What Is an XLR File?

This is an old MS Works file; converting to Excel's XLS format is easy

What to Know

  • An XLR file is a Works spreadsheet or chart file.
  • Microsoft Works or Excel are your best options for opening one, but other apps work, too.
  • Use Zamzar to convert from XLR to a modern format like XLSX or PDF.

This article explains what an XLR file is and how to open or convert one on your computer.

What Is an XLR File?

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.

XLR files in Windows 10 that open with OpenOffice Calc

WPS is another file format used in 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 Excel can open it, but it may only be possible for files that were created in Works v8 & v9. OpenOffice Calc supports the format as well.

If you're using Excel or Calc, try opening that program first and then navigating to the file that you want to open. You'll usually have better luck opening it 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 file to have the .XLS file extension, and then open it in Excel or another program that supports those files.

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

Converting the file using one of the above programs is usually done through the File > Save As menu. For example, if you're using 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 it, but it does seem to work in many cases, letting you open it in any XLS viewer/editor you may have on your computer.

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

Still Can't Open the File?

If your file doesn't open after trying the suggestions above, there's a good chance you're not really dealing with an XLR file. This is pretty easy to mix up, considering lots of file extensions look the same.

X_T is one example. Another is XLF, which is really close in spelling but is reserved for XLIFF documents; you can read one with a text editor.

XIP is another that you might think is related in some way to a spreadsheet file, but the macOS Signed Archive format is what uses this file extension.

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