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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    We are planning to move from Office 2003 to Office 2010 in the near future & we have a large number of Excel workbooks to convert, many containing macros. To make the process easier for everyone, we are considering using the .XLSB file format exclusively.

    Is anyone using Excel 2010 in the binary file format (XLSB)? If so, have you experienced any loss of functionality? Is it really any faster than XML based files? Any other pitfalls associated with using XLSB instead of XLSX & XLSM?


    Thanks - John

  2. #2
    Star Lounger
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    Why convert?

    We haven't found any issues with the new formats. If you are using an old workbook, leave it as it is. If you use a feature that wont save in the old format, Excel asks you if you want to convert to the new format. You don't need to convert everything at once.

    The default is to save as xlsx. If you have macros, you are warned that these will be deleted unless you save as xlsx. No big deal really.

    What you will find is that the xlsx and xlsm files are half the size of the binary formats. Less disk space and open and save much more quickly.

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    In my experience (primarily 2007 at this point), xlsb is faster than xlsx and xlsm to load and save, and in many cases the file sizes are considerably smaller. I have one file which was over 40MB as an xls, a little under 30MB as an xlsx and only 15MB as an xlsb. It's a lot faster to open as an xlsb too.
    I have certainly had fewer problems with my personal macro workbook since I converted it to an xlsb rather than xlsm. Functionally there is no difference - it's merely a question of how they are stored (all are compressed, but the xlsb folder contains binaries rather than XML).
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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