Microsoft Excel Viewer

Print, view, and open Excel sheets without having the program


251 Votes

  • Category Office Suites
  • Program license Free
  • Version 12.0.6611.1000
  • Size 53.64 MB
  • Works under: Windows Vista
  • Program available in English
  • Program by Microsoft

Microsoft Excel Viewer is an office utility that allows users to view and print spreadsheet documents even if they don't have a spreadsheet application installed. It takes up much less space than a traditional spreadsheet program and runs much faster than one would. Since it offers no editing tools and can't save changes to documents, this file viewer is much simpler to learn as well.

By offering the same sort of basic ribbon-based interface that it's other office tools have, Microsoft has ensured that anyone can sit down and start using Excel Viewer regardless of how much experience they have with spreadsheet software. Those who never plan on installing any other program that works with Excel documents can actually tell Windows Explorer to use it as a default. After this is done, files will open directly in the viewer whenever they double-click on a spreadsheet object inside of a folder.

A majority of spreadsheets should open up in Excel Viewer. Workbooks that were created on the Macintosh version of Excel will normally still open as well as those that were made with older editions of the software. Some flat file workbooks may be compatible with Excel Viewer, though support starts to get spotty when trying to open files created with unofficial third-party tools. That being said, only those who find themselves in specific edge cases will normally have to worry about that.

Average files downloaded off of the Internet should open just fine. Users can scroll back and forth through them as well as copy information from individual cells using either basic keyboard shortcuts or the mouse. While you can't enter any new data into a blank cell, you can paste that information into another application. Professionals who use another type of competing spreadsheet application can actually open documents in Excel Viewer, copy all of the information out of it and then paste it into their preferred program.

Chances are that most people simply use default fonts when typing out spreadsheets, but Microsoft Excel does provide some special formatting options. When documents are opened in Excel Viewer, the app tries to locate any necessary fonts on the user's computer. If it can't find them, then it uses the best known substitutes to try and display the spreadsheet as close as possible to the way that the original author intended.

Substitutes can also be used when printing a spreadsheet, though the onscreen display is nice enough that most users shouldn't feel compelled to print anything out. Though it might not be very useful for people who already have a full office suite installed, Excel Viewer is perfect for users who want a simple tool that can display workbooks other people create and share with them.


  • Opens spreadsheets without needing Excel
  • Runs faster than a full spreadsheet program would
  • Integrates with File Explorer
  • Small install footprint


  • Doesn't support all spreadsheet formats
  • Can't edit documents
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