Opening Excel files without MS Office?

isthisonetaken

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 29, 2006
123
0
Hi all,

I need to open some excel files for one of my classes. I don't want to have to get MS Office though and I don't want to have to recreate the files in something like Pages. I downloaded Open Office 2 for my intel iMac, but it says I need to instal X11. I downloaded X11 and went to instal it, but it won't let me, saying that there is newer software installed on my system already. Open Office still won't open though, because it can't see that X11 is installed! Anyone have any ideas of what I can do to fix this, or what I can get to open and work on the Excel files? Preferably free? Thanks for thee help.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
clevin said:
btw, if you need advanced plotting function, there is no substitution for ms excel.
Actually, if you need advanced plotting functions, Excel is a very blunt instrument. There are numerous charting apps for the Mac and Windows which run rings around Excel. Many can read Excel files.
 

clevin

macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
9,095
1
MisterMe said:
Actually, if you need advanced plotting functions, Excel is a very blunt instrument. There are numerous charting apps for the Mac and Windows which run rings around Excel. Many can read Excel files.
oops, plz list some, im doing science research, in this field, there is no good free replacement.
 

andrew050703

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2006
150
0
Portsmouth, U.K
clevin said:
oops, plz list some, im doing science research, in this field, there is no good free replacement.
Apple's 'downloads' page has a load of freeware/shareware programs under scientific software - I mostly use openoffice (or bootcamp excel) to put my data together, then put it on a graph in "Plot 0.991"

- take a look; i'm sure there's better stuff too
 

clevin

macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
9,095
1
andrew050703 said:
Apple's 'downloads' page has a load of freeware/shareware programs under scientific software - I mostly use openoffice (or bootcamp excel) to put my data together, then put it on a graph in "Plot 0.991"

- take a look; i'm sure there's better stuff too
I have plot installed, and I played with it for several days, it has some very good features, such as function plotting, which is easier than excel, but its very hard to adjust the format of the elements in the chart, and its UI is pretty confusing too.. It might take more time for me to master it, but for now, i think excel is easier to use, and yeah, Plot is free tho
 

rtharper

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2006
201
0
Oxford, UK
clevin said:
I have plot installed, and I played with it for several days, it has some very good features, such as function plotting, which is easier than excel, but its very hard to adjust the format of the elements in the chart, and its UI is pretty confusing too.. It might take more time for me to master it, but for now, i think excel is easier to use, and yeah, Plot is free tho

I'm not sure what you all mean by plotting, but I assume of some sets of data for statistical research or the like. R (I kid you not, that's its name) is a free tool that runs on unix and does require X11 I believe. I had to use it for my CIS stats class. The syntax is very C-like and should be familiar if you know programming and math. It does the whole range of plotting and operations on sets that you could want and its highly flexible.

http://www.r-project.org/
 

andrew050703

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2006
150
0
Portsmouth, U.K
rtharper said:
I'm not sure what you all mean by plotting...
No, its a program name: 'Plot (0.991)'

Its freeware (so good), but fiddly (not so good) to use.

And it struggles to redraw when I have all 160,000 data points on my graph - maybe I need something better than my MBP :rolleyes:
 

clevin

macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
9,095
1
rtharper said:
I'm not sure what you all mean by plotting, but I assume of some sets of data for statistical research or the like. R (I kid you not, that's its name) is a free tool that runs on unix and does require X11 I believe. I had to use it for my CIS stats class. The syntax is very C-like and should be familiar if you know programming and math. It does the whole range of plotting and operations on sets that you could want and its highly flexible.

http://www.r-project.org/
yep, I will give this a try too.. thanks for the info.