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The most important file types used in Windows, Mac OS and Linux/ Unix, grouped by their extension's first letter.


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SYLK: File format is not valid


I am exporting data with Marathon (a SQL tool for InterBase) and get the error message 'SYLK: File format is not valid'. What is happening. And what is SYLK?


SYLK means 'Symbolic Link Format'. Sometimes it is referred to as SLK. It was created by Microsoft Corporation before the days of Windows to store spreadsheets. The tool of choice in those early days was Multiplan which the author used on an apple ]P operating on CP/M.

This file format was used for the interchange of spreadsheet data between applications such as Multiplan and Excel. SYLK Files can also be imported directly into business graphics applications.

SYLK files are text files and attempt to be application-independent.

About the error message SYLK: File format is not valid - Excel throws this message when you open a text or CSV file and the first two characters of the file are the letters ID (uppercase). Does your database export have a column named 'ID'? Rename it in the SYLK file before you read it in Excel.

More information about this error message is here:

Generated 20:01:58 on Oct 27, 2020