Cannot modify 'read only' files in Excel 2011 for Mac


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I have a spreadsheet which I recently constructed, which was saved with normal permissions, not read only.
Now, if I make a change to it and come to save it, I get the message that it is read only, and to save it as a newly labeled book.
In permissions, I and all users are shown as having Read & Write access.
If I then save it with a different name, the new file is just the same - showing as read only!

Any help would be much appreciated.
 
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What Mac OS are you using?

When did this start happening?

Also, are you using Excel 2011 as part of Office 2011? If so, what version of Office 2011? If not, which version of Excel 2011?
 
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Hi honestone

It started about 3 weeks ago when I created the workbook.
I'm using Excel 2011 as part of Office 2011, but not sure which version. Excel is Version 14.6.1 (160122)
 
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Ouch! I thought it was auto updating!
My Mac's on El Capitan, version 10.11.6

I recently obtained Office 2016 for the Mac, and it has an Autoupdate "feature". I had been using Office 2011 for a number of years, and never actually saw such a feature. So, I had to manually check myself for updates (in fact, prior to my post above, I needed to manually check for V14.7.0, as when I upgraded, I was last on V14.6.9).

I of course do not know if upgrading to V14.7 will solve your issue, so I would recommend you repair disk permissions. For that, you need to download the excellent freeware program Onyx, which you can get from here:

http://www.titanium.free.fr/onyx.html

As you can see, there is a specific version of Onyx for each Mac OS, so since you are using El Capitan, make sure you get V3.1.8. I have been using Onyx for many, many years, and it is stable, good at what it does, and has had excellent reviews. In fact, prior to upgrading this past weekend of Sierra on my Macs, as I usually do, I used V3.1.8 for the last time, and as expected, it worked.

After you install it, do not launch it immediately. The reason is that it will not pass by Apple's Gatekeeper. Instead, right click on its icon, and select Open. I believe it will ask you one additional question, and then it will start up. You'll need your "admin" information (ie, password) to get it going. Let it check your disk (that is the first question you'll be asked). Then, click on the "Maintenance" Heading, and select Permissions. It will take a couple minutes for that to complete. Finally, run it immediately again.

By the way, are you making backups to an external device? And, have you done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs? Both of those tasks are necessary, and you should be performing them on a periodic basis.
 
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Thanks for this honestone.
I've now updated Office & Excel, but that hasn't changed anything.
I've installed and run Onyx as suggested, and have the following report after running Permissions twice. It unfortunately, means nothing to me but you might be able to 'decipher' it?

volume_arg = /

Starting argv pass #2...

Processing files from package com.apple.update.firmwareupdate...

Processing files from package com.apple.pkg.update.os.SecUpd2016-002ElCapitan.15G1108...

Processing files from package com.apple.update.fullbundleupdate.15G1004...

Permissions differ on "Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Resources/Safari.help/Contents/Resources/index.html", should be lrwxr-xr-x , they are -rw-r--r-- .

Unable to set owner & group on "Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Resources/Safari.help/Contents/Resources/index.html". Error 1: Operation not permitted

Unable to set permissions on "Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Resources/Safari.help/Contents/Resources/index.html". Error 1: Operation not permitted

Processing files from package com.apple.pkg.update.os.SecUpd2016-001ElCapitan.15G1004...

Processing files from package com.apple.update.fullbundleupdate.15G31...

Processing files from package com.apple.pkg.update.os.10.11.6.15G31...

Processing files from package com.apple.pkg.update.os.10.11.5.15F34...

Processing files from package com.apple.pkg.update.os.10.11.4.15E65...

Processing files from package com.apple.pkg.update.os.Combo10.11.3.15D21...

Processing files from package com.apple.pkg.update.os.10.11.2.15C50...

Processing files from package com.apple.pkg.X11redirect...

Processing files from package com.apple.pkg.Essentials...

Processing files from package com.apple.pkg.BaseSystemResources...

Processing files from package com.apple.pkg.Mac2015002EFIUpdate...

Processing files from package com.apple.update.firmwareupdate...

Processed 425166 paths from 15 packages.


I do a constant backup to an external disk and do carry out regular maintenance.
 
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Hmm, nothing "jumps out" regarding that report from Onyx. But, that list usually shrinks the more times you run it. Not sure why it shows all your OS 10.11 updates. I do see that you used a Combo update for OS 10.11.3, but "single', individual ones for 10.11.4, 10.11.5, and 10.11.6. I always use the Combo Updater (after the first one for an OS, as a Combo updater is not generated by Apple).

Maybe try the following:

1. Run the Repair Permissions again for Onyx a few more times, and see if that list keeps getting smaller.

2, Download and install the OS 10.11.6 Combo Updater, which you can get from here:

https://support.apple.com/kb/dl1885?locale=en_US

By the way, does this "read only" issue happen when you create a new Word Document? That could be helpful.

Also, not sure if you noticed, but Onyx can do other, useful things, like clearing out various caches, logs, misc,. etc. In fact, there are two other tasks to the right of Permissions entitled "Scripts" and "Rebuilding" that you could run. Under the "Cleaning" heading, it would be good to run the all of them except "Erasing". Not sure jf doing that will clear up your issue, but it can't hurt. At least you'll have a somewhat cleaner system.

Glad you are making backups to an external disk. Is that with Time Machine? Also, how are you specifically doing regular disk maintenance? Assuming you only have Disk Utility, you would need to be using it "in an external manner".

There is one more thing that you can do which should, most likely, resolve the issue with Excel, but let's see what results from you doing that stuff above, along with answering my questions.
 
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Sorry for the delay in responding.

Have run Onyx repair permissions a few more times, but no reduction in report size.
Have begun using other Onyx facilities.
This 'Read only' issue is only occurring on this Workbook, nothing else in Excel or Word.
Backups are being made with Time Machine
Disc Maintenance being done with Clean My Mac 3.
 
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When I said "Run the Repair Permissions again for Onyx a few more times, and see if that list keeps getting smaller", I meant the list that appears after Onyx has Repaired Permissions. Is that the report you are referring to?

Also, CleanMyMac is a bad, bad piece of software. You need to get rid of it ASAP. If you cannot purchase a more robust disk cleanup/maintenance/repair program like TechTool Pro and/or Disk Warrior, then this strategy should be OK for such tasks:

1. On a daily basis, delete stuff you no longer need. For example, if you manually download an update for a program and install it, get rid of the prior version. Also, delete EMails you no longer need. However, be aware that when you delete an EMail "normally", it is not permanently removed. I am positive about that for Outlook 2011 and Outlook 2016, and I am aware of the ways of permanently having them deleted with either of those EMail clients. Let me know if you are using Outlook 2011 for your EMail needs, and I can let you know how to permanently have deleted EMails removed,

2. Once a week, run Onyx, including Repair Permissions.

3. Boot to the (hidden) Recovery HD partition, and run Disk Utility from there to perform First Aid. Do that bot at the Volume (ie, top) and Partition (ie, secondary) levels. This link explains how to boot to that partition, and what its capabilities are:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314
 
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Thanks again for this honestone.
Yes, I am using Outlook for Mac 2011, and would appreciate your comments re. Deleting.
 
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It's been a while since I needed to do this, but this link (and the portion explained by Kurt Lang) is what you need to do:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3882405?start=0&tstart=0

I never had trouble with this procedure, and the "new" Main Identity folder was always OK (and thus I was able to delete the other other right away).

The procedure is different for Outlook 2016, but in many respects, simpler.
 

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