Notes/Excel bug could cause miscalculations

Lotus Development Corp. is investigating a reported bug that may remove decimal points from numbers in a Microsoft Corp. Excel spreadsheet displayed in the Lotus Notes 4.x viewer.
Written by Christy Walker, Contributor

The bug, which was reported on the BugNet Alert Web site this past weekend, can occur when a Notes 4.x user attempts to view an Excel spreadsheet that includes a custom number format.

Within the Notes viewer, users may experience inflated numbers, since the bug eliminates all decimal points from custom-formatted numbers, effectively multiplying the value of each decimal number by 100, according to BugNet Alert.

Boston-based Inso Corp., maker of the Notes viewing technology, has produced a fix, which Lotus is currently evaluating.

A spokesman for Lotus said the Inso fix is in-house, but the company plans to wait until the latest version of Inso's viewers have arrived to test them and implement a complete fix.

"We are working rapidly to make sure we have a patch solution that meets our general standards across the board," said Paul Davis, a spokesman for the Cambridge, Mass., company.

Affected versions of the spreadsheet include Excel 5, Excel 6, Excel 95 and Excel 97, according to BugNet.

Inso officials were unavailable for comment.

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