Excel for Macs to MS Works compatibility

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by avatar1, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. avatar1 macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2004
    Hello All,

    I would like to start by saying I know very little about Mac's or their compatibility with PC's but have a problem for which any assistance would be appreciated.

    I recently created some spreadsheets on a Mac and saved them accordingly as .xls files onto a floppy hoping to be able to use them on my PC running Microsoft Works. (have since received them via email in .xls format with the same result)

    My PC recognises the floppy disk and the file extensions .xls but when I try to open them from within the Works program it asks do I want to open the file as a SS, Word or dB doc. I select SS and it apparently opens with gobbledeegook in the first cell obviously suggesting I have done something wrong or that there is some inherent incompatibility issue.

    Can anybody shed any light on the problem or more specifically what I can do to resolve the problem??

  2. KershMan macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2003
    VA, USA
    What version of MS Works are you using? Are you sure it can read Excel files? From what I remember, and it has been a while, the database program and spreadsheet program in works could not read Excel or Access files. So this may be your problem.

    I think Word is the only product the same across Works and Office and can easily read each others files.
  3. KershMan macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2003
    VA, USA
    Oh yeah, by the way, try saving to other formats. I.E., older formats of Excel, CSV, etc. Try to find one that matches Works well. If you have the Works documentation, see if it lists the file types that are accepted in the spreadsheet program.

    CSV is usually a safe bet.
  4. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    i was also under the impression works could not read/edit excel spreadsheets. if works could read/edit word and excel files, office wouldn't be as big of a necessity.

    check first with a windows Excel file and see if works could open it. it may not be a Mac-related problem at all.
  5. avatar1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2004
    KershMan, jxyama

    The MS Works version is 4.5a for W95 but as it happens I am running W98SE and have been for years with no probs.

    In the OPEN file menu *.xl* is an option and is listed as an Excel file. It also states in the HELP menu that Works works with Excel, Word, Works for the Mac, Wordperfect, Lotus 123 & dBase.

    When I saved the files on the Mac in the Excel for Mac program it automatically gave them an .xls extension filename, so I hoped it would be readable by Works which lista Excel *.xl* as a filetype supported

    I have not tried Works with a genuine Excel file so I will try to locate one and see if it opens.

    Thanks for your replies, if anyone else has any suggestions please let me know.

  6. KershMan macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2003
    VA, USA
    Ok, a couple of points. The Mac version of Excel is a genuine Excel file!

    Now, I would imagine the problem you are running into is a version problem. If you are using Excel v.X for OS X or even Excel from Office 2001 for OS 9, the Excel version is essentially the MS Office 97/2000 type. There were considerable changes made in the file format from MS Office 95 to 97 and not so many from 97 to 2000. Essentially, any 97 file should be easily viewed in 2000 and vice versa.

    But, if your works version is for Windows 95, it is probably expecting the MS Office 95 format and is not compatable with newer versions. Try saving your spread sheet in Excel to Excel 5.0/95 format and try again.

    This may do it.

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