What program will allow me to open an xlsx file on Android, iPhone, MAC and PC?

Dave, who read my post on how to open a pptx file approached me with a similar question.

Few days ago, a friend sent me a file with the xlsx suffix as an attachment on GMail. I access my email online via my Samsung Galaxy phone, iPAD and MAC OS X High Sierra computer. I believe that that’s file authored with Microsoft Excel 2013. My question is which program i need to use in order to access that file from my mobile devices and from my MAC OS X.

Thanks for the question Dave. Before we start, let’s define what does xlsx stand for. Starting Office 2007, Microsoft introduced new file types,that used the XML format. This specific file suffix is used for Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 files. Similar suffixes were introduced for Word, Powerpoint and Visio files.

Now, let’s break down your specific question and answer additional related reader queries:

Editing and viewing online (Windows and MAC computers)

I believe that the easiest way to access xlsx spreadsheets for editing and viewing from your computer is via the Microsoft Office Online suite. In your case just go ahead and register a Microsoft Onedrive account, then save the xlsx workbooks to OneDrive and open those using Microsoft Office online.

I have an older Office version. How to view xlsx spreadsheets?

If someone sends you such a spreadsheet and you don’t run Excel 2007 or older but you do have previous versions of Excel installed in your PC, your best shot is to head towards the Microsoft web site and download the Microsoft Compatibility pack. This neat software package will allow you to open and edit your new Excel file. Follow a similar process for opening .docx, .pptx and .vsdx files.

Other option you might have here is to ask your friend to save the xlsx document as xls (Office 2003 format). This is easily achievable using the Save As dialog in Excel. Note that formatting of the spreadsheet is likely to change as you are effectively “downgrading” the file.

I am using Google Drive / Docs. How to open Excel files?

If you are using Google Docs/Sheets, just go ahead and import/upload the xlsx file to Drive, from which you can open it for editing in Google Sheets (which will automatically take care of the conversion) or as a View only document, which will retain the Microsoft Excel formatting.


Accessing xlsx file from Android

On Android phones (Samsung, LG, Huawei, Xiomi and many others), you could use Office Online or navigate to the Android Play SoreĀ  application and download the Microsoft Excel application or other office packages, like Polaris for example.

Viewing xlsx files on Apple iPADs

Two options here as well. Use Office Online, available from any browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and others) or download the Excel application or similar office viewer from the Apple Store.

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