Which Type of File Can Be Used to Import Data Into a Spreadsheet?


Larry Thompson

When working with spreadsheets, it is often necessary to import data from external sources. One of the first questions that comes to mind is – which type of file can be used to import data into a spreadsheet? In this article, we will explore the different file formats that can be used for this purpose.

CSV (Comma-Separated Values)

CSV files are one of the most commonly used file formats for importing data into spreadsheets. As the name suggests, CSV files store tabular data where each value is separated by a comma. This format is widely supported by spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.

XLS and XLSX (Microsoft Excel)

Microsoft Excel has its own proprietary file formats – XLS and XLSX. These formats are specifically designed to work with Excel and offer advanced features like formulas, macros, and formatting options. XLSX is the newer format introduced in Excel 2007 and provides better compatibility with other software.

ODS (OpenDocument Spreadsheet)

ODS is the default file format used by OpenOffice Calc and LibreOffice Calc. It is an open standard that supports various types of data including text, numbers, formulas, and even images. ODS files can also be opened in other spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel.

XML (eXtensible Markup Language)

XML is a versatile markup language that can be used for representing structured data. While XML files are not primarily designed for spreadsheets, they can be used to import data into a spreadsheet through custom scripts or programming languages.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation)

Similar to XML, JSON is another popular format for representing structured data. Although JSON files are commonly associated with web development, they can also be used to import data into spreadsheets using specific tools or scripts.


When it comes to importing data into a spreadsheet, there are several file formats to choose from. The choice of format depends on the specific requirements and the software being used.

CSV files offer simplicity and compatibility, while XLSX and ODS provide advanced features. XML and JSON can be used for more complex data structures. So, choose the file format that suits your needs and start importing data into your spreadsheets with ease!

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