Thought I’d share this recent event.

A non-technical colleague at work asked me to see if I could open up what he thought was an Excel spreadsheet, sent by another person to him. He wanted to rule out that it wasn’t an Excel version issue (I’m running 2010, him 2003).

Like him, I was getting the same error, “file format is not valid.”

However the subject of the email, as forwarded from the original sender, implied that it was XML data. So my next step was to open it up in a text editor to see what the content looked like.





Clearly not an XML file, but some sort of binary file. But did notice the small nuggets of plain text located in the file, and then did a Google on those bits and first try gave me this:




As a next step I renamed the extension from .xlsx to .xps, and sure enough – that worked!

I’m so surprised that I got that lucky on the first try I had to share the experience.

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