Excel Tutorial: How To Open Xls File Without Excel


Many people find themselves in a situation where they need to open XLS files without Excel, but may not know how to do so. This can be a frustrating problem, especially when Excel isn't readily available. Finding alternative methods for opening XLS files is important for those who do not have access to Excel, or for those who simply prefer not to use it.

Key Takeaways

  • Not everyone has access to Excel, so finding alternative methods for opening XLS files is crucial.
  • Google Sheets, online XLS viewers, Microsoft Excel Viewer, LibreOffice Calc, and converting to PDF are all viable options for opening XLS files without Excel.
  • Each alternative method comes with its own benefits, so it's important to explore and find the best solution for your needs.
  • Converting XLS files to PDF can be a helpful alternative for sharing and viewing, especially if Excel is not readily available.
  • Experiment with different solutions to find the one that works best for your specific circumstances.

Using Google Sheets to Open XLS Files

When it comes to opening XLS files without Excel, one of the most popular and efficient alternatives is Google Sheets. With Google Sheets, you can easily view, edit, and collaborate on XLS files without the need for Microsoft Excel. Here's how you can do it:

Instructions for Opening XLS Files in Google Sheets

  • Step 1: Go to Google Sheets and log in to your Google account.
  • Step 2: Click on the "File" menu and select "Open".
  • Step 3: Choose the XLS file from your computer that you want to open in Google Sheets.
  • Step 4: The XLS file will then be converted and opened in Google Sheets format, allowing you to view and edit the file as needed.

Benefits of Using Google Sheets for Opening XLS Files

  • Accessibility: Google Sheets can be accessed from any device with internet connectivity, making it convenient for viewing and editing XLS files on the go.
  • Collaboration: Google Sheets allows for real-time collaboration, enabling multiple users to work on the same XLS file simultaneously.
  • Cost-Effective: Google Sheets is a free alternative to Microsoft Excel, saving you money on software licenses.
  • Cloud Storage: XLS files opened in Google Sheets are automatically saved to Google Drive, ensuring easy access and backup of your files.

How to Convert XLS to Google Sheets Format

  • Upload and Open: Simply upload the XLS file to Google Drive and open it with Google Sheets to convert it to the Google Sheets format.
  • Save As: After opening the XLS file in Google Sheets, you can choose to "Save As" and create a new copy in Google Sheets format, preserving the original XLS file.
  • Import: You can also import the XLS file directly into an existing or new Google Sheets document by using the "File" menu and selecting "Import".

Online XLS viewers

Opening XLS files without Excel can be a hassle, especially if you don't have the software installed on your device. However, there are online XLS viewers that can help you access and view your Excel files without the need for the actual program.

Introduction to online XLS viewers

Online XLS viewers are web-based tools that allow users to open and view XLS files without the need for Microsoft Excel. These viewers use web browsers to access and display the contents of the Excel files, making it convenient for users who do not have Excel installed on their devices.

Benefits of using online XLS viewers

  • Accessibility: Online XLS viewers can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, making it easy to view Excel files on the go.
  • No software installation: Since online XLS viewers are web-based, there is no need to install any software, saving storage space on your device.
  • Compatibility: These viewers are compatible with different operating systems and web browsers, ensuring that you can access your XLS files regardless of your device.
  • Convenience: With online XLS viewers, you can quickly open and view your Excel files without the need for a specific program, making it convenient for users who only need to view the contents of the files.

Recommendations for reliable online XLS viewers

When choosing an online XLS viewer, it is important to consider reliability and security. Here are some recommendations for reliable online XLS viewers:

  • Google Sheets: Google Sheets is a popular online spreadsheet tool that can open and view XLS files. It offers a range of features and ensures security for your files.
  • Zoho Sheet: Zoho Sheet is another web-based spreadsheet tool that supports opening and viewing XLS files. It provides a user-friendly interface and ensures the confidentiality of your data.
  • Microsoft Office Online: Microsoft Office Online offers a web-based version of Excel, allowing users to open and view XLS files using their Microsoft account. It provides a seamless experience and ensures compatibility with Excel files.

Using Microsoft Excel Viewer

When you receive an XLS file but do not have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer, there is no need to worry. Microsoft Excel Viewer is a free application that allows you to open and view XLS files without needing the full Excel software.

Overview of Microsoft Excel Viewer

Microsoft Excel Viewer is a standalone program that allows users to open, view, and print Excel workbooks, even if they do not have the Excel software installed on their computer. It supports various versions of XLS files, making it a convenient tool for those who do not have access to Excel.

Instructions for downloading and using Microsoft Excel Viewer

To download Microsoft Excel Viewer, visit the official Microsoft website and search for the application. Once downloaded, follow the installation instructions to set up the program on your computer. After installation, simply double-click on the XLS file you want to open, and it will automatically open in the Excel Viewer.

Compatibility with different versions of XLS files

Microsoft Excel Viewer is compatible with various versions of XLS files, including those created in Excel 2003, 2007, and 2010. This makes it a versatile tool for viewing Excel workbooks, regardless of the version in which they were created.

Using LibreOffice Calc to Open XLS Files

When it comes to working with XLS files without Excel, one of the most popular alternatives is LibreOffice Calc. In this tutorial, we will provide you with instructions on how to open XLS files using LibreOffice Calc, as well as compare this option with others.

A. Introduction to LibreOffice Calc

LibreOffice Calc is a free and open-source spreadsheet program that is part of the LibreOffice suite. It is compatible with a wide range of file formats, including Microsoft Excel's XLS and XLSX formats. With its familiar user interface and powerful features, Calc is a great choice for opening and editing XLS files without Excel.

B. Instructions for Opening XLS Files in LibreOffice Calc

Opening XLS files in LibreOffice Calc is straightforward and user-friendly. Here's how to do it:

1. Download and Install LibreOffice

  • Go to the LibreOffice website and download the latest version of the software.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to install LibreOffice on your computer.

2. Open LibreOffice Calc

  • Launch LibreOffice from your applications menu or desktop.
  • Select "Calc" from the LibreOffice suite of programs.

3. Open the XLS File

  • Click on "File" in the top menu and select "Open".
  • Navigate to the location of the XLS file on your computer.
  • Select the file and click "Open" to load it into LibreOffice Calc.

C. Comparison with Other Software Options

While there are other software options for opening XLS files without Excel, LibreOffice Calc stands out for its robust capabilities and cost-effectiveness.

  • Microsoft Office Online: This web-based version of Excel allows you to open and edit XLS files, but it requires a Microsoft account and an internet connection.
  • Google Sheets: Another web-based solution, Google Sheets can also open and edit XLS files, but it may not support all Excel features.
  • WPS Office: This free office suite includes a spreadsheet program that can handle XLS files, but it may have limitations compared to LibreOffice Calc.

Converting XLS to PDF

When it comes to sharing and viewing Excel files, converting XLS to PDF can be a helpful alternative. This not only ensures that the formatting of the file remains intact but also makes it easier for recipients to view the file without the need for Excel software.

Explanation of why converting to PDF may be a helpful alternative

  • Preservation of formatting: Converting XLS to PDF ensures that the formatting of the Excel file remains consistent across different devices and platforms.
  • Universal compatibility: PDF files can be viewed on any device with a PDF reader, making it a convenient format for sharing Excel files with a wider audience.
  • Security: PDF files can be password-protected, providing an extra layer of security when sharing sensitive or confidential Excel data.

Instructions for converting XLS files to PDF

To convert XLS files to PDF, you can use the "Save As" feature in Excel or utilize online tools or dedicated PDF conversion software. Simply open the Excel file, go to "File" > "Save As," choose PDF as the file format, and click "Save."

Benefits of using PDF format for sharing and viewing XLS files

  • Ease of sharing: PDF files can be easily shared via email or file-sharing platforms without the recipient needing to have Excel installed on their device.
  • Consistent viewing experience: PDF files ensure that the layout, fonts, and images in the Excel document are preserved, providing a consistent viewing experience for recipients.
  • Reduced file size: PDF files tend to be smaller in size compared to XLS files, making them easier and faster to upload, download, and share.


A. In this blog post, we discussed various methods for opening XLS files without Excel, including using Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel Online, and LibreOffice Calc. We also explored the option of using file conversion websites and third-party software.

B. It is crucial to have alternative methods for opening XLS files, especially when Excel is not available or accessible. Having access to different tools can save time and prevent frustration when working with XLS files.

C. We encourage our readers to explore and try out different solutions mentioned in this blog post to find the one that works best for their unique needs. Each method has its pros and cons, and it's essential to find the one that aligns with your workflow and requirements.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles