Difference between spreadsheet formats that use ".xlsx"

asked 2016-11-03 01:55:30 +0200

chtfn gravatar image

updated 2016-11-03 01:57:11 +0200

In Calc (currently using 5.1.6), what is the difference between "Microsoft Excel spreadsheet 2007-2013" and "Office Open XML spreadsheet"? They both use the ".xlsx" extension.

And related to that: which one would be the "most compatible" with MS Office, i.e. the least likely to look different when sent to an Excel user, or the most "sustainable" solution (for data conservancy)?

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As for interoperability with M$ Office, I strongly recommend using XLS rather than newer formats.

gabix gravatar imagegabix ( 2016-11-03 07:37:02 +0200 )edit

@gabix: how come? It seems counter-intuitive as XLSX has been "more documented" by Microsoft, right?

chtfn gravatar imagechtfn ( 2016-11-15 03:35:29 +0200 )edit

What makes you think that, as you state,XLSX has been "more documented" by Microsoft?

gabix gravatar imagegabix ( 2016-11-15 09:26:53 +0200 )edit

Because, contrary to the proprietary format XLS, XLSX is an open standard (part of OOXML), although I have heard that the documentation by Microsoft was poorly done (no ref), and the standardisation process was controversial (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standar...). What I didn't realise is that XLS, although being a proprietary binary, was eventually documented (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microso...). Was your first statement based on your experience?

chtfn gravatar imagechtfn ( 2016-11-16 03:02:15 +0200 )edit

Real XLSX/DOCX/PPTX files are not OOXML files, i. e. they follow Microsoft's internal (and constantly changing) specs rather than the standard (the latter being born dead actually), which has been proved by independent researches. And yes, my first statement is based on my experience. Compatibility with the old XLS/DOC/PPT formats has been honed by StarOffice/OpenOffice developers for years.

gabix gravatar imagegabix ( 2016-11-16 09:13:49 +0200 )edit