Microsoft Office is a bundle of Microsoft's productivity application. This includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and later Mail, Office Manager, and Outlook. The '1.x' versions of Microsoft Office were simply a marketing bundle of the standalone products sold together with no other packaging changes. Even though these were distinct applications, rather than one single monolithic program, they shared a similar user interface, integrated well together and shared the ability to embed documents from one application in the documents of another.
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MS Office started out on the Macintosh, but quickly became the de-facto office suite for Windows 3.x.
Microsoft Office competed with a number of other office suites including Lotus Smartsuite, Borland/WordPerfect/Corel Office, and Star Office. Also see a complete list of Winworld's Word Processors, Spreadsheets, Databases, and Presentation programs.
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The Office 97 release introduced Outlook into the suite and massively expanded upon the feature set of applications, adding support for the new Internet world. It also included animated Office Assistant characters based on the guides from Microsoft BOB. Office 97 was the last to be offered on floppy disk. (Wanted: there should also be 1.44mb versions in both Standard and Pro, as well as perhaps SR-2)
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For Mac, Office 98 was released, adding features from 97 and more Mac specific features. It was praised as an improvement over the 4.2 release on that platform, which was considered a sloppy Windows port and poorly received.-->
Office 365 ProPlus is being renamed to Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise. For more information about this change, read this blog post.
Excel Viewer is retired
The Microsoft Excel Viewer was retired in April, 2018. It no longer is available for download or receives security updates. To continue viewing Excel files for free, we recommend that you install the Excel mobile app or store documents on OneDrive or Dropbox, from which Excel Online can open the files in your browser. For the Excel mobile app, go tothe appropriate store for your device:
The Microsoft Excel Viewer is a small, freely redistributable program that lets you view and print Microsoft Excel spreadsheets if you don't have Excel installed. Additionally, the Excel Viewer can open workbooks that were created in Microsoft Excel for Macintosh.
The Excel Viewer can open the latest version of Excel workbooks. However, it will not display newer features.
The latest version of Microsoft Excel Viewer can read the file formats of all versions of Excel. It replaces the Microsoft Excel Viewer 2003.
Other options for free viewing of Excel workbooks
- Excel Online: Excel Online is available through OneDrive or deployed as part of Microsoft SharePoint. Excel Online can view, edit and print Excel workbooks. For more information about Excel Online, see the Office Online overview.
- Office 365 Trial: Downloading the trial version gives you access to the full capabilities of Microsoft Office 2013. For more information, see Office 365 Home.
- Office Mobile applications: Download the trial for mobile applications that are available on iPhone, Android phone, or Windows Phone. For more information, see Office on mobile devices.
The Excel Viewer is available only as a 32-bit application. A 64-bit version of the Excel Viewer does not exist. The 32-bit version of the Excel Viewer can be used on 64-bit versions of Windows.
The file name of the Excel Viewer is xlview.exe. The default folder location for the Excel Viewer on a 32-bit operating system isc:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice12. The default folder location for the Excel Viewer on a 64-bit operating system is c:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice12.
If you already have a full version of Microsoft Excel installed on your computer, do not install Microsoft Excel Viewer in the same directory. Doing this causes file conflicts.
File formats supported
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The supported Excel file formats are .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlsb, .xltx, .xltm, .xls, .xlt, .xlm, and .xlw. Macro-enabled files can be opened (.xlsm, .xltm, and .xlm), but the macros do not run.
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Known issues in newer versions of Excel workbooks and the Excel Viewer
Even though the Excel Viewer can read the latest Excel workbooks, the following new features are not visible or are displayed differently in the Excel Viewer.
- Sparklines are not shown in the Excel Viewer. The cells that contain them appear blank.
- PivotTables and PivotCharts are flattened. The data or chart appears, but you can't make modifications.
- Macros do not run in the Excel Viewer.
- Slicers do not display data in the Excel Viewer. Instead, a box is displayed in the location of the slicer. The box contains the following text: 'This shape represents a slicer. Slicers are supported in Excel 2010 or later. If the shape was modified in an earlier version of Excel, or if the workbook was saved in Excel 2003 or earlier, the slicer cannot be used.'
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If you have to view or use these features, use Excel Online.