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Loading & Installation

Understanding whether Macabacus simply failed to load in Office applications, or failed to install in Windows at all, is important. The latter scenario is very uncommon, but can be confirmed by inspecting your list of installed programs under the Windows Control Panel. If Macabacus appears in that list, then installation was likely successful and Macabacus simply failed to load properly. Follow the troubleshooting steps applicable to your situation below.

Over-the-Shoulder Installations

If an administrator performs an "over-the-shoulder" installation for you, you may need to log out of Windows and log back in for the installation to finish.

For help with Macabacus Lite loading or installation, please see these installation instructions.


There are two Macabacus add-ins for Excel. The VBA add-in named Macabacus.xlam is a helper add-in, and is generally of no concern in troubleshooting unless an error message specifically references this file. The Macabacus VSTO add-in, which appears in Excel's COM Add-Ins dialog, implements most Macabacus functionality, including display of the Macabacus tab in the ribbon.

Do not open .vsto files manually

Do not attempt to open the Macabacus .vsto files located under the Program Files folder in an effort to force the Macabacus tab to appear in Office applications. This will not solve your problem, and may create other issues.

Common Problems

The Macabacus tab disappeared or is not visible

If Macabacus appears to be properly installed, but the Macabacus tab is not visible in the ribbon of one or more of your Office applications, then it is probable that Macabacus failed to load in your Office application(s). Perform the following steps to troubleshoot this issue:

  1. If the Macabacus tab is missing in PowerPoint or Word, but appears in Excel, ensure you have a Suite, not Pro, subscription (not applicable in trial mode).
  2. If the Office application has disabled the Macabacus add-in, re-enable it in the Disabled Items dialog.
  3. Confirm that only a single instance of the Office application is running (see the Details tab in Task Manager). If multiple instances are running, quit them and restart the Office application.
  4. In the Office application, go to File > Options > Add-Ins, select COM Add-Ins from the dropdown menu, and click the Go button. If Macabacus is unchecked in the COM Add-Ins dialog, check it and click the OK button.
  5. If the Macabacus tab did not appear upon completing the previous step, go back to the COM Add-Ins dialog, select (not check) the Macabacus add-in in the list and take a screenshot of the dialog. Send this screenshot to if the following steps do not resolve your problem.
  6. Confirm that you are running the full version of Office, and not Office on Demand.
  7. Confirm that you followed the installation instructions.
  8. Open Registry Editor and navigate to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Excel\Addins\Macabacus20XX or the key corresponding to the Office application in which the Macabacus tab is missing, if not Excel. If the LoadBehavior value is 0 (zero) here, change it to 2 or 3.
  9. Check your list of installed programs in Windows to confirm that Macabacus appears there. If so, run a repair of the installation. If not, then Macabacus was not properly installed and you must follow the troubleshooting steps in the next section.
  10. In Windows Explorer, navigate to the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX, or its equivalent on your PC. Confirm that the folder exists, and is populated with at least ten or so files.
  11. Confirm that you have installed all available Office updates.
  12. If the Macabacus tab still does not appear, enlist help from your IT department, if applicable. The problem is likely an issue specific to your computing environment that only you or your IT professional can resolve.
  13. If you are still experiencing difficulty, submit a support request.

Macabacus will not install, or does not install properly

If Macabacus failed to install properly in Windows, perform the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Ensure that you have the necessary Windows Administrator privileges to perform the installation.
  2. Confirm that you followed the installation instructions.
  3. Check your list of installed programs under the Windows Control Panel to confirm that Macabacus appears in the list. If Macabacus does appear, then confirm whether Macabacus has installed properly, but has simply failed to load in your Office application(s), by opening Excel and navigating to File > Options > Add-Ins. In this dialog, select COM Add-Ins from the dropdown menu and click Go. If Macabacus appears in the list of COM add-ins shown here (but is presumably unchecked), then your problem is more likely that Macabacus failed to load. In this case, perform the troubleshooting steps below for "Macabacus will not load in my Office application(s)."
  4. Run a repair of the Macabacus installation.
  5. If Macabacus is still not installing properly, enlist help from your IT department, if applicable. The problem is likely an issue with your computing environment that only you or your IT professional can resolve.
  6. Uninstall Macabacus and perform the following steps to generate an installation log to send to
    • Go to and select "Fix it for me" to enable Windows installer logging.
    • Delete files beginning with "Msi" in your Temp folder. To determine the Temp folder location, type the following line at the command prompt: cd %temp%.
    • Reinstall Macabacus using the installer downloaded from
    • Send the file named MsiFFFFF.log (or something similar) located in the Temp folder to Check the Date Added property of the log file to be sure you have the correct log file.
  7. If you are still experiencing difficulty, submit a support request.

An error message when starting Excel reads "The Macabacus.xlam add-in is in the wrong location on your computer. Reload this file from the following location to use Macabacus shortcuts: C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX\Macabacus.xlam."

Perform the following steps to resolve this issue:

  1. Verify that the Macabacus.xlam file exists at the path shown in the error message. If it does not, reinstall Macabacus.
  2. Open Excel's Add-Ins dialog (Alt>T>I), uncheck Macabacus if already checked, and click OK to close the dialog. Then, open the dialog again and click the Browse button to find Macabacus.xlam at the path shown in the error message. Be sure Macabacus is now checked, and click OK to close the dialog. Office can be finicky about changing the paths of add-ins, so you may need to try this, and restart Excel a few times for it to stick.
  3. If you continue to receive this error message, then you must manually update the registry entry that is pointing Excel to the wrong location for Macabacus.xlam using the Registry Editor. The registry key should be HKEY_USERS\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Excel\Options, or something similar, depending on your version of Office.
  4. If you continue to receive this error message, try repairing the Macabacus installation from the Windows Control Panel.

An error message when starting Excel reads "Unable to load Macabacus.xlam from C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX\Macabacus.xlam. Some features will not work properly..."

This may occur if you have recently upgraded (or downgraded) Microsoft Office. Macabacus for Office 20XX looks for the XLAM add-in referenced above in C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX. For example, if you upgraded from Office 2013 to Office 2016, but still have Macabacus for Office 2013 installed, Macabacus looks in C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 2016 for the XLAM but cannot find it, producing this error. In addition, Excel stores the path to the XLAM in the registry. When you upgrade from Office 2013 to 2016, Excel might still look in C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 2013 for the XLAM add-in. Sometimes, the only way to tell Excel the correct place to look is by editing the registry manually.

  1. Close Excel.
  2. Completely uninstall all copies of Macabacus (back up settings and shortcuts, if desired).
  3. Start Excel.
  4. Open Excel's Add-Ins dialog (Alt>T>I) and select the Macabacus add-in. You may receive a prompt asking you to delete it. If so, click OK and then exit the dialog by clicking OK.
  5. Restart Excel.
  6. Close Excel.
  7. Re-install the correct version of Macabacus that corresponds with your current version of Office.
  8. Start Excel.

An error message in Excel reads "Cannot run the macro C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX\Macabacus.xlam'![%macro name%]'. The macro may not be available in this workbook or all macros may be disabled."

Perform the following steps to resolve this issue:

  1. Open Excel's Add-Ins dialog (Alt>T>I), uncheck the Macabacus add-in, and click OK.
  2. Restart Excel.
  3. Open Excel's Add-Ins manager, click the Browse button, and select the Macabacus.xlam file in the location shown in your error message. You may receive a Yes/No/Cancel prompt from Excel asking you to replace the Macabacus.xlam file. If so, click Yes.
  4. Verify that Macabacus is checked and click OK to close the Add-Ins manager.
  5. Restart Excel. This may not be required, but we do it for good measure.
  6. In the ribbon, navigate to Macabacus > Settings > Keyboard and click the Override button. Your Macabacus shortcuts should now be working correctly.
  7. If you are still experiencing difficulty, submit a support request.

An error message in Excel reads "Microsoft Excel cannot access the file [path to Macabacus.xlam]. There are several possible reasons: The file name or path does not exist. The file is being used by another program..."

If this error occurs upon starting Excel, or when trying to manually add load Macabacus.xlam from Excel's Add-Ins dialog, then Excel may be installed incorrectly. Ensure that Excel is installed with Microsoft Office Tools.

The installer says that it requires Office 20XX, which is already installed

Be sure that you have installed the full version of Office 20XX, and not the Office on Demand version. Office on Demand does not support VSTO add-ins like Macabacus, and should not be used in professional computing environments.

The installer prompts me to install .NET Framework 4.5

Macabacus requires .NET Framework 4.5 or newer. Your computer likely has an earlier version installed. It is generally safe to proceed with this Microsoft update.

I receive the following error when Excel starts

VSTO installation error

If uninstalling Macabacus from within Windows' Control Panel and then reinstalling does not resolve this issue, see this link.

Nothing happens when trying to install in Windows XP

Confirm that you have Windows XP Service Pack 3 installed. Macabacus signs its installer with a SHA-2 certificate, and Windows XP did not support SHA-2 until Service Pack 3. Prior to Service Pack 3, Windows XP only supported SHA-1, which has been deprecated in favor of more secure SHA-2. Note that Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and, therefore, is not supported by Macabacus.

Macabacus for Excel 2007 installs successfully, but does not appear upon opening Excel

You may need to install either (a) the hotfix described at and related prerequisites or (b) Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. You will most likely encounter this problem when running Office 2007 in Windows XP.

An error message says that your copy of Macabacus Lite is not authorized for your computer

Your Macabacus Lite installation is valid for a single computer. If you switch computers, download another copy of Macabacus Lite for the new computer.

An error message says "Can't find project or library" after installing Macabacus Lite

Make sure that you have Microsoft XML, v6.0 installed. A typical Office installation will include Microsoft XML, v6.0, however, some versions (e.g., student editions) may not. To install Microsoft XML, use your Office installation CD, DVD, or file.

Internet Connectivity

Macabacus must periodically "call home" to the server to initiate trials, perform user authentication, log errors and activity (if enabled), check for newer versions of the software, and other operations. If Macabacus cannot connect to the Internet, you may be unable to use Macabacus.

An error message says Macabacus requires an Internet connection

Networks using proxy servers to access the Internet may block requests to Macabacus servers. Your proxy must support inbound/outbound connections to on standard ports 80 and 443. You may need to allow anonymous pass-through at the proxy level by white-listing the following (both HTTP and HTTPS):

  • *
  • (application monitoring and error reporting)

To whitelist these domains in Windows 10, go to Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Proxy and enter exceptions for the domains above as shown below:

Edge Proxy Settings

To whitelist these domains in Internet Explorer, go to Tools menu > Internet options > Connections tab > LAN settings. Make sure "Use a proxy server for your LAN is checked", and click the Advanced button. Enter exceptions for the domains above as shown below:

IE Proxy Settings



Keyboard shortcuts are not working

For help troubleshooting keyboard shortcut problems in Excel, refer to this page.

Tracing Precedents / Dependents

Pro Precedents/Dependents will not trace a formula

  1. Is the audited formula a 3D formula referring to the same range on multiple worksheets (e.g., =SUM(Sheet1:Sheet3!C5))? Macabacus cannot process 3D formulas at this time.
  2. Does the audited formula contain unqualified structured table references (e.g., =SUM([Sales]))? Macabacus can only process fully qualified structured table references (e.g., =SUM(DeptSales[Sales]) in formulas at this time. Fully qualified structured table references must also reference tables within the same workbook.
  3. Most often, Macabacus is unable to parse the audited formula because your workbook contains hundreds or thousands of unused range names that you don't use or even know about. Go to the Macabacus > File > Optimize menu and open Name Scrubber. Remove any unused names by clicking the Clean Names button and performing a Deep Clean, or remove names manually from the list. If you are satisfied that hidden names are not in use, delete them, too. Note that some add-ins, including Macabacus, use hidden names for legitimate purposes (e.g., linking), so be careful when deleting them.
  4. If you are still experiencing difficulty, email with the information requested here. You should also include a copy/paste of the audited formula or, if at all possible, attached the affected workbook.

The Pro Precedents/Dependents dialog is hidden

Macabacus remembers the last position of the Pro Precedents/Dependents dialogs. Sometimes, these dialogs can appear outside of your screen's viewable area. This can happen if you are working in Excel on a large docking station screen, undock your laptop and begin working on the laptop's smaller screen. Use the Ctrl+Home or Ctrl+End shortcuts immediately after executing Pro Precedents/Dependents to bring the hidden dialog back into view.


When opening Word attachments in email, an error message reads "This method or property is not available because this command is not available for reading."

Go to File > Options > General and uncheck the "Open e-mail attachments and other uneditable files in reading view" box.

Technical Support

For problems not addressed by the troubleshooting guides above, please contact us for assistance.

Before Requesting Support

  • Confirm that the troubleshooting steps above do not address your problem. If your problem is related to add-in loading or installation, they almost certainly do.
  • Check the general usage tips for working with Macabacus add-ins.
  • Check the release notes to determine if a software update has already addressed your problem.
  • Update your Macabacus software to the latest version and try to reproduce the problem, if possible.
  • Determine if the problem is document- or application-level by trying to reproduce the problem in a new file—like a blank workbook.
  • Determine if the problem is related to Macabacus or another add-in by disabling other add-ins and trying to reproduce the problem.
  • For problems in Excel, check the the "Show add-in user interface errors" box under File > Options > Advanced > General. If this box was not originally checked, reproduce the problem and note any new error messages that appear.

Submit a Support Request

In Excel, PowerPoint, or Word, click the Macabacus > Help > Email Support button to compose a new support request email in Outlook that includes attachments we may need to investigate your problem. If you do not use Outlook, email from your email client/service. So that we can resolve your issue as quickly as possible, be sure your email includes:

  • A description of the problem and the steps and/or conditions required to reproduce it
  • The result of each troubleshooting step performed above, if applicable
  • Screen shots of any error messages or other relevant information
  • The affected document, if the problem is related to a specific file (see above). We cannot effectively troubleshoot a document-level problem without the affected file, or at least a sanitized version of it with confidential information removed
  • Your Macabacus settings (an XML file), if not already attached
  • A diagnostics report, if you use Outlook for email. Otherwise, include Information about your computing environment such as your Windows, Office, and Macabacus versions, and what other add-ins you have installed

This documentation refers to Macabacus version 8.9.14. Some features and descriptions of these features may not
apply to older versions of Macabacus. Update your Macabacus software to take advantage of the latest features.