XLS vs XLSX file format?

Last Updated on 19/04/2024
Reading time: 2 minutes

What is the difference between xls vs xlsx file format?

What means the last X in an XLSX file format?

XML is a computer language. It stands for eXtensible Markup Language. In fact, it's a language where all data are ordered and zipped.

It's not easy to understand for humans, but for a computer, when data are ordered, it's easier to store and read. So the XLSX files access faster to data. 👍

Reduce the size of your Excel files

XML is a language that automatically compresses data. So, when you save your XLS file to XLSX, the size of your document will be reduced.

For instance, the following screenshot has saved the same file with XLS and XLSX extensions. The XLSX file is 3 times smaller than the XLS file with the same data 😲😲😲

Difference between an xls File vs xlsx

A bigger range of cells.

In an XLS workbook, the row limit is 65,536 (216) and 256 columns (28) which corresponds to column IV.

Last cell in a worksheet save as XLS

Now with xlsx workbooks (and xlsm), limits are 1,048,576 rows (220) and 16,384 columns (214) or the column XFD.

Last cell in a worksheet save as XLSX

Protection against macros

  • .xlsX workbooks have no macro
  • .xlsM,  workbooks have macros

We have seen that the last x of an xlsx file indicates that the file is compressed and respects the XML standard. The M, of an xlsm file, indicates the file contains macros

A macro is a program written by an end-user to provide automation (opening files, data comparison, data aggregation across multiple sheets, ...) but also a program may cause malfunctions. In addition, a macro can run directly when you open an Excel file, without prompting the user.

So with an XLSX file, you can be sure your file has NO macro (and NO virus).

With an xls file, you don't know whether your workbook contains macros or not 😱😱😱

Work with Tables

Menu Table

The Tables are very powerful for working with data in your workbook. Tables are very useful for creating dynamic functions, changing the design quickly, or selecting rows or columns easily.

But Tables are only available with xlsx files. If you save your work to XLS, your Tables will be destroyed and will be unusable.

2 Comments

  1. Tatyasaheb
    08/04/2022 @ 14:17

    which on is storing large data and how much?

    Reply

  2. Dick
    23/02/2018 @ 17:55

    The draw back to .xlsx & .xlsm is that they (xlsx & xlsm) take as much as 3 times longer (in time) to open.
    I made a file and saved it down as .xlsx. Then I saved down the same file as .xls. Agreed, the .xls file shows that it's much larger, but it only took 4 seconds to open as to where the .xlsx file took about 18 seconds to open. I'm not ready to get rid of my .xls files because of this.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

XLS vs XLSX file format?

Reading time: 2 minutes
Last Updated on 19/04/2024

What is the difference between xls vs xlsx file format?

What means the last X in an XLSX file format?

XML is a computer language. It stands for eXtensible Markup Language. In fact, it's a language where all data are ordered and zipped.

It's not easy to understand for humans, but for a computer, when data are ordered, it's easier to store and read. So the XLSX files access faster to data. 👍

Reduce the size of your Excel files

XML is a language that automatically compresses data. So, when you save your XLS file to XLSX, the size of your document will be reduced.

For instance, the following screenshot has saved the same file with XLS and XLSX extensions. The XLSX file is 3 times smaller than the XLS file with the same data 😲😲😲

Difference between an xls File vs xlsx

A bigger range of cells.

In an XLS workbook, the row limit is 65,536 (216) and 256 columns (28) which corresponds to column IV.

Last cell in a worksheet save as XLS

Now with xlsx workbooks (and xlsm), limits are 1,048,576 rows (220) and 16,384 columns (214) or the column XFD.

Last cell in a worksheet save as XLSX

Protection against macros

  • .xlsX workbooks have no macro
  • .xlsM,  workbooks have macros

We have seen that the last x of an xlsx file indicates that the file is compressed and respects the XML standard. The M, of an xlsm file, indicates the file contains macros

A macro is a program written by an end-user to provide automation (opening files, data comparison, data aggregation across multiple sheets, ...) but also a program may cause malfunctions. In addition, a macro can run directly when you open an Excel file, without prompting the user.

So with an XLSX file, you can be sure your file has NO macro (and NO virus).

With an xls file, you don't know whether your workbook contains macros or not 😱😱😱

Work with Tables

Menu Table

The Tables are very powerful for working with data in your workbook. Tables are very useful for creating dynamic functions, changing the design quickly, or selecting rows or columns easily.

But Tables are only available with xlsx files. If you save your work to XLS, your Tables will be destroyed and will be unusable.

2 Comments

  1. Tatyasaheb
    08/04/2022 @ 14:17

    which on is storing large data and how much?

    Reply

  2. Dick
    23/02/2018 @ 17:55

    The draw back to .xlsx & .xlsm is that they (xlsx & xlsm) take as much as 3 times longer (in time) to open.
    I made a file and saved it down as .xlsx. Then I saved down the same file as .xls. Agreed, the .xls file shows that it's much larger, but it only took 4 seconds to open as to where the .xlsx file took about 18 seconds to open. I'm not ready to get rid of my .xls files because of this.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *