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I have been sent a Microsoft Works XLR spreadsheet and Excel will not open it.

  • Is there any way of opening an XLR file directly in Excel?
  • Can anyone recommend a (free) tool for converting to an Excel compatible format, ideally XLS?
  • Can any other spreadsheet apps (e.g., OpenOffice, Google Spreadsheets) open XLR?
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Try to change the file's extension from xlr to xls.
This method used to work fine in the past.

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That worked fine, thanks! – Charles Roper Jan 13 '10 at 17:02

Sometimes the standalone Excel viewer will open xlr files that Excel cannot, if viewing the spreadsheet is helpful to you.

Otherwise, the only option that I am aware of is to open the file in Works and Export it as an old type of Excel file that Excel will open.

Here is a rather dated page on Microsoft's site giving the formats to use.

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Changing .xlr to .xls extension didn't work for me – it complained about file corruption.

You're maybe trying to open it by double clicking it. Don't bother with conversion software just run Microsoft Excel and then select File > Open.

Then browse for the .xlr file (you may need to set file types to 'All' to view the .xlr for selection) and click Open.

The .xlr file will then open in Microsoft Excel. Then simply select File > Save As… using the desired file type (e.g. .xls, .xlsx).

I've just tried this myself and it works fine (office 2010).

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For Office 2010 Starter users, note that because of its virtualization abomination, it is non-trivial to create the appropriate filetype association, because no excel.exe exists on disk to select as the handling program. You can "copy" the .xls handler entry in the registry (see…), which has worked for some people (but didn't work for me). – Royce Williams Jun 3 '12 at 17:05

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