Conquering Datasheet View in SharePoint 2007

Show of hands, how many of you have encountered this wonderful error and said out loud, “D’OH!”?  I know that I have.  Did you know that Datasheet is actually driven off of the Microsoft Office Excel library for base options, and Access library (yup, that application that is a lite version of SQL Server) for more advanced options?

The list cannot be displayed in Datasheet view for one or more of the following reasons: A datasheet component compatible with Windows SharePoint Services is not installed.; Your Web browser does not support ActiveX controls.; Support for ActiveX controls is disabled.

But you might be saying to yourself, “But I have Office 2010 64-bit edition installed, what gives?”  AH HA! Therein lies the problem: the 64-bit version of Excel (which was introduced in Office 2010) is not supported in Datasheet mode in SharePoint 2007… again cue the “D’OH!”

Thankfully there is a quick solution.  If you are able to install programs on your client machine, download and install the Access Runtime component provided Microsoft.  After installation is complete, select Edit in Datasheet and voila, you’re up and running!

And great news for those lucky few who are still enjoying Microsoft Office 2003 (keep fighting the good fight, Ribbons are just plain evil!)… you might have noticed you can use Datasheet view, but certain features like the ability to edit Lookup column with Multiple Selections enabled are not available.  Download and install  Access Runtime for free and access the same features as if you were running Excel 2007!  Same is true for customers who do not have Microsoft Office installed at all.


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