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Aspose.Slides does not read fields of type RTFDateTimeMCAtom

We need to create JPEGs of Powerpoint 2003 files (getThumbnail).<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

If the slide contains charts that have been created using the software Think-Cell (www.think-cell.com) we have the problem that most of the numbers are not shown but an asterisk (*) is shown instead.

If we open these files with PPT 2003 and PPT 2007 (without having Think-Cell installed) the numbers are shown.

When we save the PPT as PPTX (using PowerPoint 2007) and create the thumbnail using Aspose.Slides it does work! But we need to work with PPT (2003) files.

We have talked to the responsible developer of the Think-Cell software about this. He told us that most likely Aspose.Slides does not read fields of type "RTFDateTime" correctly; the Think-Cell software uses these fields to save the numbers.

He sent me the Micorsoft PPT Binary File Format Specification, there are some information about the "RTFDateTimeMCAtom" on page 58. You can find this file attached as well as an exemplary PowerPoint file (with an think-cell chart) you can use for testing.

I can also provide the contact data of the think-cell developer. He would be very interested to get in contact with you to get this solved.

Hi Markus,

Thanks for your interest in Aspose.Slides.

I have also verified the same issue as specified by you when slide thumbnail is generated. Actually, Thinkcell probably uses some undocumented PPT features. So, as a result, it stops to work when used with Aspose.Slides. Unfortunately, this is reason why Thinkcell is not supported with Aspose.Slides.

We are sorry for your inconvenience,

Hi Mudassir,

thank you for your reply!
The developper of the think-cell software told me, that in fact they do not use any undocumented PPT features but fields of type RTFDateTime. They do not use it to save dateTime values but strings. These type of field is documented in the MS PPT specification (see attached to my post).

This developper told me also, it would probably not be a greater change to apsose.slides to support this field type, too. And he would be glad to get in contact with you to solve this.

Could you contact him? I would provide his contact data.

Thank you!


Hi Markus,

I have requested our development team for further investigation of the issue. An issue is already created in our issue tracking system with ID 17092 for adding provision of Think Cell object support in Aspose.Slides for .NET. This thread has also been linked with the issue, so that you may be automatically notified, once the feature is available. You may please also share the contact details of Think Cell development team as it may prove helpful for our development team, once they will resolve the issue.

Thanks and Regards,

Hi Mudassir,

I have sent the contact data of of the responsible Think Cell developer to sialkot@aspose.com.
Please let me know if you have received this e-mail.

Thank you!


Hello Mudassir,

RTF date fields are indeed documented, although they are a bit obscure to create: insert a date/time field in Word, copy it and paste-special as RTF into PowerPoint 2003.

In contrast to regular PowerPoint date fields, they allow defining a format string, not just a number of predefined formats. In any other aspects (you cannot type into them, can only format them as a block, etc.) they behave just like PowerPoint date fields or slide number fields, which I assume you do support.

The only aspect of format string that think-cell needs are plain-text portions. Each text portion is enclosed by a pair of single quotes, and a text portion may be empty.

Example: The format string


must be converted to the text “Hello”. For the rest of processing this text can be treated like text generated by a slide number or a PowerPoint date field.

think-cell Software

Hi Arno,

Thanks for sharing further information.

I have observed the data shared by you. Hopefully, it will prove helpful in resolving and adding Think Cell support in Aspose.Slides for .NET. If our development team will need any further help, we will request you for that.

Thanks and Regards,

Hi Mudassir,

can you already tell me if there is a chance to get a solution for this (to get aspose.slides support RTFDateTime fileds)?

We need this very urgently. If we can't get a solution within the next 2 weeks we would have to switch to MS Powerpoint (COM) instead and I really would like to avoid this as we have implementd the entire application already using aspose.slides.

Thank you!


Dear Markus,

I have discussed the status of the issue with our development team. I regret to inform you that we will try to implement the support for ThinkCell in future time and at the moment it is not possible to provide feature support in couple of weeks.

Once again, we feel extremely sorry,