Reduce Large Excel Files with .XLSB

Quick tip on how to slash the size of large Excel files, often by more than HALF! It’s a somewhat unknown file format .XLSB which stands for Binary. When Microsoft released Excel 2007, they switched the file format to be a zipped XML format. This enables a lot more cross compatibility with other Microsoft products like Outlook and Windows Explorer Preview. XLSB is essentially the Excel 2003 version, but with the full range of rows.

The savings on a lot of my big files has been pretty significant. Generally a reduction by about 60%. This only seems to happen on larger files. So if you have a file of 1 meg, it likely won’t get reduced by that much.

One other advantage of XLSB is that it retains VBA without a prompt, something I definitely prefer. Only drawback is if you have file linking to other Microsoft products like power-point, or even other spreadsheet programs like OpenOffice, the XLSX will definitely work better. However, most massive files exceeding 10 megs probably are probably only used in Excel.

Updated with a video. Spoiler Alert: I reduce a file size by about 60%!