Open XLS File

Information, tips and instructions

Open XLS File

You can open XLS file using Microsoft Excel application. Microsoft Excel is a widely successfull spreadsheet application which was initially released by Microsoft in 1987. You can open XLS files on Mac and Windows OS platforms if you install Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, LibreOffice or other office applications which support XLS format. You can also open XLS files on iOS and Android mobile platforms using free Microsoft Office apps.

XLS files can contain information similar to tables in a database. They may also contain graphs, formulas, images, and charts essential for presenting reports. Data is stored in rows and columns bearing unique identification such as LX where L is a letter or multiple letters identifying a column and X is a row number. For example, A1 would address a cell in column 1 and row 1 and F20 would address a cell in column 6 and row 20.

Prior to April 2018 Microsoft shipped Microsoft Excel Viewer for those who didn’t want to buy and install full scale version of Microsoft Excel. But now Microsoft recommends either using free Microsoft Office mobile app or uploading an XLS file to OneDrive and using OneDrive free editing functionality.

Google Documents is an online application that can open and import XLS and XLSX files into its internal Google Documents format. To import you just need to open Google Sheets web application and then open or create a sheet. After that choose File->Import from the menu at the top. Select XLS file you want to import and then select an import option. Your file is ready to use in Google Sheets.

Earlier versions of the Microsoft Excel applications enabled macros by default but due to a spike in macros-based viruses in 1999 it is now disabled by default and could only be enabled with user consent. XLSM is a dedicated file extension which is used by Excel to store spreadsheets with macros though both XLS and XLSX file formats support macros too.

Open XLS File on Windows OS

  • Try double clicking on a XLS file in Windows File Explorer.
  • If the XLS file reading software is associated correctly then the file will open
  • If the file did not open you should install Microsoft Excel software
  • To open XLS file in Microsoft Excel you need to launch it and then select File->Open in the main menu
  • In the File Open dialog select XLS file and click "Open"

Related file extensions

  • XLSX File - Microsoft Excel spreadsheet document format
  • XPS file - Office Open XML Format
  • ODT File - Open Document File Format
Related File Types
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Extension Details
  Microsoft Excel Document
Opens with
  Microsoft Excel
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