XLS File Type

- The quick facts

What are XLS files and how to open them

Are you having problems opening an XLS file or just wondering what they contain? We explain what these files are used for and show you software that we know can open or otherwise handle your files.

What is an XLS file?

An .XLS file is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file. The .xls extension is given to spreadsheets that have been created in versions of Microsoft Excel that were published prior to the 2007 edition of the product. Microsoft Excel 2007 and later versions now use the .xlsx format rather than the .xls extension. This is because the newer Excel software utilizes XML formatting for the increased program and file interoperability.

Microsoft Excel is included in the Microsoft Office suite, although it can also be purchased individually. Excel is the most commonly used application to create spreadsheet documents, so most of the spreadsheets created today have the .xls or .xlsx file extension.

How to open XLS files

We have identified 5 XLS openers for Windows that are compatible with this specific type of XLS file.

Programs that open Microsoft Excel spreadsheet files

We have not yet verified any programs for Mac that work with this specific file format. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below. Thanks!
We have not yet verified any web services that work with this specific file format. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below. Thanks!

Last updated: January 5, 2022

Other file formats using extension .XLS

While Microsoft Excel spreadsheet is a popular type of XLS-file, we know of 2 different uses of the .XLS extension. Different software may use files with the same extension for different types of data.

XLS OrthoTrak format

Data format used by motion analysis software Orthotrack, by Motion Analysis Corp.

We have not yet verified any programs for Windows that work with this specific file format. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below. Thanks!