Excel Extensions (Table of Contents)
Extensions in Excel
What is the first thing will come to your mind when you think of extensions. When I joined a company, the first thing I learned about extensions was telephone extensions. Telephone extensions are there to reach specific persons in the company. Every person assigned an extension to reach out to him. Similarly, in excel we have extensions to reach out specific excel workbooks.
If you observe at the end of the file name you will see the extension of that file.
In the above image, extensions are XLSX, XLSM, XLSB, XLS, and XLAM.
Excel File Extensions are there to identify the file format. In computer operating systems file extensions are to identify the file type for the operating system so that it runs and opens the file with the specified format.
I am sure you know about excel but not about their formats. If you have no idea about excel File extensions this is the tailor-made article for you.
In a general case scenario, you must have seen xlsx file format in excel. When you try to save the unsaved excel workbook excel automatically save it as “xlsx” file.
Note: When we save the existing file with the different excel file format (extension) some of the existing files features might not be transferred to the new file extension.
Where to Find File Extensions in Excel?
You must be thinking where these file formats are. These file formats are available when you see the save dialogue box. Under the Save as type, we can see many of the available file formats in the computer system.
If you look at the above image the first extension operating system recognises is Excel Workbook (*.xlsx) format and all the other remaining formats follow after.
Top 5 Excel file Formats
Below are some of the Top file formats for excel. Follow this article to explore some of them.
#1 – XLSX – Excel Extension XLSX
The default excels format is XLSX, when you hit save as option excels by default recognises this extension. This is the replacement of the earlier extension called XLS. This is the most popular excel file extension for the non-macro file.
Below is the image which shows the how the file is saved under this method.
#2 – XLSM -Excel Extension XLSM
This excel file format is used for VBA Macro file. If you are working with macro in excel you need to change the excel extension to enable the smooth flow of macro running. This is the default extension type for macro containing workbook.
XLSX does not support the macro code. In order to run the macros, you need to save the workbook as a macro-enabled workbook.
While saving the workbook we need to select the file type as Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook.
#3 – XLSB – Excel Extension XLSB
Often in excel we face the issue of too much of the data and excel fil slows down. If the excel is saved in the form of XLSX or XLSM excel workbook tends to slow down.
XLSB means Excel Binary Workbook. If you save the workbook as binary workbook it will reduce the weight of the workbook.
Look at the below image an excel workbook saved in the form of XLSX and the total workbook weight is 63.4 Kb
Now I will save this file as Excel Binary Workbook.
Now, look at the size of the workbook.
So excel binary workbook reduce the workbook size to 59.4 kb. In the case of a large file, it reduces the size of the workbook by 50%.
#4 – XLS – Excel Extension XLS
Probably you will not see this kind of excel file format these days. This file is saved for binary workbook of Excel 97 to Excel 2003 binary format.
#5 – XLAM – Excel Extension XLAM
This is the Excel Add-in. Excel Add-ins are extra features we are adding to the excel workbook. Excel has many built-in features on top of these available features we create some macros and make the excel talk according to our wish.
Once the macro is created we need to save the file as Excel Add-in. Once the workbook is saved as Add-in click on Developer Tab > Excel Add-in a select the additional feature created by a user-defined function.
Other Additional Excel File Formats
We have seen top five file formats on top these there are many other additional extensions are available.
- XLC: Excel Chart Type
- XLT: Excel Template
- XLD: Excel Data Base
- XLK: Excel Back up
Things to Remember About Excel File Formats
- For macros, we need to select XLSM type extension
- We cannot use the workbook of Excel Add-in extension but we can use that as an add-in in other workbooks.
- If the excel is saved as CSV it will not be an excel workbook. This is just to store the data but very complicated to work on it. It will reduce the size of the workbook.
- Excel Binary workbook reduces the size of the workbook by 50%.
This has been a guide to Excel Extensions. Here we will discuss the top file formats including XLSX, XLSM, XLSB, XLS & XLAM, its key features and applications. You may also look at these useful excel tools below –