How to Convert Lotus 1-2-3 to Excel

Converting files from Lotus 1-2-3 to Excel can be a bit tricky, especially since direct support for Lotus 1-2-3 files has been phased out in the latest versions of Microsoft Excel. However, there are still ways to convert these files. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

If You Have an Older Version of Excel (Pre-2013):

Older versions of Excel (like Excel 2010 or earlier) can open Lotus 1-2-3 files directly.

  1. Open Excel: Launch your older version of Microsoft Excel.
  2. Open the Lotus 1-2-3 File:
    • Go to File > Open.
    • Navigate to the location of your Lotus 1-2-3 file (it typically has a .wk3 or .wk4 file extension).
    • Select the file and open it. Excel might prompt you about format differences, but it should be able to open the file.
  3. Save as Excel File:
    • Once the file is open, go to File > Save As.
    • Choose “Excel Workbook (*.xlsx)” as the file format.
    • Choose a location to save the new file and click Save.

If You Have a Newer Version of Excel (2013 or Later):

Newer versions of Excel do not support Lotus 1-2-3 files directly. You’ll need an intermediary step.

  1. Find a Compatible Program:
    • Use an older version of Excel (2010 or earlier) if you have access to it.
    • Alternatively, use another spreadsheet program like LibreOffice Calc, which can open Lotus 1-2-3 files and save them in a format readable by newer Excel versions.
  2. Open and Convert:
    • Open the Lotus 1-2-3 file in the compatible program.
    • Save or export the file in an Excel-compatible format (like .xls or .xlsx).
  3. Open in Newer Excel:
    • Open the newly converted file in your current version of Excel.

Using a File Conversion Service or Software

  1. Find a Reliable Service: Look for a file conversion service that can handle Lotus 1-2-3 to Excel conversions. Make sure to use a reputable service, especially if your data is sensitive.
  2. Upload and Convert: Follow the service’s instructions to upload and convert your Lotus 1-2-3 file.
  3. Download the Excel File: Once the conversion is complete, download the Excel file.

Additional Tips

  • Backup Your Data: Always make a backup of your original Lotus 1-2-3 files before attempting any conversion.
  • Check Data Integrity: After conversion, check the data in Excel to ensure that it has been transferred correctly. Pay special attention to formulas, charts, and special formatting.

Converting Lotus 1-2-3 files to Excel can be a bit of a process, especially with newer Excel versions. If you regularly need to work with legacy file formats, it might be worth maintaining access to older software versions or exploring third-party conversion tools.

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