Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Saving a Spreadsheet in Other Formats
Saving Files
As you already know, each version of Excel introduces a small set of new features.
Older versions of Excel don’t support these features. The differences between Excel
2007 and Excel 2010 are quite small. But the differences between Excel 2003 and
Excel 2010 are more significant.
Excel tries to help you out in two ways. First, whenever you save a file in .xls
format, Excel automatically runs the Compatibility Checker (page 373) to review your
spreadsheet and detect compatibility issues. Second, whenever you open a
spreadsheet that’s in the old .xls file format, Excel switches into compatibility mode . While
the Compatibility Checker points out potential problems after the fact, compatibility
mode is designed to prevent you from using unsupported features in the first place.
For example, in compatibility mode you’ll face these restrictions:
• Excel limits you to a smaller grid of cells (65,536 rows instead of 1,048,576).
• Excel prevents you from using really long or deeply nested formulas.
• Excel doesn’t let you use some pivot table features.
In compatibility mode, these missing features aren’t anywhere to be found. In fact,
compatibility mode is so seamless that you might not even notice you’re being limited.
The only clear indication is the title bar at the top of the Excel window. Instead of
seeing something like “CateringList.xlsx”, you’ll see “CateringList.xls [Compatibility
Note: When you save an Excel workbook in .xls format, Excel won’t switch into compatibility mode right
away. Instead, you need to close the workbook and reopen it.
If you decide at some point that you’re ready to move into the modern world and
convert your file to the .xlsx format favored by Excel 2010, you can use the trusty
File Save As command. However, there’s an even quicker shortcut. Just choose
File Info, and click the Convert button. This saves an Excel 2010 version of your
file with the same name but with the extension .xlsx, and reloads the file so you get
out of compatibility mode. It’s up to you to delete your old .xls original if you don’t
need it anymore.
Saving a Spreadsheet in Other Formats
Some eccentric individuals have even older or stranger spreadsheet software on their
computers. If you want to save a copy of your spreadsheet in a more exotic file type,
you can choose File Save As, and then find the desired format in the “Save as type”
drop-down list (Figure 14-19). Excel lets you save your spreadsheet using a variety of
different formats, including the classic Excel 95 format from more than a decade ago.
If you’re looking to view your spreadsheet using a mystery program, use the CSV file
type, which produces a comma-delimited text file that almost all spreadsheet
applications on any operating system can read (comma-delimited means the information
has commas separating each cell).
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