“Cannot get the list schema column property from the SharePoint list” Error with Excel 2003

This seems to be a fairly widespread issue with no clear solution.  It occurs when the user chooses the ‘Export to Spreadsheet’ Action and the SharePoint list view has a Date/Time column displayed.  With Excel 2007, the data is exported to Excel just fine, but with Excel 2003, the above error is shown in a popup.

I’ve seen several suggested workarounds:

  • Change the Date/Time column to a ‘Single line of text’ column, download, and then switch it back. (This may destroy the Time value.)
  • Remove the Date/Time column from the view.
  • etc.

None of these workarounds are perfect, but at least they can get the data downloaded for you.  The ideal solution seems to be to upgrade to Excel 2007, which is much more SharePoint (and especially MOSS) aware.