Excel for mac keeps locking my documents and I can't access

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HELP!! All my Excel files are now marked as "read only" and won't open. I did not do this, and they come with a read only document, and I cannot figure out what to do. I have updated, restarted the macbook, powered off the macbook, etc, all to no avail.
Any suggestion are appreciated!
Thanks so much...
Jane
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It looks like you have Office 2004, which doesn't run on Mountain Lion. Upgrade to Office 2008 or 2011.