What Is an XLB File?

How to open, edit, & convert XLB files

What to Know

  • An XLB file is an Excel Toolbars file.
  • It's used with Excel; copy it to the correct folder first.
  • Other XLB files are OpenOffice.org Module Information files.

This article describes the two primary file formats that use XLB files. Learn where Excel and OpenOffice store these files, and how to use both.

What Is an XLB File?

A file with the XLB file extension is most likely an Excel Toolbars file. It stores information about the current setup of toolbars, like their options and locations, and is useful if you're wanting to copy the configuration to a different computer.

If not associated with Excel, the XLB file might instead be an OpenOffice.org Module Information file used by the OpenOffice Basic software for storing macro or component library details. This kind of XLB file uses XML formatting and is most likely called script.xlb or dialog.xlb. The former holds the names of the modules in the library, while the latter is for storing the names of dialog boxes.

XLB Files

How to Open XLB Files

An XLB file can be opened with Microsoft Excel, but it's important to realize that it just stores customization information, not actual spreadsheet data. This means you can't just double-click the file and expect it to open with any sort of readable information.

Instead, the file needs to be placed in the correct folder so that Excel will see it when it opens. You should be able to do this (in most versions of Excel) by putting the file in this folder:


If you're sure your file actually has spreadsheet information like text, formulas, charts, etc., you might be misreading the file extension. Skip down to the last section below for more information on that.

OpenOffice can open XLB files that are OpenOffice.org Module Information files. Since they're XML-based text files, you can also read the contents of the file with a text editor

OpenOffice normally stores them in its installation folder:

\OpenOffice (version)\presets\ 


\OpenOffice (version)\share\

However, there are two XLC files that hold the locations of the libraries and dialog boxes, and they're called script.xlc and dialog.xlc. They're located in the basic folder here, in Windows:


If you find that an application on your PC tries to open the XLB file but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open XLB files, you can change the default program for specific file extensions in Windows.

How to Convert an XLB File

It might be tempting to want to convert XLB to XLS so that you can open the file like a regular spreadsheet document, but that just isn't possible. The XLB file isn't in a text format like XLS files are, so you can't convert it to any other usable format like XLS, XLSX, etc.

This is true whether your file works with Excel or OpenOffice; neither format is the same as a workbook/spreadsheet.

More Information on XLB Files

You can read more about how OpenOffice Base uses XLB files on the Apache OpenOffice website.

If you're getting errors related to XLB files in OpenOffice (e.g., script.xlb or dialog.xlb), uninstall the extension that prompts the error (through Tools > Extension Manager), and then reinstall it. Or you can try to reset your OpenOffice user profile.

Still Can't Open It?

If you can't get either of the above programs to open your file, there's a good chance that you're not really dealing with an XLB file. Some files have a file extension that looks an awful lot like it says "XLB" when it really doesn't. This can make you think it'll open with the programs above.

Take XLS and XLSX as examples. They look a bit like XLB since they share two of the same letters, but both are actual spreadsheet files that can hold readable text, formulas, pictures, etc. They don't open like XLB files but instead like regular Excel files (double-click them or use the menu to read/edit them).

XNB and XWB are two other examples. Another is XLC, which is usually an Excel Chart file used by versions of MS Excel prior to 2007 (however, like mentioned above, it might also be associated with OpenOffice, yet it still can't open like an XLB file).

No matter what file you're dealing with, research its real file extension to learn more about how to open or convert it.

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