Troubleshooting Snapshot Issues



The snapshot feature allows consumer level users to download a snapshot of a workbook to print or share with others. This version of the workbook is a limited view that does not allow users to see formulas, Pivot Tables, PowerPivot models, or hidden columns or sheets. Under certain conditions some workbooks fail to snapshot. When this happens Excel Services spins instead of downloading a snapshot, then crashes. When it crashes, the user sees a blank white screen. Hitting the back button brings you back to the workbook view. 

Causes of the Excel Services crash include the following: 

  • A workbook originally created in Excel 2010 and was then upgraded to 2013. 
  • An Excel 2010 composite workbook. 
  • A workbook which has charts built from pivot tables located in different worksheets. 
  • The workbook has hidden sheets.
  • The workbook has conditional formatting.
  • The workbook has comments or other unsupported features.

Workarounds for these conditions:

  • Recreate workbooks that were created in 2010 in 2013. 
  • Build charts as Pivot Charts or over non-pivot table data.
  • Remove hidden sheets

Excessive Formatting 

We've also seen issues with worksheets failing to snapshot due to excessively formatted cells. To check for excessively formatted cells, open the affected document on a workstation, and press ctrl + end on the keyboard. If headings are hidden it can be helpful to unhide them so you can see the total number of columns and rows. If you have more formatted cells that data, it's a good idea to clean things up. Use the steps below to clean up unformatted cells in Excel 2013. 

  1. Enable the Inquire add-in: a. Click File > Options > Add-ins
  2. Select COM Add-ins from the Manage list at the bottom.
  3. In the COM Add-Ins box, check Inquire, then click OK. Inquire will be visible in the Ribbon.
  4. On the Inquire tab, click Clean Excessive Formatting.
  5. Choose all worksheets, and save the changes when done.
  6. Check the workbook to ensure that nothing you need has been removed.
  7. Upload the document to the Pivotstream site and attempt to create a snapshot.

Some versions of Excel do not have Inquire. Use this method instead:

  1. Select the last column you want to see.
  2. Press Shift + CTRL + Right Arrow on the keyboard.
  3. All the columns to the right will be highlighted. Press delete on your keyboard.
  4. Select the last row you want to see.
  5. Press Shift + CTRL + Down Arrow on the keyboard.
  6. All the rows will be selected. Press delete on your keyboard.
  7. All the rows below your content will be deleted.

Commas in the Document Title

If a document contains a comma in the title, a snapshot cannot be downloaded. Rename the document without a comma and upload it to the Pivotstream site again. If you want to see a comma, use the Menu Title. Directions for editing the document title are here

Half-Split Search

If none of the above has solved the issue, try the half-split method. 

  1. Delete half the worksheets in the workbook, upload and test.
  2. If the workbook doesn't snapshot, delete half the worksheets in the workbook, upload and test.
  3. Continue with this method until the offending worksheet(s) are identified.

Once the problematic worksheet(s) are identified, try deleting elements from the sheet until you find the problem. 



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