In an earlier posting, I wrote about a filter to open docx files in open office. Unfortunately, this is half the story in this world of digital, paperless office. What happens in the case of Excel 2007 files?
Now, these files have an extension of xlsx. Note the slight difference from the typical xls extension of previous versions of Excel. This may sound like a small deal, but it is not if you don’t have Office 2007. Mind you, office xp, 2k do not open naturally these files. More, Office 2007 saves files in xlsx (and docx), so easily the mistake can be made and presto, you have a file only you can open and read and share with yourself. Great move for productive minds!
I looked in the usual places for solutions. There are a few online services, like zamzar and docx2doc, which will convert your files from and to the new formats (if you want to share your files with someone else). A search for some perl scripts and modules gave quite a few answers NOT for the lighthearted, though.
- install the converter,
- double click on the file (cannot open the file directly from within the viewer),
- watch it being transformed),
- select the sheet (or parts of it),
- do the copy-paste trick to the earlier version of Excel or OpenOffice,
- Optionally, curse and swear at the madness of Office 2007.
The funny part is that xlsx is supposedly an open format, an xml variation. So, if you rename the file from filename.xlsx to filename.zip and unzip it, you will get a bunch of files and directories with encodings and content. Then you can open the xml file that is at the heart of the xlsx spreadsheet and see its content.
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