xlsx to xls Conversion Instructions

Many people for a variety of reasons continue to use the earlier versions of Microsoft Excel (e.g.: Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, and Excel 2003).

The advent of Microsoft Excel 2007 meant a new file format: (.xlsx). This led to some confusion because Microsoft Excel 2007 uses (.xlsx) as its default format. This difference is not necessarily clear until a Excel user with a previous version tries and fails to open the (.xlsx) file.

The newer products have the ability to read the original (.xls) files as well as the ability to Save As in the original (.xls) file format.

How to Convert .xlsx to .xls Files in Microsoft Excel 2007 or newer

  1. With the workbook.xlsx file open in Excel 2007 or newer:
  2. Click the round icon in the upper left corner of your screen.
  3. Highlight the "Save As:" option by hovering your mouse over it,
  4. then select "Excel 97-2003 Workbook" from the list to the right.
  5. In the next window that opens click "Save." You might want to consider renaming the file before doing this, as having .xls and .xlsx files under the same file name could be very confusing. Do this by typing a new name into the "File Name:" portion of the window before clicking "Save."

Your workbook.xls is ready for sharing with others using the older versions of Microsoft Excel.

A Google search for "xlsx to xls conversion" found very many items. It must be a very popular question. Some of the free converters make me nervous:

I prefer to use Calc, a part of OpenOffice.org from http://www.openoffice.org/ (It is free to use OpenWare.)
  Or Calc, a part of LibreOffice.org from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/ (It is also free to use OpenWare.)

  1. Open the workbook.xlsx with Spreadsheet / Calc
  2. Select the menu item: File (upper left corner)
  3. Then select the menu subitem: Save As...
  4. In the Dialog Window select from the Save as type: Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP (.xls) OR Excel 97-2003 (.xls)
  5. Click on the [Save] button.
  6. Then click on the [Keep Current Format] button. OR [Use Excel 97-2003 Format]

The workbook.xls is ready for the older versions of Microsoft Excel.

Updated 06/27/2020