Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application written and distributed by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). It is overwhelmingly the dominant spreadsheet application available for these platforms and has been since version 5 in 1993. It is bundled as part of Microsoft Office. Excel is one of the most popular microcomputer applications to date.

File formats

Microsoft Excel up until the 2007 version used a proprietary binary file format called Binary Interchange File Format (BIFF) as its primary format. Excel 2007 uses Office Open XML as its primary file format, an XML-based container similar in design to XML-based format called “XML Spreadsheet” (“XMLSS”), first introduced in Excel 2002. The latter format is not able to encode VBA macros.

Although supporting and encouraging the use of new XML-based formats as replacements, Excel 2007 is still backward compatible with the traditional, binary, formats. In addition, most versions of Microsoft Excel are able to read CSVDBF, SYLK, DIF, and other legacy formats.