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How to Open XLS Files in Mac OSX

Updated April 17, 2017

XLS files are spreadsheets created by Microsoft Excel. These files contain data for headers, rows and columns used in the creation of the spreadsheet. These files can be opened in OS X by three programs: Numbers (part of the iWork software suite), Calc (part of the OpenOffice software suite) and Excel Mac (part of the Office Mac software suite).

Download and install the iWork software suite.

Open Finder from the dock and browse to the folder containing the XLS file.

Right-click the XLS file, select "Open With" and choose "Numbers" from the list. The XLS file will open once the Numbers application launches.

Download and install the OpenOffice software suite.

Open Finder from the dock and browse to the folder containing the XLS file.

Right-click the XLS file, select "Open With" and choose "OpenOffice Calc" from the list. The XLS file will open once the Calc application launches.

Download and install Microsoft Excel for Mac or the Microsoft Office software suite for Mac.

Open Finder from the dock and browse to the folder containing the XLS file.

Right-click the XLS file, select "Open With" and choose "Microsoft Excel" from the list. The XLS file will open once the Excel application launches.

Things You'll Need

  • iWork (see Resources)
  • Excel Mac (see Resources)
  • OpenOffice (see Resources)
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About the Author

Based out of the bluegrass of Lexington, Kentucky, Joe Lewis began his freelance writing career in 2002 as a columnist for Decipher, Inc., and Worlds Apart. His opinions and analysis in the realms of technology, search engine optimization and social media have also been featured in both WebProNews and Attribute Magazine.