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Denis Gobo

Excel 2007 Files Are WinZip/WinRAR Files In Disguise

I am not going to say anything about the ribbon or the diamond, this not a post about that. Create a new file in Excel 2007 with 250000 (that is a quarter million) rows. Just have 1 column with numbers from 1 to 250000. Save the file but keep it open.  I applied a currency format to mine, see pic below.

Excel 2007

Just for fun save it also in Excel 2003 format, you will get a warning and the file will only contain 65536 rows. I also captured that as a screenshot, the pic is below.

Excel 2003

Now look at the files, do you see that the Excel 2003 file is bigger in size than the Excel 2007 file even though it has only one fourth the rows. Now locate the file and rename the xlsx extension of the Excel 2007 file to rar or zip. That is right the file is compressed, open the file up with WinZip or WinRAR. Open the Worksheets folder inside the xl folder, you will see a worksheet there which is about 17MB unpacked and about 2 MB packed. The pic of the RAR file is below.

Excel Rarred

Interesting stuff right?

Published Sunday, June 03, 2007 6:32 AM by Denis Gobo

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name said:

openoffice.org documents are zipped xmls since 2001

June 4, 2007 9:11 AM
 

MA said:

In fact all Office 2007 files are zipped :)

June 4, 2007 9:13 AM
 

Heliologue said:

Uh, they're <i>all</i> like that.  The new OOXML format that Microsoft introduced with Office 2007 is similar to what OpenDocument has been doing for years:  writing the XML and then zipping it.

June 4, 2007 9:19 AM
 

Denis Gobo said:

Can OpenOffice store 2 billion rows in their spreadsheet (not that you would, what is the limit?)

June 4, 2007 9:22 AM
 

Hagrin said:

While I echo the previous comments, it was a good reminder - definitely interesting.

June 4, 2007 9:25 AM
 

Adam Machanic said:

Well, I for one learned something new from this post--I had no idea they were zipped--so thanks for pointing this out, Denis.

June 4, 2007 11:20 AM
 

DrLifeIsGood said:

And i thought they were zipfiles DOH!

There are more zip programs out there you know ?

June 4, 2007 11:42 AM
 

TrackBack said:

June 4, 2007 1:28 PM
 

name said:

..."Can OpenOffice store 2 billion rows in their spreadsheet (not that you would, what is the limit?)"

Don't you an Office-File as a Database!

June 5, 2007 2:26 AM
 

name said:

..."Can OpenOffice store 2 billion rows in their spreadsheet (not that you would, what is the limit?)"

Don't use an Office-File as a Database!

June 5, 2007 2:26 AM
 

Vivek said:

Thanks for the post. I didnt know earlier that Offices files are zipped.

June 5, 2007 3:31 AM
 

themaster said:

and we ask ourselves "who are the real ones that are behind on the ideas". I think that the OOo Teams should get royalties from MS for this. Who would have thought.

November 29, 2010 8:32 AM

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About Denis Gobo

I was born in Croatia in 1970, when I was one I moved to Amsterdam (and yes Ajax is THE team in Holland) and finally in 1993 I came to the US. I have lived in New York City for a bunch of years and currently live in Princeton, New Jersey with my wife and 3 kids. I work for Dow Jones as a Database architect in the indexes department, one drawback: since our data goes back all the way to May 1896 I cannot use smalldates ;-( I have been working with SQL server since version 6.5 and compared to all the other bloggers here I am a n00b. Some of you might know me from http://sqlservercode.blogspot.com/ or even from some of the newsgroups where I go by the name Denis the SQL Menace If you are a Tek-Tips user then you might know me by the name SQLDenis, I am one of the guys answering SQL Questions in the SQL Programming forum.

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