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.XLS File Extension

File TypeExcel Spreadsheet

3.9 (385 Votes)
CategorySpreadsheet Files


This file is saved in a binary format, which requires a specific program to read its contents.

What is an XLS file?

An XLS file is a spreadsheet file created by Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet program, such as OpenOffice Calc or Apple Numbers. It stores data in worksheets, charts, and macros. XLS files are saved in the Excel Binary File Format, which was the primary format until the Office Open XML format (.XLSX file extension) replaced it in Excel 2007.

More Information

Screenshot of a .xls file in Microsoft Excel 2016

XLS file open in Microsoft Excel 2016

An XLS spreadsheet is used for organizing, analyzing, manipulating, and visualizing data. The spreadsheet commonly consists of a table with rows and columns. The table cells in the file may contain manually entered data or the results computed from the data of other cells.

Excel is the most widely used spreadsheet application in the world. It comes with every edition of the Microsoft Office suite and is used in home, academic, and business environments.

If you work in an office environment you most likely have seen and opened an XLS file. Although Excel users primarily save their spreadsheets in the Office Open XML format (XLSX files), which replaced the XLS format. However, Excel still supports the XLS format.

Common XLS Filenames

Workbook1.xls - The default filename Microsoft Excel gives to new spreadsheets prior to Excel 2007, which creates new spreadsheets with the Workbook1.xlsx filename.

Open and view .XLS files with File Viewer Plus.
Programs that open XLS files
Updated 12/15/2016

About XLS Files

Our goal is to help you understand what a file with a *.xls suffix is and how to open it.

The Excel Spreadsheet file type, file format description, and Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and only publish information about file formats that we have tested and validated.

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