If you need to view Excel (.xls) files but don't have Microsoft Excel installed, you have two options to open the file.

Microsoft have provided a free Excel viewer application that will allow you to view the Excel file with full functionality. Of course, this means that you will not be able to edit or create files with the viewer software. If you only need to view the occasional file then this would be the best and easiest option:

Download Microsoft Excel Viewer

If you need to edit or create Excel files, but it isn't economical to purchase the full version of Excel then there is a free alternative called OpenOffice. This open source software package contains a spreadsheet package with good Excel compatibility:

Download OpenOffice
Ian, Apr 24, 2008