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My colleagues have lots of Microsoft spreadsheet documents. I am using LibreOffice

Without changing / converting / renaming / touching the documents at all, is there a way I can open (and hopefully also make changes to) these documents?

Right now it seems I can't open doc's of that type using LibreOffice Calc.

I am in a corporate environment where I am the only Linux user and asking for a company change in procedures is not very practical.

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OpenOffice and LibreOffice are similar, but ultimately different things. Which are you using? What version? – Bailey S Oct 31 '12 at 20:20
Libre Office – Michael Durrant Oct 31 '12 at 23:54
up vote 5 down vote accepted

My copy of LibreOffice, version 3.5.0rc3, is capable of opening and saving xlsx files. Presumably any version after that will, and probably some version before. LibreOffice has more community developed plugins in its package, so OpenOffice may not have xlsx capabilities.

Who knows if every weird format will work correctly either.

Ubuntu 12.10 has libreoffice 3.6.2, which really should have the support you need.

Install LibreOffice:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libreoffice
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My version is pretty new at but doesn't open .xlsx – Michael Durrant Oct 31 '12 at 22:39
Are you using OpenOffice or LibreOffice? – Bailey S Oct 31 '12 at 23:16
Libre Office – Michael Durrant Oct 31 '12 at 23:55
That is pretty weird, maybe they did not end up putting xlsx support in the release version? Either way, Ubuntu 12.10 has LibreOffice 3.6.2 in the repos right now. I will put the command in my answer to install it. – Bailey S Nov 1 '12 at 0:17

You can try later versions of LibreOffice (3.6.2 is declared stable) and also the latest version of Apache OpenOffice, AOO 3.4.1.

If your colleagues are using the new version, Office 2013 Excel, the best route may be to have them save the documents as ODF for you.

Another alternative is to upload the .xslx files to SkyDrive by creating an account at You can then view and edit them in a browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome). You don't need Microsoft Office installed. You'll be warned if a spreadsheet uses features not supported by the SkyDrive versioin.

In all cases, you will have to experiment to see which routes provide the greatest preservation of fidelity in the spreadsheets.

Your colleagues who have Microsoft Office can obtain them back directly from SkyDrive and also save them to SkyDrive from current versions of Office, if that makes it easier for you (and for all of you when not in the office). You'll probably want to create a folder in which only those accounts that you give permission can see and/or edit the documents.

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Where would I get the later versions from ? – Michael Durrant Oct 31 '12 at 23:56

Try the latest version of LibreOffice (3.6.2). I had some trouble opening .xlsx files in the 3.5.X version, but it seems that they've fixed some bugs in the latest version :-)

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