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Chapter 7. Using SpreadsheetML > Saving and Opening XML Spreadsheets

7.1. Saving and Opening XML Spreadsheets

Excel treats XML spreadsheet files pretty much like regular .xls binary files. Microsoft has captured nearly all of the information stored in Excel workbooks in its XML format, with some major exceptions, including embedded Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), charting information, OLE objects, and drawing objects. It works very well for basic data import and export, but not as well for more sophisticated spreadsheets. While you can, for example, use VBA and charting on information stored in the XML maps described in Chapter 6, that functionality will be lost if you save the spreadsheet itself in SpreadsheetML and don't keep a .xls copy.

If you need access to Excel features that SpreadsheetML doesn't support, you might try tools like Spreadsheet::WriteExcel, a Perl module, available through http://cpan.org, or POI, a Java library available at http://jakarta.apache.org/poi/. These both operate on .xls files, not SpreadsheetML, and have their own limitations, but they tend to be different limitations than those of SpreadsheetML.



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