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I'm looking for a spreadsheet format that whose diffs won't look insane if I version it.

Ideally this would have a decent editor to go with it (GUI preferably), and should be available cross-platform, with Linux availability being essential. I'd also like it to preserve (at least basic) formatting if this is possible.

EDIT: It would need to support formulas in the source (ie, not the evaluated results).

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What all are you trying to do with your spreadsheets? Both .xlsx and .ods are pretty much just zipped XML files, so you could compare the diffs of the unzipped data (not pleasant, but doable). A csv or tab delimited file would work for simple data files. However, if you want to start using diff to see the difference between formulas and charts, you may consider using something like R, Python with SciPy or pyspread (I'm not 100% sure that the .pys format used by pyspread is human-readable).

There are also several emacs spreadsheets.

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most voted answer for similar question from here:

You can also use libreOffice/open-office-spreadsheet-non-zip-xml-fileformat "*.fods" which is plain xml.

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