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What is XLS?

Format description

XLS is the file extension for the Microsoft Excel file format, a program that belongs to the Microsoft Office suite. It is the most popular and most widely used spreadsheet program.

The Microsoft Excel spreadsheet is a powerful tool which can store, manipulate, calculate and analyze data such as numbers, text and formulae. It also features graphing tools, pivot tables, and VBA, a macro programming language based on Visual Basics.

The Excel spreadsheet consists of a grid of columns and rows. Numbers, text and formulae are manually entered into the cells created by the intersection of the rows and columns, and the results are computed from the data entered. Different columns and rows can also be linked to each other, so if a change is made in one part of the grid, the linked calculation is re-calculated. Excel was the first spreadsheet to introduce this “intelligent” (linked) cell re-computation.

The ability to perform such automated tasks comes from the programming language VBA. This program also adds extensive capabilities to the graphs and charts made on Excel, besides allowing creation of forms and in-worksheet controls.

Microsoft Excel is available for both Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems. The latest versions are the Microsoft Office Excel 2007 for the Windows platform, and the Microsoft Excel 2004 for the Mac OS X platform.


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