XLS File - opening and understanding

Did your computer fail to open an XLS file? We explain what they are used for and recommend software that we know can open or otherwise handle your .XLS 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

You will need a program compatible with the specific file you are trying to open, as different programs may use files with file extension XLS for different purposes. We have identified 5 XLS openers for Windows that is compatible with this specific type of XLS file.

Programs that open these 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!

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.

The XLS file extension indicates to your device which app can open the file. However, different apps may use the same file extension for different types of data. So an XLS opener may not be able to open all kinds of XLS files. In this case, look through both formats to make sure you find the best suited XLS viewer.

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!