greedy, tried to rescue a formula which was also eaten in the process, to save myself from having to re-create it...and the copy/paste triggered PlanMaker to hang in the midst of "Updating external references..." It looks as though those headings may be lost for good, another hour or so of work wasted.

I think I've had it with PlanMaker 2010. Maybe I'll go back to 2008, or maybe I'll switch to Excel, but I can't afford to keep losing work like this. I hope the developers can get to the bottom of these nasty bugs.

sven-l
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Re: File corruption

Post by sven-l » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:42 pm

I sent you an PM.
Sven Leßmann
SoftMaker Software GmbH

martin-k
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Re: File corruption

Post by martin-k » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:10 am

We have investigated this report in more detail, and the developers found out that you managed to fill a whole column with formatting without actually using the column selection. It seems you selected many cells manually and then applied formatting. Had you selected the whole column instead, PlanMaker would have noticed and applied the formatting once for the whole column. Here instead, every cell was flagged as formatted, leading to slower save times and larger files.

Incidently, PlanMaker 2008 and 2010 behave exactly the same with formatting like this.

PlanMaker 2012 (due out any day now) now contains code that scans for such regions and compresses them.

In the meantime, you could probably simply select the whole affected column (by clicking on the column header) and apply the formatting again. This helps PlanMaker 2012 determine the amount of formatting to save.
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

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