7 Primary Difference between XLS and XLSX with Comparison Table

What is the difference between XLS and XLSX?

XLS and XLSX are computer language that seems to have some close similarities but in a real sense, they are quite different. These extension markup computer languages are quite ideal for data entry.

It makes work easier when it comes to analyzing and storage of data. The lesson provides detailed insight into the difference between XLS and XLSX. Let’s find out:

Difference between XLS and XLSX

What Is XLS?

XLS is an abbreviation of an Excel spreadsheet. It is known to be a file extension for a spreadsheet file format developed by Microsoft for use with Microsoft Excel.

The file extension is known for storing data in a binary format since it is established upon Binary Interchange File Format (BIFF). It has the ability for holding a spreadsheet containing macros or not.

Also, it normally comes as a default for Excel 2007 and due to advancements in technology in Microsoft, things have changed completely.

What Is XLSX?

XLSX is another file extension for the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet which is typically designed for windows, android, macOS, and iOS.

The most wonderful thing about the file extension is that it contains some unique features such as macro programming language, graphical tools, calculation, and pivot tables.

The main aim for the development of XLSX was meant to replace XLS which is known to be an old version of the spreadsheet.

The version of the file extension is designed to store information in a text file using XML. It is based on Open File Format but it does not support the macros.

Comparison Chart: XLS vs XLSX

Basic TermsXLSXLSX
VersionOld versionLatest Version
Core DifferenceThe default version of Microsoft Excel 2003The default version of Microsoft Excel 2007
Information StorageInformation is stored in binary format. It is based upon Binary Interchange File Format.Information is stored in a text file that uses XML. It is based upon Office Open XML format.
Speed PerformanceTend to be quite faster on files that use the complex formula on a large set of data.Tend to be quite slow on files that require complex formula on a large set of data.
ReadabilityQuite readable by all Microsoft Excel versions.Only readable by Microsoft Excel versions 2007 and onwards. 
CapabilityAbility to hold spreadsheets that are either macros or notOnly support macros.
Based UponBinary FormatOffice Open XML Format

Core Difference between XLS and XLSX In Point Form 

  1. XLSX is the latest version of Microsoft Excel while XLS is the oldest version.
  2. XLS was developed based on the version of Excel prior to 2007 whereas XLSX was developed based on the version of Excel 2007 and onward.
  3. XLSX is an open XML format while XLS is a binary format.
  4. XLS stores information in the form of the binary format while XLSX stores information in the form of a text file using XML.
  5. XLS is readable by all versions of Microsoft Excel while XLSX is only limited to the 2007 version of Microsoft Excel and onward.
  6. XLSX has the ability to read files from XLS but the vice versa cannot happen.
  7. XLS has the ability to hold spreadsheets containing either macro or not whereas XLSX only supports macros.

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Comparison Video

Conclusion

Microsoft Excel formulas tend to be quite useful when it comes to analyzing and storage of data on a spreadsheet. These mathematical functions of the spreadsheets are quite useful in a business context.

The core difference between XLS and XLSX is that the later uses binary format while the latter uses Open XML. Understanding how these two file extensions work is quite important since they are different.

More Sources and References

XLS and XLSX Files. Windows File Viewer

XLSX Viewer Free. Microsoft 

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