What Is an XLR File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert XLR Files

Screenshot of several XLR files in Windows 10 that open with OpenOffice Calc

Tim Fisher

A file with the XLR file extension is a Works Spreadsheet or Chart file - very similar to Microsoft Excel's XLS format.

XLR files are created with Microsoft Works versions 6 through 9 and can store things like charts and pictures, but also regular spreadsheet data like text, formulas, and numbers, in separate cells of the spreadsheet.

WPS is another file format used in Microsoft Works, but for document data (like DOC) instead of spreadsheet data.

How to Open an XLR File

XLR files can be opened and edited with the now discontinued Microsoft Works.

Some versions of Microsoft Excel can open XLR files but it may only be possible for XLR files that were created in Works version 8 and later. OpenOffice Calc supports the XLR format too.

If you are using Excel or Calc, try opening that program first and then navigating to the XLR file that you want to open. You'll usually have better luck opening the file this way than trying to configure your computer to open XLR files with one of those programs by default.

You can also try to rename the .XLR file to a .XLS file and then open it in Microsoft Excel or another program that supports XLS files. 

If your XLR file doesn't seem to be related to a spreadsheet program at all, you likely have a file that's in an entirely different format than what's described above. Opening this type of XLR file in a free text editor may help you determine the program that was used to create it, and probably also what you can use to open it.

How to Convert an XLR File

Zamzar is a free file converter that runs in your browser (it's not a downloadable program) and will convert XLR to XLS, XLSX, PDF, RTF, CSV, and other similar formats.

You may also have luck converting the XLR file once it has been opened in one of the programs mentioned above, like Excel or Calc. If you already have Microsoft Works on your computer, but just want the XLR file in a different format, you can do it there too.

Converting an XLR file using one of the above programs is usually done through the File > Save As... menu. For example, if you're using Microsoft Works, just open the file and then choose that menu option to select from formats like WKS, XLSX, XLSB, XLS, CSV, or TXT.

Also, remember the tip from above about changing the file extension. Doing this won't exactly convert the XLR to XLS but it does seem to work in many cases, letting you open it in any XLS viewer/editor you may have on your computer.

At least one of these solutions from above should work, but if not, you can use this script from Microsoft's website to convert the XLR to XLS. It's not the easiest thing to do, but if you're desperate, it'll almost certainly do the trick.

XLR also refers to a type of electrical connector for audio devices. You can buy a converter for XLR to USB from websites like Amazon.com.