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Downloading Files Help

The files on our site are provided in a variety of formats. The software you use to view the files depends on the file type. The following general information may help, but because everyone's computer setup is different, we are unable to provide specific assistance.

  • HTML – regular pages; these should open in your browser
  • PDF – Portable Document Format; you'll need Adobe Reader or similar program; you can also use the Preview application if you're using a Macintosh
  • TXT – text files; these will usually open in your browser, or you might need to download the file first and open it in a word processor
  • XLS – older Excel format; you'll need to download these and open them in a spreadsheet program (see below)
  • XLSX – newer XML-based Excel format; you'll need to download these and open them in a spreadsheet program that recognizes this format (see below)

XLS & XLSX (Excel) Spreadsheet Format

You don't need to purchase an expensive commercial product like Microsoft Excel to use XLS or XLSX files. There are several free options that work as well or better than Excel, and provide a full suite of office productivity software. These include:

Issues with XLSX format

If you're using Internet Explorer on an older version of Windows, such as XP or Vista, your browser might try to download this file type as a ZIP file, which is unusable by spreadsheet programs. The easiest way to solve this is to use a better browser, such as Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. None of these browsers suffer from this bug, and all will provide a much improved browsing experience.

Older software applications won't open XLSX files. If you're unable to open an XLSX file, download and install a new version of one of the free options listed above.