Unable to open .xls file

I created a LibreO spreadsheet and saved as a .xls file. Now when I try to open this file, I get a Text Import window which produces a nonsensical/corrupted spreadsheet. I have tried to open this file with GoogleDocs, OpenOffice, and KingsOffice-- but each time there is an error message. Any help is appreciated.

I cannot look at your file directly thus there is an uncertainty in my answer.

The way you describe the creation of a LibO spreadsheet, saving it as an xls file but it opens only with a text import, indicates me that you might have made a mistake while saving the file as in xls-format. Also you comments about using Google Drive, OpenOffice and KingsOffice support my assumption.

In my now more then 2 years experience an ods-files saved as an xls- or xlsx-file never opened with a text import window. I am now using LibO

What can you do?
1 - See if you have a backup file in the backup folder in you LibO application data folder; this depends on your settings in the Options. To find this folder on your PC go:
Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Paths > there you find the location of your backup folder

if not successful

2 - Open the file with the text import window to get most of the information back. Some formating is lost. Save the file in ods-format first.

Some comments on formats:

What follows are some comments about my experience and ways to avoid problems.

In respect to MSO formats, I stay always until the end in LibO native formats and only create a MSO copy of the last saved version and still try to avoid the x-formats. Additionally I made the experience that a pdf-file is in most of my cases sufficient. Many people send out files in MSO or LibO or other formats when a pdf-file is sufficient. Depending on the situation you can even secure a pdf-file against copying and changes. The pdf-export function in LibO works very well. (I am using

In the case of presentations I am also often asked to provide a ppt or pptx copy as a fall back solution is something happens with my PC or connection of my own PC is not possible, etc. For this I always carry a USB stick with a portable LibO version on it and my presentation. All I need is PC to plug the USB stick and can run on LIbO my own presentation.

Additionally I recommend to have a look at the free guides which you can download from http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/documentation/


Don’t give up yet!!!

Backup folder - Is created by LibO automatically. If possible, please make a screen shot of the Option window “Pathes”

Text import - First make a safety copy of your file by copy and paste without opening the file. How to do this depends on your OS, most likely right click on the file > copy > click in a free space of the folder > right click > paste.

The gibberish is created by the character set. Use a character set which matches your OS and your country or group of countries. If this doesn’t work use UTF-8, UITF-7 and UTF-16. You can see in the text import window already if the gibberish changes to your normal characters. Also select below character set your language, this is the language you used to create the file.

Thanks for advice. Unable to locate backup file or folder-- doubt I even made one. When I open the .xls file through the Text Import window (not even sure which language to choose in the character set)-- file is essentially jibberish and unusable. Alas, I will have to start over.

See Edit 1 in my previous answer.