For this post I have to thank Scott Barlow over at Reflexion.

Recently I discovered that my Excel 2010 (happens with 2007 as well, apparently) started behaving in a peculiar manner, especially when it came to copying, cutting and pasting. I would get that animation indicating that I had selected a box for the briefest of time, and then nothing.

Unfortunately, the solution (or I should say the cause of the problem) comes from an unexpected source: Skype.

Like many of you, I have found Skype to be fairly useful for voice and audio communication to folks, especially other Skype users. Recently there was an update to Skype called “Click to Call,” which as it turns out is the cause of the problem. Uninstalling this through the control panel solved the problem.

In troubleshooting issues like this, a lot of times we rely on the concept of cause and effect. We see a change in behavior of a piece of software (or hardware, for that matter), and we try to reverse our steps and find out what we last did that caused the issue.

But when the installation of an additional feature to a telecommunication program such as Skype causes a problem in a small, seemingly unrelated portion of a program such as cut and paste into Excel, well that’s hard to track.

But unfortunately, these days everything has to interact and integrate with everything else. Whether were talking about functional integration (program A allows the user to link with program B) or technical integration (program A uses some of the technical features of program B without the user knowing or caring), it’s getting tougher to troubleshoot some of this stuff.

Thankfully, we have the web. And folks like Scott.