It's always useful to share SAS code and associated log when posting a problem / query. Based on the symptom you describe, check the SAS support website for discussion about the referenced term PROTECTSPECIALCHARACTERS= for this purpose, possibly.
The PROTECTSPECIALCHARS style attribute is useful when you want to pass native HTML tags (like the <DIV> tag) or native RTF control strings (like \tab instruction) into your ODS output for the purpose of telling ODS -not- to turn on encoding for the < or the > or the \.
SASReport XML is not RTF or PDF output. Under normal circumstances, something like this in a title:
title 'Report for Sales > 500';
--should display the greater than sign correctly in the title, without needing to use the PROTECTSPECIALCHARS attribute. On the other hand, if you wanted to do this (for some reason)
title '<div><h1>My Really Big Title</h1></div>';
-- pass <div> and an <h1> tags to ODS HTML, then you would either need to set PROTECTSPECIALCHARS=OFF in the style template for the title or you'd have to use ODS ESCAPECHAR to use the style attribute for this title string only.
However, SASReport XML is designed to work in a number of different client applications, so the first TITLE statement ('Report for Sales > 500') should work in all client applications -- if it does not, then this is one reason to work with SAS Tech Support.
In addition, when you work with SASReport XML, in the various client applications, it makes a real difference whether you are using stored processes or not and which client application is receiving the stored process results. For example, if you had the second title statment (using HTML tags) in a stored process, I would only expect that <div> tag to work if the stored process results were HTML (in EG, Word, Excel or the Information Delivery Portal). I would NOT expect the second title statement to work in Web Report Studio or PowerPoint--because those client applications only receive SASReport XML.
Although you can see the log from Stored Processes when using the SAS Add-in for Microsoft Office, normally most Add-in users have the log turned off. Otherwise, most tasks in the Add-in don't have code that the end user can easily cut and paste. I also don't think this is an Add-in issue that you can resolve easily. I believe this may either be a server issue or an issue with the SASReport XML. Does the same thing happen if you change the result type to HTML???
In any case, I would suggest that you contact Tech Support on this issue, as it will make a difference how the tables are being created -- whether from a Stored Process or a task/wizard. Also server settings or code settings may need to be checked and changed and Tech Support can help you with that. You might wish to have the SAS Administrator at your site contact Tech Support on this issue by filling out this form: http://support.sas.com/ctx/supportform/createForm