#unknown! displayed in excel where an inserted picture should be located

Copper Contributor

A supplier is sending me an excel template which contains pictures in a cell

The picture can be viewed in web based outlook and web based excel but when I download the file the cell states #unknown!

I believe the supplier is using a personal 365 account and I am using 365 Apps for enterprise

I think they are adding the picture by completing the below (taken from MS site)




this is what I see when I open it up on web based outlook 



But this is what I see when I download an open in excel desktop  


Any help is greatly appreciated 



2 Replies


It seems like the issue you're encountering is related to the way the pictures are inserted into the Excel file. When pictures are inserted into Excel, they can be inserted either as "linked" or "embedded" objects. If the pictures are inserted as linked objects and the links are not accessible or broken, Excel may display the "#unknown!" error.

Here are a few potential solutions you can try:

  1. Ask the Supplier to Embed Pictures: If the pictures are currently inserted as linked objects, ask the supplier to embed the pictures into the Excel file instead. This will ensure that the pictures are stored within the Excel file itself and won't depend on external links.
  2. Check File Compatibility: Ensure that the Excel file format is compatible between the supplier's personal 365 account and your enterprise 365 Apps account. If there are any compatibility issues, try saving the file in a different format (e.g., Excel 97-2003 workbook format or a more recent version of Excel format) and see if that resolves the problem.
  3. Verify Picture Locations: If the pictures are linked objects, verify that the paths to the picture files are accessible from your computer. If the pictures are stored in a location that is not accessible (e.g., a network drive that you don't have access to), Excel won't be able to display the pictures.
  4. Try Opening in Different Environments: Test opening the Excel file in different environments (e.g., different web browsers, different versions of Excel) to see if the issue persists across all environments or if it's specific to one environment.
  5. Use Different Insertion Method: If possible, try using a different method to insert the pictures into the Excel file (e.g., copy and paste the pictures directly into Excel instead of inserting them as linked objects).
  6. Check Excel Options: In Excel desktop, go to File > Options > Advanced, and under the "Display" section, make sure the "Show all" option is selected for "For objects, show". This ensures that all objects in the workbook are displayed.

By trying these solutions, you may be able to resolve the issue and properly view the pictures in the Excel file. The text was created with the help of AI.


My answers are voluntary and without guarantee!


Hope this will help you.


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Spoke to the supplier and we tested their process of adding the picture- it looks to be an issue with placing the picture in cell which I don't have the option of doing with my version 


Once i got them to add the picture without placing in cell then we could see the picture 


Looks to be an issue with MS compatibility within types of excel