Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using the New Binary File Format: BIFF12
Note
If you are extremely concerned with performance issues, you might
want to use BIFF12 because a large BIFF12 file loads more quickly
and saves more quickly than the new XML formats. However, if you
are concerned with file size issues, the new XML file formats will win.
XML offers a number of advantages. Because an XML file is a simple text
file, any program can easily read data from it. This file format is also less
prone to corruption than BIFF. If you randomly wipe out several bytes of a
BIFF file, it is likely that the file will be corrupt and no longer open in Ex-
cel. If you truncate or corrupt several bytes of an XML file, the rest of the
data is still readable in Excel.
Excel 2013 offers three official file formats BIFF12, XLSX, and
XLSM described in the following sections. In addition, Excel offers support
for BIFF8 and even BIFF5, in case you have files floating around from Excel
95.
Using the New Binary File Format: BIFF12
With Excel 2007 s increase in rows and columns, BIFF8 would no longer
work. Excel 2013 can save files in a new binary file format known as BIFF12.
Files stored in BIFF12 have an .xlsb file extension. The Save As dialog
calls this type of file ExcelBinaryWorkbook. For the first time, the binary
workbook is not the default method for saving in Excel.
BIFF12 suffers from the same problems as all previous BIFF versions: It
is difficult for other applications to read from or write to BIFF formats,
and if parts of the BIFF12 file become corrupted or truncated, Excel has a
difficult time successfully loading the file.
Using the New XML File Formats: XLSX and XLSM
XML in Excel 2003 was almost an ideal solution: Files could be round-
tripped from Excel to XML and back to Excel, provided that the files did not
include VBA macros, charts, or other embedded images.
Excel now offers complete 100% support for every feature in the new XML
file formats. Workbooks can contain charts, tables, WordArt, SmartArt,
shapes, and images. For security purposes, Excel supports XML file
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