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A Guide To All Excel File Extensions & What They Mean

Excel, in addition to the entire core Microsoft Workplace programs, have long past thru a long time of model upgrades. At the side of the ones upgrades got here small tweaks to Excel report extensions to account for the variations between the ones Excel recordsdata.

It isn’t simply model variations that spawn new report extensions. Some report extensions refer in particular to the kind of report, corresponding to whether or not it’s an Excel template or an Excel report that incorporates a macro.

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If you know the entire Excel report extensions, you’ll have a greater take care of on tips on how to save your report within the report save discussion field.

Why Excel Record Extensions Topic

The extension of an Excel report will give you necessary details about that report sooner than you open it. It additionally allows you to arrange the recordsdata you save into your directories as template recordsdata, macro-enabled recordsdata, and extra. With only a look on the Excel report extension, you recognize extra in regards to the Excel report and what it’s used for.

Excel report extensions inform you:

  • Whether or not macros or VBA is incorporated
  • If the report was once stored with an older model of Excel
  • Whether or not the report structure is according to XML paperwork or binary
  • The overall legacy model the report was once stored with
  • Whether or not the report is a template

You’ll see the entire report extensions in Excel via settling on Record from the menu, choose Save As, after which choose the report sort dropdown below the report identify box.

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As you’ll see, every of the report sorts have a descriptive identify that is helping with figuring out what the report extension is for.

Excel Record Extensions Through Model

The primary team of report extensions are comparable essentially to which model of Excel the worksheet was once stored with. The next extension sorts are attached to the Excel variations proven right here:

  • Excel 97-2003: *.xls
  • Excel 97-2003 template: *.xlt
  • XML Spreadsheet 2003: *.xml
  • Microsoft Excel five.zero/95 Workbook: *.xls
  • Excel 97-2003 Upload-in: *.xlam
  • Excel four.zero: *.xlw
  • Microsoft Works: *.xlr

As you’ll see, the *.xls report extension is the default legacy Excel structure for all variations of excel previous to Excel 2007. 

From Excel 2007 onwards, the default report extension for any Excel report was once (and stays) *.xlsx.

The Variations Between XLS Vs XLSX

Whilst Microsoft switching to the XLSX extension after Excel 2007 turns out like a superficial naming conference exchange, in truth that there was once extra exchange than simply the report extension.

XLS retail outlets Excel spreadsheets in a report structure referred to as Binary Interchange Record Structure. This was once a proprietary report structure created via Microsoft.

With the discharge of Excel 2007, Microsoft modified the default to XLSX, which is according to the Workplace Open XML structure. It is a manner of saving spreadsheet knowledge in an XML report.

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What have been some great benefits of switching to this new manner of saving Excel spreadsheet knowledge? There are lots of.

  • Interoperable: Workplace Open XML formatted recordsdata can extra simply be pulled into different programs that may learn Workplace XML codecs.
  • Extensible: Exterior programs or methods can manipulate the contents of the underlying XML structure — this implies programmers can create instrument to edit Excel spreadsheets with out ever opening the Excel software itself.
  • More secure from corruption: XML formatted recordsdata are much less at risk of corruption or harm than binary recordsdata like XLS recordsdata are.
  • Smaller: You’ll retailer extra knowledge in a smaller report while you use the XLSX structure. Microsoft claims XLSX recordsdata are 75 p.c smaller than XLS recordsdata.

If none of the ones benefits subject a lot to you, then you definately could be staying with the older default XLS Excel structure. You do get two benefits while you do that.

The primary is that XLS recordsdata have a tendency to avoid wasting and open sooner. Secondly, Excel recordsdata with the XLS extension may also be opened on each model of Excel, regardless of how outdated.

Different Excel Record Extensions

Now that you know the variation between XLS and XLSX, it’s a bit of bit more straightforward to decipher what the entire different Excel report extensions imply.

  • .xlsm: XML structure Excel recordsdata that still reinforce Excel macros
  • .xlsb: Binary structure Excel recordsdata (older model) that still reinforce Excel macros
  • .xltx: An Excel report stored as a template for use as a kick off point for long term Excel workbooks
  • .xltm: A macro-enabled Excel report that’s stored as a template

Excel Template Information

For those who’re unfamiliar with Excel templates, it can be a great time to be informed about and get started the usage of them. When you’re growing a large number of spreadsheets that proportion the similar formatting, formulation, or structure, a template can prevent quite a lot of time.

All you need to do to create a template is about up your formatting, layouts, and different facets of your worksheet that you simply don’t need to recreate each time. Then save the report with one of the crucial Excel report extensions indexed above for template structure.

Actually, while you open a brand new report in Excel, you’ll seek thru 1000’s of premade templates throughout many classes.

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Opening Different Record Sorts

Excel isn’t restricted to opening handiest recordsdata with Excel report extensions. While you open a report in Excel and choose from the report sort drop field, you’ll see a protracted checklist past what’s indexed on this article.

It is because there are non-Microsoft report codecs which are additionally supported in Excel.

  • *.xml: Any spreadsheets from programs that saved the sheets in XML Spreadsheet 2003 structure, or directly XML formatted knowledge recordsdata.
  • *.prn: Lotus spreadsheets
  • .txt: Tab-delimited or Unicode textual content recordsdata
  • .csv: Comma-delimited textual content recordsdata
  • .dif: Knowledge Interchange Structure textual content recordsdata
  • .slk: Symbolic Hyperlink Structure textual content recordsdata
  • .dbf: dBase knowledge recordsdata
  • .ods: Opendocument spreadsheets (Google Medical doctors or OpenOffice)
  • .pdf: Keeps the formatting of information while you open PDF knowledge recordsdata
  • .xps: XML Paper Specification knowledge recordsdata

Remember the fact that relying at the Excel model you’re the usage of, now not all of those report sorts will show as choices while you’re saving or opening recordsdata.


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