The XLR file format is associated with the now-discontinued Microsoft Works, a productivity software suite that was a simpler and less expensive alternative to Microsoft Office. XLR files were primarily used for spreadsheet documents. Although not as widely recognized as the prevalent Excel's XLS format, XLR files served a similar purpose, allowing users to create, format, and save spreadsheet data with a range of basic functions.
Historical Background of XLR File Type
Introduced by Microsoft, the XLR file format was part of Microsoft Works, which first appeared in the late 1980s. Throughout multiple versions, Microsoft Works provided a suite of tools including a word processor, a database management system, and a spreadsheet maker, which used XLR files. However, by the late 2000s, as the Microsoft Office suite gained popularity, Microsoft Works and the XLR format became less commonly used, eventually leading to their discontinuation in 2009.
Functioning of XLR Files
XLR files function similarly to other spreadsheet file formats: they store data in tables composed of rows and columns, and they can include formulae and formatting to manage and analyze data. XLR files offered a straightforward user interface, suitable for personal or small business use, without the extensive features that Excel provides.
Software Compatibility for XLR Files
Given the file type's obsolescence, modern software typically does not support XLR files natively. However, some programs can still open and convert XLR files for use. For instance, Microsoft Excel can often open XLR files, although some formatting or data may not transfer perfectly. Additionally, there are several third-party file converters and office suites capable of handling XLR files, enabling access to the data contained within them.
Alternatives to XLR File Type
After the discontinuation of Microsoft Works, the XLS and later XLSX formats of Microsoft Excel have become the standard for spreadsheet documents. Open-source alternatives such as LibreOffice Calc and Google Sheets also offer robust functionality and file compatibility for users seeking solutions beyond Microsoft's offerings. These alternatives are not only more advanced but also ensure greater compatibility and user support due to their active development and widespread usage.