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PowerPivot Field List becomes empty

    Question

  • Using Version 11.01.1750.32 of PowerPivot AddIn for Excel, I have now encountered this error a few times and it has me spooked as it forces me to setup a Powerpivot spreadsheet from scratch each time

    At some point while I am modifying an existing PowerPivot spreadsheet, the PowerPivot Field List becomes empty - I can still activate that window but it will be totally empty which means I can no longer manage slicers, etc

    The regular PivotTable FIled list is still active and functional, but the PowerPivot Field List is simply empty but the powerpivot spreadsheet is still functional in every other way

    Closing and coming back into the spreadsheet, rebooting, all have no effect - whats worse, this time I made multiple copies along the way while the PowerPivot field list was still functional but now none of them seem to work which makes it feel like it is something cached somewhere and not in the xlsx file itself??

    (Picture seen here below)

    So far, only beginning a brand new spreadsheet seems to get it back


    BradO http://bradosterloo.wordpress.com/

    Thursday, August 23, 2012 2:15 PM

Answers

  • Answer - With my last communication with MSDN Support yesterday they were able to point out that I had a duplicate Measure Display Name in my original spreadsheet which was causing an Exception in the logic to populate the Power Pivot Field List.

    I (and Microsoft as well) would then have cases where the PowerPivotFieldList would not work even in spreadsheets with no user defined measures - thats where Mak.m 's suggestion above to toggle the language, leave, and then toggle it back, leave would cause the PowerPivotFieldList to again refresh and seem to work but only if that spreadsheet does not have the issue of the duplicate Measure Display Names - it will not fix spreadsheets that still have the underlying issue of a duplicate Measure Display Name

    So I consider the mystery solved: I know how to avoid it and how the error is caused, and if it happens, this seems an acceptable work-around for getting error-free worksheets back to functional

    Here was their final discussion on the issue:

    Our escalation engineer’s first recommendation is to be sure that all fields in the measure have unique display names. If they do then there’s a good chance we can prevent this problem from happening. Granted, this is only a workaround but we are hoping it’s enough to get you going so the empty field list problem doesn’t happen.

    On our end, we will file a bug and have the PowerPivot development team look at the issue. We cannot guarantee that they will opt to fix the issue, but we will get it filed.

    Will Buffington

    Microsoft Excel Support


    BradO http://bradosterloo.wordpress.com/

    • Marked as answer by BradOsterloo Tuesday, September 18, 2012 4:06 PM
    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 4:06 PM
  • I know this is an older thread, but I had just run into this issue with the field being grayed out and it was due to two fields having identical display names. As indicated above, the language toggle did not work since there were two fields with identical display names.  

    You CAN fix the identical display name issue!  After which, the language toggle should work (it did for me).

    To fix the duplicate display name issue, go to one of the PowerPivot pivot tables. 

    Open up the regular Excel field list through the PivotTable Tools in the ribbon or right click and "Show Field List".

    You should be able to scroll through the tables and fields.  Look for the two identically named fields and add them to your pivot table.

    Rename one of the fields by typing over the title.

    Once that is complete, you should be able do the language toggle trick and once again see the field list in the PowerPivot pivot table field list. 

    Of course try and avoid creating the duplicates in the first place, mine was created because I had once renamed a field and had since taken it out of my pivot table (but it still retains the display name).  So when I created a different measure and added it, I gave it the same display name as the old one without realizing it. 

    Hope this helps some others!

    Michael

    • Proposed as answer by Phalstar98 Friday, January 03, 2014 2:50 PM
    • Marked as answer by BradOsterloo Friday, January 03, 2014 2:55 PM
    Tuesday, December 31, 2013 2:41 PM

All replies

  • Hi BradO,

    In your case, you can try to reinstall SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel add-in to see if this help. Here are some steps for your reference:
    1. In Control Panel, in Programs, click Uninstall a program. Select Microsoft SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel, and then click Uninstall.
    2. Download PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010.

    For more information, please see:
    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 - PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=7609
    Install PowerPivot for Excel: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg413462.aspx

    Regards,
    Bin Long


    Bin Long

    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, August 30, 2012 10:25 AM
  • I did submit this to MSDN Technical Support and they have passed it on to the Microsoft Escalation team to be confirmed as a real bug as they have reproduced the error there as well - I'll update this thread as I hear back

    BradO http://bradosterloo.wordpress.com/

    Thursday, August 30, 2012 12:52 PM
  • Hi BradOsterloo,

    Have you solved this issue? If so, please share your solution to deal with this issue. It is benefit for other community members who have similar issue with you.

    Regards,
    Bin Long


    Bin Long

    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, September 04, 2012 8:03 AM
  • I will update as soon as Microsoft Excel Escalation team provides an update.  So far all I know is that :

    1) Microsoft has been able to reproduce the issue

    2) Eventually I was able to get the PowerPivot Field List back and spreadsheets that previously failed have now become totally functional once again which to me confirms it is some type of application setting being toggled by some action

    But I will update this thread once I know more

    Brad


    BradO http://bradosterloo.wordpress.com/

    Tuesday, September 04, 2012 12:41 PM
  • Hello Community,

    I had the same issue with PowerPivot for Excel v 11.0.2100.60 and I was able to resolve it to changing the language of the PowerPivot forth and back

      • Go to PowerPivot -> Settings
      • Go to Language tab
      • Switch language (I switched to Chinese) and click OK
      • Restart Excel
      • Repeat steps 1-4 again to revert your language
      • Enjoy the fields pane working.

    I don't know why exactly this helped I think it resets something on the application level (thanks to BradOstreloo).



    • Edited by Mak.m Wednesday, September 05, 2012 8:13 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Mak.m Wednesday, September 05, 2012 8:14 AM
    • Marked as answer by BradOsterloo Monday, September 17, 2012 6:01 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by BradOsterloo Monday, September 17, 2012 6:15 PM
    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 8:08 AM
  • Hi Mak,

    Thanks for sharing your solution to deal with this issue.

    It is hard to reproduce this issue on my test environment, perhaps I'm missing something.

    @Brad, you can refer to Mak's solution to see if this help on your environment.

    Thanks,
    Bin Long


    Bin Long

    TechNet Community Support

    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 8:22 AM
  • The next time I can recreate, I will.

    Yesterday the bug re-occurred but by then working in a small PowerPviot worksheet with nothing in it but a Sum of a FactRow (no slicers, no measures, etc), I was able to get my PowerPivot Field List back again, and then I was able to go back to working in my full production worksheets again

    So its definitely an app setting that gets toggled and the next time it happens, I will try Mac.m's solution to see if that works as well

    In the meantime, Microsoft Technical support that I would be getting an update from them by the end of yesterday but it did not happen yet but I will update when it does

    Trouble Ticket #112082349667333

    Brad


    BradO http://bradosterloo.wordpress.com/


    • Edited by BradOsterloo Wednesday, September 05, 2012 6:35 PM
    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 6:33 PM
  • ***LATEST UPDATE FROM MSDN Support ****

    As of today it has been confirmed as a PowerPivot bug and not an Excel bug and it can be reproduced by Microsoft, stil waiting to hear back from the Escalation team on specifics on how to fix, how to avoid, what specifically triggers it, etc


    BradO http://bradosterloo.wordpress.com/

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 6:58 PM
  • OK, this is unbelievable.

    I heard back from Technical Support, and they said the spreadsheet example I sent them had a duplicate Measure Display Name in it which silently raised an exception which stopped the PowerPivotField List from displaying - I opened my original spreadsheet so I could find the offending Measure but the old error popped up again and the PowerPivotFieldlist stayed empty

    So I tried Mak.m's soltuion above (toggling the PowerPivot Settings Language) and lo and behold, it actually worked - I had no luck with a few hours this mrning getting my Field List to appear again, but Mak.m was correct, and something got toggled and now its back  :)

    wow.....

    I am marking Mak.m's response an an answer - technically its a workaround but with the Microsoft solution to look for a Measure with a Duplicated Display Name, this may be all I need to get back up and running - who would have ever dreamed that toggling the language on the PowerPivot tab would reset the PowerPivot Field List......Thanks for the suggestion

    ** UPDATE *** - Well, it doesn't work everytime...........still experimenting..............


    BradO http://bradosterloo.wordpress.com/


    Monday, September 17, 2012 6:07 PM
  • Answer - With my last communication with MSDN Support yesterday they were able to point out that I had a duplicate Measure Display Name in my original spreadsheet which was causing an Exception in the logic to populate the Power Pivot Field List.

    I (and Microsoft as well) would then have cases where the PowerPivotFieldList would not work even in spreadsheets with no user defined measures - thats where Mak.m 's suggestion above to toggle the language, leave, and then toggle it back, leave would cause the PowerPivotFieldList to again refresh and seem to work but only if that spreadsheet does not have the issue of the duplicate Measure Display Names - it will not fix spreadsheets that still have the underlying issue of a duplicate Measure Display Name

    So I consider the mystery solved: I know how to avoid it and how the error is caused, and if it happens, this seems an acceptable work-around for getting error-free worksheets back to functional

    Here was their final discussion on the issue:

    Our escalation engineer’s first recommendation is to be sure that all fields in the measure have unique display names. If they do then there’s a good chance we can prevent this problem from happening. Granted, this is only a workaround but we are hoping it’s enough to get you going so the empty field list problem doesn’t happen.

    On our end, we will file a bug and have the PowerPivot development team look at the issue. We cannot guarantee that they will opt to fix the issue, but we will get it filed.

    Will Buffington

    Microsoft Excel Support


    BradO http://bradosterloo.wordpress.com/

    • Marked as answer by BradOsterloo Tuesday, September 18, 2012 4:06 PM
    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 4:06 PM
  • Hi BradOsterloo,

    I'm glad to hear that you issue has been solved. The workaround you posted will help more community members who have similar issue with you.

    Thanks,


    Bin Long

    TechNet Community Support

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012 12:52 AM
  • I know this is an older thread, but I had just run into this issue with the field being grayed out and it was due to two fields having identical display names. As indicated above, the language toggle did not work since there were two fields with identical display names.  

    You CAN fix the identical display name issue!  After which, the language toggle should work (it did for me).

    To fix the duplicate display name issue, go to one of the PowerPivot pivot tables. 

    Open up the regular Excel field list through the PivotTable Tools in the ribbon or right click and "Show Field List".

    You should be able to scroll through the tables and fields.  Look for the two identically named fields and add them to your pivot table.

    Rename one of the fields by typing over the title.

    Once that is complete, you should be able do the language toggle trick and once again see the field list in the PowerPivot pivot table field list. 

    Of course try and avoid creating the duplicates in the first place, mine was created because I had once renamed a field and had since taken it out of my pivot table (but it still retains the display name).  So when I created a different measure and added it, I gave it the same display name as the old one without realizing it. 

    Hope this helps some others!

    Michael

    • Proposed as answer by Phalstar98 Friday, January 03, 2014 2:50 PM
    • Marked as answer by BradOsterloo Friday, January 03, 2014 2:55 PM
    Tuesday, December 31, 2013 2:41 PM
  • Thanks Phalstar98 - thanks for pointing out HOW to find the offending duplicate - much appreciated 

    BradO http://bradosterloo.wordpress.com/

    Friday, January 03, 2014 2:56 PM
  • thanks for your help, does this mean i may continue with upgrading??
    Friday, January 03, 2014 4:05 PM
  • brad thank u most of the thigs i do not understand but its great thank u,

    Friday, January 03, 2014 4:21 PM