Excel Apply Formula To Any Newly Added Cells At Bottom Excel File Types

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Excel File Types

Excel is Microsoft Office’s in-built spreadsheet package. Over the past 20 years, Office has become so ubiquitous that their “.xls” file format has almost become a byword for spreadsheet. Just as Word documents are saved as “.doc”, Excel files are saved as “.xls”.

Except that hasn’t been the case since the release of Office 2007. The default file type in Excel is now “.xlsx”. This is because Microsoft changed the underlying architecture of their sheets and you may see large files slightly smaller after converting to the new file type.

Although “.xlsx” is the standard default file setting, recent versions of Excel also offer you the “.xlsm” format. The “m” at the end indicates the presence of a macro. Macros are scripts that allow Excel gurus to program their own spreadsheets. If you receive an “.xlsm” file from an Excel beginner, it’s unlikely that they wrote the code themselves, so it’s important that you trust the original creator of the file. That’s because macros can be used to delete important system files and download viruses.

So by introducing the second standard file type, Microsoft warned in advance that the file contained Visual Basic scripts. Of course, there are still many old “.xls” files in existence but if you have a spreadsheet in daily use, it should be one of those three formats.

Of course, you’ll want to import the data into Excel. Often it comes from another database and is stored in a text-based format, the most common being a “.csv” file. “Csv” means comma-separated values. That is, a comma marks the end of each cell of data, and each new line is a new row. The main point is that the file has no format and will contain only one sheet. At least it’s laid out like a spreadsheet.

You can open regular text (“txt”) files that are named as a set of data, but each entry is separated by some other character, or a tab. Excel will ask you how the data is sorted when opened. Sometimes you want to open data that isn’t in spreadsheet form, such as a list of names, but you can manipulate it into meaningful form using a combination of macros and formulas. That may require guidance from the Excel support team.

Other formats are workplace specific such as the “.xml” format can be extremely useful, but only if you have other applications. There is one exception. That’s an Excel add-in. The add-in was previously in “.xla” format but is now extended to “.xlam”. An add-in is some pre-written code that allows you to perform a required action with the click of a button. You will notice that an “m” is added to the end of the file extension to indicate the inclusion of the code.

Add-ins differ from macros because a macro is stored in a specific spreadsheet, while add-ins can be instructed to load automatically when you open Excel. This means the add-in is always available and the code can be accessed from any files. They are very useful if you are trying to perform a simple task for which Excel does not have a built-in function, such as if you need to remove duplicates from a list.

The only list longer than the number of file types you can open in Excel is the number of formats you can save your spreadsheet in. This is to ensure that your work is compatible with any other possible database or software.

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