Convert XLSX to XLS on a Mac


I recently had trouble opening an xslx document. The Microsoft Open XML Converter gave me an error message “Too many cell formats.” 3.0 simply crashed. I tried using the online Zamzar conversion tool, but they sent me back the same file, unopenable.

Turns out the easiest way to open the xlsx file was to use Apple’s own IWorks 09 spreadsheet, Numbers. No problems opening the file. Unfortunately, I could not work with the data the way IWorks presents it. (When I copied and pasted the data into InDesign, I got weird spacing and hidden characters.

But no worries. You can simply export the file to an .xls doc, easily openable in Excel 2004. Excel is much more robust than Numbers, especially in terms of data crunching.

Do not, however, just try to save the file as an Excel doc. Saving doesn’t work. Use the export function.

There are many other programs, but for $80 bucks, IWorks offers a whole realm of options. For example, you can create really cool graphs in IWorks that look professionally designed, instead of the crap charts Excel makes.

Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Gregory Ledger


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