Open XLSX File

Any computer user must have heard about .xlsx file, especially if they have been using Microsoft Excel. The files with the .xlsx extension are associated with the Microsoft Excel Open XML Spreadsheet Format. This is a new extension format which is used to save the files for Microsoft Excel. These files are pertaining to the Microsoft Excel Version 2007 and above only. The versions which were created earlier to the 2007 version used to save the files in the format of .xls extension. The difference between the two is that the .xlsx is embedded with the compression and decompression feature for the purposes of size reduction and better distribution of data.

So, how does one access this type of file format?

The simplest way to execute and access a XLSX format file is by opening it with the Microsoft Excel program (version 2007 or newer). Though for the time being, these files are only executable in the versions 2007 or later, it is claimed by the Microsoft Corporation that the earlier version would now be equipped with the feature of the conversion of .xlsx files to the .xls files and vice versa. Till the time such a facility is provided, these files can be converted using the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack.

Why was .xls replaced to .xlsx?

Before the XLSX format came into being, the file format .xls was the most common format which was used by the Microsoft Office programs for the data transfer. But in the recent times, the improved .xlsx file extension format has replaced the .xls format due to better system facilities like compression, faster data transfer and more storage capacity. It is expected that as the newer versions of the Microsoft Office programs keep becoming more widely used, the popularity of the .xlsx format will also increase substantially .

So, what is different with the .xlsx format?

The spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel which use the XLSX format, use the Microsoft Office Open XML format which was absent in the files with the .xls format. An advantage of the XML format is that it makes the reading and accessing of the .xlsx files, comparatively easier for the other programs such as The other different applications which may support the .xlsx files are LibreOffice, KOffice, TextEdit, IBM Lotus Notes, Google Docs, OpenOfficeCalc, PlanMaker, Abiword and Kingsoft Office

Open XLSX File on Windows OS

  • Look for an XLSX file you need to open in Windows Explorer and double-click on it
  • If the file doesn’t open automatically and you see a “Windows can’t open a file” message then you should search for a program which can open XLSX file
  • If you have a program which can open XLSX file installed on your computer then launch that program and select “File” and then “Open” or similar options from its menu to open the XLSX file
  • If you don’t have the program installed then you need to try searching for “XLSX wiki”, “how to open XLSX file” in the search engine.
  • Once you find the application, install it on your computer
  • After the program is installed double-click on the XLSX file to open it

File extensions are used by Windows operating system to specify what kind of information is stored in the file. Every file in Windows OS needs to have file extension and file extensions are used by Windows to determine which application it should use to open the file. Every application installed on Windows OS places information about which extensions it could open into the Windows registry and Windows uses this information to determine which application it should launch when user double-clicks on the file. If application which can open XLSX file is not installed, then Windows will show ‘Windows can’t open XLSX file’ message and buttons to either select an application on the computer which can open the file or to search the web for the application which can open XLSX file.