What Is an ATOMSVC File?

This is an Atom service document you can open with any text editor

What to Know

  • An ATOMSVC file is an Atom service document.
  • Open one with Excel's Power Pivot add-in.
  • Text editors can convert one to a text-based format.

This article explains what an ATOMSVC file is, how to open one in Excel, and how to save one to another text format to make it easier to read through.

What Is an ATOMSVC File?

A file with the ATOMSVC file extension is an Atom service document. It's sometimes called a data service document or data feed ATOM file.

This XML-formatted text file defines how a document should reach a data source. This means there isn't any real data in the file—just text addresses, or references to the real resources.

ATOMSVC file icons

ATOMSVC files are similar to ATOM files in that they're both XML-based text files that refer to remote data. However, ATOM files (like .RSS files) are usually used by news and RSS readers as a way to stay updated with news and other content from websites.

How to Open an ATOMSVC File

You can open ATOMSVC files using Power Pivot for Excel, but you can't just double-click the file and expect it to open like how most files do.

Instead, with Excel open, go to Insert > PivotTable, and then select Use an external data source. Through Choose Connection, select Browse for More to locate the file, and then decide whether to insert the table into a new worksheet or the existing one.

Browsing ATOMSVC files in Excel

Newer versions of Excel have Power Pivot integrated into the program by default; here's how to enable the add-in.

Since they're just plain text files, an ATOMSVC file can also be opened with any text editor, like Windows Notepad. There are many download links to advanced text editors that work with Windows and macOS.

Microsoft SQL Server should also be able to open ATOMSVC files, as might other programs that deal with large sets of data. Microsoft's Power BI Desktop works as well.

How to Convert an ATOMSVC File

We don't know of any special tool or converter that can save an ATOMSVC file to another format. However, since they're used to pull information from some other data source, if you open one in Excel to import that data, it's possible that you may then be able to save the Excel document to another spreadsheet or text format. Excel can save formats like CSV and XLSX.

We haven't tried ourselves to confirm this, but using this method wouldn't really be converting the ATOMSVC file itself into another format, just the data that it pulled down into Excel. However, you can use a text editor to convert it to another text-based format like HTML or TXT since the file contains only text.

Most file formats that are more widely used, like MP3 and PNG, can be converted using a free file converter. There likely just aren't any that support this format.

Still Can't Open It?

If your file doesn't open with the programs mentioned above, double-check the file extension to make sure you're not misreading it. It can be easy to confuse file formats with one another, since some file extensions look alike.

For example, SVC might appear to be related to ATOMSVC since they share the same last three file extension letters, but those are actually WCF web service files that open with Visual Studio. The same idea is true for other file extensions that resemble these, like SCV.

If you don't really have an ATOMSVC file, research the real file extension to learn which programs can open or convert that specific file.

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