How to view an XLS file

Question: I just received a file that ends with an .xls file extension. When I tried to open it I got the following message: “This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in My Computer by Clicking View and then clicking Folder Options.” Is it possible that this file is a Microsoft Excel file? I don’t have Excel. Maybe that’s why I can’t open it? How do I open it? -Ann

Answer: Yes, it’s a Microsoft Excel file. That’s a spreadsheet program used to create charts and graphics out of rows of numbers.

Even though you don’t have Excel, you can still open an Excel file by downloading Microsoft’s free Excel viewer. Go to and type excel viewer in the search field in the upper right part of the screen or here a direct link to get Excel Viewer 2003.

Remember � this is a viewer only. You won’t be able to edit the spreadsheet, but you’ll be able to see what the sender wants you to see.