How to view an XLS file without having Excel installed, and for free

Nowadays, through the Internet, it is easy to receive all kinds of documents with information. Or maybe downloads from a website.

If you have received an Excel document in XLS format (the classic format of spreadsheets), you must open it with the application. But what happens if you do not have Excel installed? Maybe you want to see it on a PC that is not yours, or at that moment you do not have at hand an Excel installation, which is not to forget that it is a payment program.

Luckily today Microsoft is also much more open than a few years ago, and it is much easier to see an XLS file without having Excel installed, and free. There are also third-party alternatives that are also compatible with Microsoft Office formats.

Let’s find out how to view an XLS file without having Excel installed.

If you don’t have Excel installed on your computer or don’t want to buy it, for more than 10 years Microsoft has offered the Excel Viewer, a free application that allows you to view and print an XLS document. The problem is that as of this April it will be removed and will no longer be downloadable. Luckily there are other alternatives.


In the Windows Shop 10, you can download the free application Excel Mobile. Although it is designed for tablets with Windows 10, it works on any PC, thanks to the universal character of the native Windows apps.

With this program, you can open, print, and even edit XLS files, but apparently, document editing is only available in tablets.

Excel Online

Excel Online is a free cloud application that allows you to create, view, and edit XLS spreadsheets, but only the basic functions. It works in the browser and is available on this website, but keep in mind that to open an XLS file already created you first have to upload it to a Onedrive account.

Office 365 free one month

Office 365, Microsoft’s paid suite, is free for one month. You have to give a credit card but if you cancel the order before the end of the month, you will not be charged anything. It can get you out of a jam if you need it.

Google Docs

Google’s online office tools are free, and allow you to import XLS documents for editing, or convert them to Google’s native format. In this case, you will have to upload the XLS file to Google Drive in order to view it. Here you have access to Google Docs.

LibreOffice Calc

The most popular and advanced free office suite, LibreOffice, is able to read XLS files and convert them to their format to edit them as you want. It can even work in native XLS format. It’s a great application and it’s also in Spanish. Have a look at this link to learn more about LibreOffice.

There are many ways to view an XLS file without having Excel installed, and best of all they are all free.

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