I was trying to open up my product backlog in Excel – It is held in TFS through the Scrum for Team System process template.

Opening a backlog item to Microsoft Excel

I fell foul of the following error stating that I had an issue with Office, Excel or one of its components. I doubt that this is a particular fault of Scrum for Team System, but would occur whenever Visual Studio / TFS is trying to integrate with one of the Office products.

TF80042: The document cannot be opened because you do not have Microsoft Excel 2003 or later, or one of its components installed. For more information, see the Team Foundation Installation Guide.

The offending TF80042 error message

Well, the solution is just to ensure that you have the Excel .Net Programmability Support installed – which I guess for me, was not installed by default. This is only applicable to Office 2003 or 2007, but the solution is the same.

1. Lookup your Office installation in "Add/Remove Programs" from the control panel.

2. Click "Change"

3. Select "Add/Remove Features" and click "Next"

4. Navigate the feature tree for "Microsoft Office Excel" and ".Net Programmability Support"

Set the Microsoft Office Excel '.Net Programmability Support' option

5. Click the item drop-down and select "Run from my computer" and click "Next"

6. Let Office do its configuration dance.

7. Restart Visual Studio.


This is a cross post from my EMC blog, mainly for backup duplicity and to aggregate some of my past postings. My EMC blog used to be under the Conchango brand but was acquired by EMC so I’ve also retrospectively refreshed some of the old links and maybe a tweak a bit of content too.
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