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Will new features from Office 365's Excel be handled in Aspose.Cells?

There are some new features available in the Office 365 version of Excel, but when we save a document which contains those features using Aspose, the data behind the features doesn’t get saved properly, so the feature doesn’t work.

The feature in particular that I’m looking at now is “Threaded Comments”, one desciption of which can be found here. A sample file is attached to this post called “sample.xlsx” that has a couple of threaded comments and a couple of the original style comments. The xml behind the document shows two sub-directories in the xl directory, one called “persons” and one called “threadedComments” - those two directories contain the data behind the threaded comments feature.

Sample.zip (12.0 KB)

When I take that document and simply open and close it using Aspose.Cells (updated to latest version this morning), the resulting file does not contain those two sub-directories in the xml behind the document. Because of that, when you open the resulting file with Office 365, the threaded comments are still there, but they’re now original style comments, along with the text that’s included for previous versions of Office to display. You can see that in the attached file called “saved sample.xlsx”.

Saved Sample.zip (11.2 KB)

I know this is a brand new feature in Office 365, so I understand why it’s not handled yet, but is there any info on when handling for that feature might be added? Or, seeing as how Office 365 is adding new features at a more rapid pace lately, maybe a way to save the document so that data that Aspose doesn’t handle yet is simply left alone rather than being removed from the document?

Thanks,
Michael Whalen

@mwhalen,

We have understood the requirement but we need to look into it more. We have logged the new feature request in our database for investigation and for implementation (if possible). Once, we will have some news for you, we will update you in this topic.

This issue has been logged as

CELLSNET-46656 - Support for threaded comments 

We will also investigate the possibility to retain the information/data of these new features even if not supported yet.

@mwhalen,

We have investigated the issue a bit. Please let us know if you want to add threaded comments with Aspose.Cells API or just keep the data in the template file?

In the long run, I’d like to see both, but being able to keep the data in the template is more important.

Being able to manipulate the threaded comments using Aspose would be a nice feature, but I understand that’s a lot of work. We’re advising our clients to use traditional comments (now called “Notes”) for the time being, but we’ll need to be able to work with them at some point.

Having the ability to keep any data from unsupported features in the document, if that’s easier, would be a nice first step. I don’t think that should be the default, of course, but if there was a save option we could turn on for that, it’d be helpful.

Thanks,
Michael Whalen

@mwhalen,

Thank you for the feedback. We will consider these comments while working on this feature request.

@mwhalen,

This is to inform you that we have fixed your issue “CELLSNET-46656” now. We will soon provide you the fixed version after performing QA and incorporating other enhancements and fixes.

@mwhalen,

Please try our latest version/fix: Aspose.Cells for .NET v19.3.2 (attached)

Your issue should be fixed in it.

Let us know your feedback.
Aspose.Cells19.3.2 For .Net2.Zip (4.8 MB)
Aspose.Cells19.3.2 For .Net2_AuthenticodeSigned.Zip (4.8 MB)
Aspose.Cells19.3.2 For .Net4.0.Zip (4.9 MB)

Thanks for the quick turnaround on this. It appears to be working properly, but in testing, I discovered another issue that’s affecting us, so I need to get more information on that before I’m sure everything’s good here. I just reopened the topic here, as that topic is directly related to the issue I found. I’ll follow up with more information as available.

Thanks again,
Michael Whalen

@mwhalen,

Although I could not open the link mentioned above but you may take time and test it thoroughly. Feel free to contact us any time if you need further help or have some other issue or queries, we will be happy to assist you soon.

After some more consideration, we’d prefer to wait on this until you have the time to fully implement handling of threaded comments. It leaves the threaded comment information in the document when we intend it to, so that’s good. However, that’s actually the less common case for us, and we need to be able to completely remove all traces of the comments when our clients want us to, and while the threaded comments are removed along with the comments, the “persons” information is left in the xml behind the document, which is exactly the type of information our clients usually want to remove (but, again, sometimes they want it to remain).

Essentially, having threaded comments be removed when we want them to remain is better than leaving the person information in the document when we want it removed, so for now, we’d prefer not to go with the suggested fix. We will simply advise our clients to not use the new threaded comments feature in this situation.

I understand that fully supporting threaded comments and all of the things that might be related to it (like the person information) might take some time and is a significant feature request rather than just a bug fix. Is there any time frame for when new Office 365 features like this might be supported by Aspose, by any chance?

Thanks,
Michael Whalen

@mwhalen,

We have noted your concerns and will write back here as soon as any feedback is ready to share.

@mwhalen,

1: For removing all traces of the comments:

Please simply use worksheet.Comments.RemoveAt(int row ,int column) to remove all traced threaded comments on the specific cell.
If you want remove one traced threaded comment of the cell, please use comment.ThreadedComments.RemoveAt() method.

2: For removing or keeping the “persons” information:

Please use workbook.Worksheets.ThreadedCommentAuthors to delete or add person info.
Aspose.Cells does not automatically remove persons when removing threaded comments.

Ah - I hadn’t realized other work was done to make that accessible through the OM. I’ll take another look today and assuming it all works (just want to be sure :grinning:), this will likely be exactly what we need. Thanks! I’ll update late to day to verify if it’ll work for us.

Are there any other object model changes made for this that might be useful, by any chance?

Thanks,
Michael Whalen

@mwhalen,

Well, all the major changes are already shared with you. List of all the changes in the API will be published in the release notes of our upcoming product version19.4 at the end of this month. You will be notified when this new version will be released publicly.

After fully looking at the object model changes (and finding the ThreadedComment and ThreadedCommentAuthor types), this looks perfect for us. I hadn’t realized you’d put in full support for threaded comments, rather than just saving the data, so I wasn’t really looking for the right things. Everything is now working for us.

Thanks again,
Michael Whalen

@mwhalen,
Good to know that your requirement is fulfilled by the updated product version. Feel free to contact us any time if you need further help or have some other issue or queries, we will be happy to assist you soon.

The issues you have found earlier (filed as CELLSNET-46656) have been fixed in Aspose.Cells for .NET v19.4. This message was posted using BugNotificationTool from Downloads module by Amjad_Sahi