A web application exports some tabular data in XLS format. The XLS file shows the content alright when opened in MS-Office but shows blank sheet when opened in Libre-Calc.

My versions: Ubuntu 11.10 Firefox 9.0.1 LibreOffice 3.4.4 OOO340m1 (Build:402)

I checked the file with gedit and could see all the data and XML/HTML tags. Renaming the file with HTML extension and viewing in browser showed the content. Renaming with XML extension and viewing in browser gave parse error.

Anyone have any ideas what could be wrong?


2 Answers 2


Looking at the raw text file, its strangely formatted. I can only guess that Excel has formatted this strangely.

As you have said - renaming it with a .html extension, opens correctly in Firefox.

You could also, right-click and open with libreoffice calc and it imports correctly (or at least displays the same column/row values as in Firefox).

enter image description here

I would post this as a bug-report to the libreoffice team upstream to see if there is a problem with the automatic .xls import mechanism.

  • Thank you. I too had a feeling that this could be a bug. But the file is not generated (or created) in Excel - it is exported by our web application using standard jQuery.download code.
    – Sri
    Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 13:33
  • hmmm - possibly a bug in your code? Suggest compare side by side an excel generated spreadsheet and a jquery version. Not sure that there is much we can do to help with this on AskUbuntu. Can I suggest you flag this to be moved to one of the other StackOverflow sites such as SuperUser.
    – fossfreedom
    Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 13:37

The file is an html file renamed to xls, Both Excel and gnumeric knows how to open this file directly, you can open the file with gnumeric and save it as a proper Excel file that libre Office calc can open.

enter image description here

gnumeric Install gnumeric is a lightweight but powerful spreadsheet application that I recommend you install and use alongside LibreOffice calc.

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