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File formats: what are the file types supported by excel

July 22, 2022

Excel is an application that you can download for various uses. It has variety of calculating or computing abilities, tools, pivot tables, and the VBA.

To help you get started, WPS spreadsheet includes a number of spreadsheet templates for various purpose such as calendar, finance report, graphs, charts, to-do list, etc. Numerous graphs, shapes, equations, symbols, formulas, equations and tables can be inserted. You can also add a variety of text and other useful functions using spreadsheets.

How to know the excel file type

If you don’t know what is the file type of your saved file then you can follow this simple method to know about excel file type.

  1. Right click on the file.

  2. Click on the properties.

  3. It will show you the tool box containing information about excel file type.

Excel files are a common format used in many industries for data analysis and reporting. Here is a guide on how to know the Excel file type extension.

  • Look at the file extension. Excel files typically have the extension ".xlsx" or ".xls." The ".xlsx" extension refers to Excel files saved in the Office Open XML format, while ".xls" refers to files saved in the older Excel format. Knowing the file's extension is a quick and easy way to determine the Excel file type.

  • You can also identify the Excel file type by launching the program and opening the file. Look at the tabs; if only one tab exists, the file is likely a single worksheet file. If there are multiple tabs, then the file contains multiple worksheets, and it can be considered a workbook.

  • If you cannot determine the file type, you can utilize the Properties function. Right-click on the file, and select "Properties." Under the "Type of file" section, it should say "Microsoft Excel Worksheet" or "Microsoft Excel Workbook" to indicate the file type.

  • Workbooks with multiple tabs tend to be larger than single worksheet files. If the file size is larger, this can be an indicator that the file is a workbook.

    Microsoft Excel File Formats

    Microsoft Excel format is a proprietary format that Microsoft developed. Microsoft Excel has three primary file formats: XLS, XLSX, and XLSM. Each file format has distinct features, and advantages, and limitations.

    1. XLS Format

    The XLS file format is a legacy popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is still used today, but its usage has significantly declined. XLS is an acronym for Excel Spreadsheet, the old spreadsheet format developed by Microsoft. The format is designed to work with Microsoft Excel 97-2003 versions.

    Excel file formats

    • Overview Of The XLS File Format

    The XLS format stores data in a binary format. It has a file size limitation of 65,536 rows and 256 columns. If your data exceeds this limit, you must split it into smaller files or use a different file format. The XLS format does not support features such as conditional formatting, tables, sparklines, and several other advanced features that we take for granted in modern versions of the extension of MS Excel 2010.

    • Features And Limitations Of XLS Format

    The XLS format has some limitations compared to the newer versions of Microsoft Excel. It does not support new features that have been added since Office 2007, such as the ribbon interface, XML-based formats, enhanced conditional formatting, and sparklines.

    Microsoft Excel still supports compatibility with Different Versions of Microsoft Excel The XLS file format is becoming increasingly outdated. Microsoft Office 2016 no longer includes the XLS file format, and Microsoft has stopped updating the format.

    2. XLSX Format

    The XLSX file format was introduced in Microsoft Excel 2007 and has since become the standard file format for all versions of Microsoft Excel. XLSX is an acronym for Excel Spreadsheet XML, the new data format designed by Microsoft.

    XLSX file format

    • Overview Of The XLSX File Format

    Compared to the XLS format, the XLSX format is much more efficient regarding file size. It supports up to 16 million rows and 1 million columns, far surpassing the limitation of the XLS format. The XLSX format is also much more versatile and can support a wide variety of data types, including tables, images, and charts.

    • Advantages Of XLSX Format Over XLS

    The XLSX format offers many advantages over the XLS format. One of the most significant benefits is the increased file size limit, which allows the user to store and work with much larger data sets. The XLSX format is more versatile and supports more advanced features, including conditional formatting, tables, and sparklines.

    • Key Features And Functionalities Of XLSM Format

    The XLSX format is highly functional and versatile. It can support many features, including table filters, advanced sorting and filtering capabilities, charting, functions, workbook protection, and more.

    3. XLSM Format

    The XLSM file format is an enhanced version of the XLSX format. XLSM stands for Excel Spreadsheet with Macros enabled, and it’s designed to enable the creation, use, and management of macros in Excel.

    XLSM file format

    • Understanding The XLSM File Format

    The XLSM format is similar to the XLSX format in many ways, but it includes support for macros. Macros are instructions that automate tasks within an Excel workbook and can be programmed using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). When you save an Excel workbook with macros enabled, it will be saved as an XLSM file.

    • How Macros Are Stored In XLSM Files

    The macros are stored in a hidden module that is part of the Excel workbook. Whenever the workbook is opened, the macros will be automatically loaded and available for use by the user.

    • Benefits And Considerations Of Using XLSM Format

    The XLSM format is incredibly useful when working with large datasets that require complex calculations and automating repetitive tasks. Macros can significantly streamline the process and save time for the user. However, there are some considerations to consider when using macros, as they can also pose security risks if not developed responsibly.

    Other File Formats Compatible With Excel

    Excel, one of the most popular spreadsheet applications, is highly versatile and compatible with several file formats. Users can work with different file formats based on their needs and preferences. Here's a look at some of the most commonly used file formats compatible with Excel:

    • CSV (Comma-Separated Values)

    The CSV format is a simple format used to store data in text files. CSV files are similar to spreadsheets and can be opened and edited using Microsoft Excel. The CSV format is highly compatible with Excel, and users can easily import and export data between the two formats.

    • Introduction To CSV Format

    The CSV format consists of a plain text file with each record separated by a comma. Each record represents a row, and a designated delimiter character separates the columns. The CSV format is easy to use and widely used in data exchange applications.

    CSV format

    • Advantages And Limitations Of CSV Format

    The CSV format has several advantages, including its simplicity, easy compatibility with Excel, and the ability to store large amounts of data. However, the format does have its limitations, such as limited support for complex data types and a lack of support for formatting features like styles and formulas.

    How To Convert Excel Files To CSV Format

    Converting Excel files to CSV format is simple. Open the Excel file, select Save As, and choose CSV as the file type. Excel will save the file in CSV format, which can be easily opened and edited with a text editor or Excel.

    Converting Excel files to CSV format

    • XML (eXtensible Markup Language)

    The XML format is flexible for exchanging data between different systems. XML is highly compatible with Excel and can store and exchange large amounts of data.

    XML format

    • XML Format And Its Relation To Excel

    The XML format is similar to the CSV format, using plain text to store data. However, XML offers more flexibility and support for complex data types and structures. Excel supports XML format and can import and export data between XML and Excel.

    • Benefits Of Using XML Format For Excel Data

    It provides several benefits. XML allows users to store and exchange large amounts of data, support complex data types and structures, and enable efficient data exchange between different systems.

    How To Work With XML Files In Excel

    Excel supports the import and export of XML files. Select Data > From Other Sources > From XML Data Import to import an XML file. Excel will open a wizard that walks users through the import process. To export an Excel file as an XML file, select File > Save As, and choose the XML format.

    • TXT (Plain Text) Format

    The TXT format is a simple file format used to store and exchange plain text data. The format is highly compatible with Excel and can be used to store and exchange data with different systems.

    • Understanding The TXT Format For Excel

    The TXT format consists of a plain text file where each line represents a row and the columns are separated by a designated delimiter character. The TXT format is simple and easy to use, making it highly versatile for different applications.

    • Converting Excel Files To Plain Text

    Converting an Excel file to plain text format is an easy process. Select Save As, choose TXT as the file type, and save the file. Excel will save the file in TXT format, which can be easily opened and edited with a text editor or Excel.

    Converting an Excel file to plain text format

    • Limitations And Suitable Use Cases For TXT Format

    The TXT format has limitations compared to other formats such as CSV and XML. It lacks support for complex data structures and formatting features like styles and formulas. However, it is highly versatile and can store and exchange plain text data for different applications, making it suitable for simple data exchange needs.

    Excel File Compatibility And Conversion

    Excel file compatibility and conversion are essential to consider when working with spreadsheets. Compatibility has become a significant concern with the increasing use of diverse operating systems and devices.

    1. Cross-Platform Compatibility

    Cross-platform compatibility refers to the ability of Excel files to function seamlessly across different operating systems, such as Windows and Mac. When working with Excel files, ensuring compatibility between different platforms is crucial to avoid data loss or formatting.

    2. Excel File Compatibility Between Windows And Mac

    Excel file compatibility between Windows and Mac is a common concern among users. When opening an Excel file in a different operating system, you may encounter compatibility issues that can lead to formatting problems, and some functions may need to be fixed.

    3. Considerations When Sharing Files Between Platforms

    When sharing files between different platforms, it is essential to consider a few considerations. Ensure the required fonts, colors, and add-ins are available on both platforms. Consider the file format that you will use when sharing files between platforms.

    Converting Files For Platform Compatibility

    Converting Excel files for platform compatibility is a handy feature many users utilize. Converting a file allows you to change the format to suit the platform it will use. For instance, you can convert a Windows Excel file to a Mac-compatible format.

    Converting Excel Files To Other Formats

    Changing the file's format while preserving its data and formatting. You can convert Excel files to a PDF, CSV, or HTML file format. Converting files to other formats makes it easier to share them across different platforms.

    • Tools And Methods For Converting Excel Files

    There are several tools and methods for converting Excel files. You can use built-in features in Excel to save files in different formats. Third-party tools and applications that specialize in converting files are also available. Some online services offer free and easy-to-use file conversion tools.

    • Best Practices For Accurate File Conversion

    When converting Excel files, it is crucial to ensure the accuracy of the conversion. Use high-quality tools and applications that provide accurate results. Check the formatting, data, and formulae to ensure they are preserved during conversion.

    • Challenges And Potential Issues During File Conversion

    During the conversion process, some challenges and potential issues may arise. These may include losing data or formatting, incompatibility with certain platforms, or the inability to convert complex formulae. Therefore it is crucial to test the converted file thoroughly before sharing it

    File Types Supported By WPS

    WPS is a powerful office software suite that supports various file types, including those commonly used in Microsoft Excel and other popular spreadsheet applications. With robust capabilities, WPS allows users to create and manipulate data in various formats, ensuring maximum compatibility and convenience.

    One of the most notable features of WPS is its support for a wide range of Excel file types, including xlsm, xltm, xlsb, ets, et, ett, xls, xlsx, xlt, and xltx. These file types provide a versatile range of options for users, allowing them to choose the best format for their needs.

    1. ET files are one such Excel file type. WPS creates these spreadsheet files and allows users to store data in rows and columns of cells. In addition, ET files include support for charts and formulas, making them a powerful tool for data analysis and manipulation. This file type is the native format used by Spreadsheets, WPS's proprietary spreadsheet application, and is widely used by business professionals and individuals alike.

    2. ETS files are related to ET files in that they also store data in rows and columns and support charts and graphs. However, their main purpose is to provide templates for replicating spreadsheets with a similar design and content. WPS includes several ETT templates with its Spreadsheets program, and users can download additional templates directly. These templates can be easily changed to other Excel file types, providing maximum versatility and convenience for users.

    3. XLSX files are used in spreadsheet programs that store, arrange, and analyze the data using tables. Text or numerical data, including mathematical formulas, can be entered into each cell. It is the one of the most common excel file type.


    What is the default file format in Microsoft Excel?

    XLSX format is the default file format in Excel (2007 and onwards). It offers smaller sizes, better data recovery, and compatibility across platforms.

    Can I convert an XLSX file to XLS format?

    Yes, you can convert XLSX to XLS in Excel. Open the file, go to "File" > "Save As," choose the location, select "Excel 97-2003 Workbook (*.xls)," and click "Save."

    How do I save an Excel file as a CSV?

    Open the file, go to "File" > "Save As," choose the location, select "CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv)," enter a name, and click "Save."

    Final Thoughts

    Excel file formats can be a challenge to navigate and understand if you’re not familiar with them. Thankfully, software like WPS Office exists to make things easier and help you manage your files with precision. It enables you to work on any common spreadsheet file formats available, including XLSX, XLSM, and more.

    Plus, using WPS Office is even more convenient because it works on Windows and macOS and mobile devices like iOS and Android. Don’t take any chances when securing your data - invest in WPS Office today for reliable protection of all your important files! So learn the best practices behind Excel File Formats using our Ultimate Guide - pick up WPS Office now and get ahead of the game!

    15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.