If there was a kind of rating of types(extensions) of files existing on users' computers or servers on the Internet, then, undoubtedly, the TOP-10 of this list would contain Microsoft Excel files - spreadsheets. This is due to many reasons:

- ubiquitous use of tables for computing in business and e-commerce;

- distribution of Microsoft Office Office suite on hundreds of millions of computers around the world;

- convenience of processing, storing and systematization of large amounts of data and calculations;

- Macro programming language built into the program shell;

- Support for OLE;

- a single format for storing data in the formats xlsx and xls.

How to open a spreadsheet file from Microsoft? To open the xls file, you need to use certain programs, the choice of which will depend on the objectives pursued.

You can open the XLS file for editing (making changes to it) in three ways:

  1. Use Microsoft Office Excel. This is a shell program for creating and modifying spreadsheets. This requires the purchase of a package of office programs from Microsoft, which not everyone can afford.

  2. There are several packages of freesoftware that support the xls format. Than to open files of a similar sort? The user is available for free download and use of 2 such packages: Libre Office OpenOffice.

  3. You can open the file through the web interface,which supports xls. How to open such tables on the Internet? Of course, through GoogleDocs. If there is an account in an email from Google, then there will be no problem with how to open the xls file. Simultaneously with access to the mailbox, the user is able to download, open and edit spreadsheet files in online mode. Note: More recently, Google Databases have stopped saving files in an outdated XLS format. If you want to save the file in the old version, in order to use it in the future, it is recommended to save its duplicate for editing and changes in the container file - XLSX. It is an archive of xml-files describing the structure of the spreadsheet and the data in it.

If you only need to view the contentsfile of spreadsheets, then you can use the free utility available for downloading on the Microsoft website. A small program, which after installation occupies about 180 MB of disk space, is called Excel Viewer. It is intended only for viewing and printing xls files. How to open and download cumbersome software packages and spreadsheet editors? It is better to use a relatively small, free utility from the ancestor of this format. Modern versions of the program support not only xls, but also xlsx.

Security & Protection

How? Can not open xls file? A password is required, but is it unknown? Such cases are not uncommon. It happens that the user, by creating a spreadsheet with confidential information, protects it with a password and ... "safely" forgets it.

In such cases, you can use one of theMany free password recovery programs for xls files. The fact is that in versions of Excel until 2003, 16-bit encryption of the key was used for the default protection settings. For modern brute-force programs to sort out so many passwords is a matter of a few minutes.

The author does not give the names of the programsfor the selection of passwords, because there are many willing to use them for selfish or illegal purposes. Honest users also want to recommend storing important and confidential tables in xlsx format. This is the format of new versions of Excel. The key (password) is already encrypted with 128 bits, which are hashed several thousand times with the crypto-stable SHA1 algorithm. To crack such a password, it will take years. At the same time, having received strong protection, it is necessary to remember "your" passwords, since it will be impossible to restore them.

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