Open XLSX File

Information, tips and instructions

Open XLSX in Excel 2003

The XLSX file has been the default format for tables without macros in Microsoft Excel since 2007. Therefore, when you open XLSX file you can expect to find a spreadsheet where you can work with table sheets, create diagrams, and perform other operations.

Before the Office 2007 version, Excel tables were saved as an XLS file. Starting with this version, Excel uses the XML-based XLSX file format by default. Compared to XLS, an XLSX file is a kind of compressed folder where most XML files are stored with the different sub-formats of the XLSX table.

For previous Excel versions such as Excel 2003 you could download a compatibility pack from Microsoft's home page, but this option is no longer officially available, so if you still have this downloaded pack, the recommendation is that you keep it that way while using Excel 2003. On the other hand, the free Excel Viewer tools, which up to now were used by many users to open the new format, are not official either, therefore, it is no longer possible to open and work with the new format in Excel 2003.

However, it is not necessary to purchase a new version of Excel to open an XLSX file. There are free alternatives: Microsoft itself offers Excel online as a solution that can be used directly in the browser. Also you can download the countless plugins for web browsers.

Also third-party programs can work with XLSX files. For example, the open source program LibreOffice is compatible with current Microsoft extensions. However, it could be the case of changes in the original format.

In contrast, in all new versions of Excel it is still possible to save a file in the old XLS format. To do this, you must use the option "Save as" and, in "Type of book file", select the option "Excel 97-2003 book (*. Xls)". In this way, all Excel versions since 1997 can open this file. However, some functions in the XLSX file may no longer be available in the XLS file or the format appears changed. Therefore, it is recommended to use this option only if it is known that the recipient of the file does not have a current version of Excel.

In conclusion, the XLS format is becoming obsolete, so to speak, as the chances of opening them without problems are less and less.