Difference Between Excel Files- XLSM Vs. XLSX

Are you confused between the excel files? There are numerous files extensions available for Excel files. Tthe most commonly used file extensions are XLSX and XLSM. With so many format files, users can have a difficult time deciding, which file type they should use. Are you wondering what is the difference between these file types? In this article, we have listed the difference. Here is everything you need to know about XLSM Vs. XLSX.


The default extension of the excel file is XLSX and it is the most commonly used format nowadays. This is a popular choice among the users because it is safe to use as it cannot store malicious code. It will even have a maximum number of columns and rows. The XLSX format is available since 2007 and has replaced the older format file type XLS. A wonderful thing a both of this format is that is can even open XLS files without any difficulty.

Advantages of Using XLSX

There are numerous benefits of using this format, some of them are:

  • This format file can save and use all the functions of Excel.
  • It has an open file format that enables it to be opened with plenty of applications.
  • Since it cannot save Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros, it safe from viruses.

Disadvantages of Using XLSX

Here are the disadvantages of using the XLSX format file.

  • This format cannot save VBA macros; you might have a hard time to save VBA macros.
  • The format file is not compatible with the version before 2003.
  • This file type is big and needs a lot of disk space for storing it.


XLSM is a file extension in Excel that was introduced in 2007. This will allow you to create macro-enabled workbook file. It is similar to the default extension XLSX but has a slight difference. The distinctive feature of XLSM is that is able to save a file with embedded macros. These are programmed in the VBA language.

Moreover, this file extension opens a spreadsheet just like the XLSX. The architecture of this extension is the same as XML. It uses ZIP compression to save things including formulas and text into the columns and rows.


Advantages of XLSM

Have a look at the benefits of using this format.

  • This format is perfect for the files with VBA macros.
  • It utilizes an open file format.
  • This type of format can be used with plenty of applications.
  • The format allows you to save and use all the functions of Excel.

Disadvantages of XLSM

Following are the drawbacks of using XLSM file extension.

  • This file type is not safe and is prone to viruses. It can have a malicious code because of the VBA macros.
  • It is not compatible with older versions than 2003.
  • The file extension needs plenty of storage space.

There you go; this is the difference between both the Excel files. Excel has many uses in business, with or without embedding VBA macros. You can choose the format file that is in accordance with your particular requirements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *