Everything You Need To Know About Excel File Types

Friday, June 16th 2023. | Excel Templates
Excel File Extensions XLSX, XLSM, XLS, XLTX, and XLTM
Excel File Extensions XLSX, XLSM, XLS, XLTX, and XLTM from www.lifewire.com


Excel is one of the most widely used spreadsheet applications in the world. It is used by millions of people every day for various purposes such as creating financial reports, analyzing data, and managing inventories. One of the most important aspects of Excel is its file types, which determine how data is stored and processed. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Excel file types and how they work.

What are Excel File Types?

Excel files are stored in a variety of formats, each with its own unique characteristics. The most common types of Excel files are:


The XLSX file type is the default file format for Excel 2007 and later versions. It is an XML-based file that stores data in rows and columns. This file type is designed to be more efficient than earlier versions of Excel, allowing for faster data processing and smaller file sizes.


The XLSM file type is similar to XLSX, but it includes macros. Macros are scripts that automate repetitive tasks, making it easier to work with large amounts of data. This file type is often used for complex financial models and other applications that require extensive calculations.

3. CSV

The CSV file type is a plain text file that stores data in a comma-separated format. It is a widely used file type for exchanging data between different applications and operating systems. CSV files are simple and easy to work with, but they do not support advanced formatting or calculations.

Tips for Working with Excel File Types

Here are some tips for working with Excel file types:

  • Always save your files in the appropriate file type for your needs.
  • Regularly backup your files to prevent data loss.
  • Use macros to automate repetitive tasks and improve efficiency.
  • Be aware of the limitations of different file types, such as the lack of formatting support in CSV files.
  • Consider using cloud storage services to access your files from anywhere and collaborate with others.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is the difference between XLSX and XLSM file types?

The main difference between XLSX and XLSM file types is that XLSM files include macros, while XLSX files do not. Macros are scripts that automate repetitive tasks, making it easier to work with large amounts of data.

2. Can I open XLSX files in earlier versions of Excel?

Yes, you can open XLSX files in earlier versions of Excel by installing the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. This pack allows earlier versions of Excel to read the new XML-based file formats.

3. How do I convert a CSV file to an Excel file?

To convert a CSV file to an Excel file, open a new Excel workbook and go to the Data tab. Click on the From Text/CSV button and select the CSV file you want to convert. Follow the prompts to import the data into Excel and save the file in XLSX or XLSM format.

4. What is the maximum file size for an Excel file?

The maximum file size for an Excel file depends on the version of Excel you are using and the available memory on your computer. In general, newer versions of Excel can handle larger file sizes than older versions. It is recommended to keep file sizes below 10 MB for optimal performance.

5. Can I password-protect my Excel files?

Yes, you can password-protect your Excel files to prevent unauthorized access. Go to the File tab and select Info. Click on Protect Workbook and select Encrypt with Password. Enter a password and click OK to save the changes.

6. How do I share my Excel files with others?

To share your Excel files with others, you can use cloud storage services like Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. Alternatively, you can email the file as an attachment or share it through a file-sharing service like Dropbox or WeTransfer.

7. Can I recover a deleted Excel file?

Yes, you can recover a deleted Excel file if you have a backup or if it was saved on a cloud storage service. If you do not have a backup or a copy saved elsewhere, it may be difficult or impossible to recover the file.


Excel, File Types, XLSX, XLSM, CSV, Macros, Data, Formatting, Backup, Cloud Storage, Collaboration

tags: , ,