How to Convert ODT to XLS

By Amy Dombrower

Convert an ODT file to Excel using the Text Import Wizard.
i laptop image by Angie Lingnau from

ODT is the file format for Open Document Text, a format used for word processing document in open-source programs, such as OpenOffice and GoogleDocs. To convert an ODT document to an XLS file (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet), you must first convert the file to a Plain Text document, which Microsoft Excel can read. Excel will use the Text Import Wizard to format your text document into an editable spreadsheet document. There are several ways to convert your ODT file to text--using OpenOffice, Microsoft Word or a free online converter.

Convert ODT to TXT

Convert your ODT file to Plain Text (TXT) using a free online converter, which may be the most efficient way to do the conversion if you don't own any word processing software. Open a Web browser and log on to a free file conversion website (see Resources). Click "Browse" to select the ODT file from your computer files that you want to convert. Select "TXT" for the output format. Then click "Convert." Some converters also require you to enter an email address, as it will send you the converted document via email.

Download and install OpenOffice if you don't already have it. You can use the free program to not only create ODT files, but convert them to other document types. Open OpenOffice Writer and then click "File" and "Open" to open the ODT file you want to convert. Click "File" again and then "Save as." Enter a file name for the document and choose a destination folder. In the "Save as Type" list, select "Text (.txt)" and click "Save."

Convert your ODT file using Microsoft Word, which will work just as well as OpenOffice. Open Word. Click "File" or the "Microsoft Office Button" (Word 2007). Click "Open." Select "OpenDocument Text" in the "Files of Type" list. Browse your files to select the ODT file and click "Open." Click "File" or the "Microsoft Office Button" again and then click "Save as." Enter a file name and choose a destination folder for the document. In the "Save as Type" list, select "Plain Text." Click "Save."

Import a Text File in Excel

Open Microsoft Excel. Click "File" or the "Microsoft Office Button," depending on your version of Excel. Click "Open." In the file type list, select "Text Files." Select the text file you just saved and then click "Open." Excel will automatically launch the Text Import Wizard, where you can customize how Excel imports the file.

Select the type of data in your text file under "Original Data Type." Choose "Delimited" if your text fields are separated by certain characters. Click "Next."

Choose the delimiters contained in your data that separates values. For instance, if you want to separate fields of text by tabs in the files, select "Tab." Look at the data preview at the bottom of the dialog box to see how the spreadsheet will look. Click "Next."

Select the "Column Data Format" you prefer for each column of text. Click "Finish" to import the text file.

Click "File" or the "Microsoft Office Button" and then "Save as." In Excel 2007 or 2010, select "Excel Workbook 97-2003" from the "Save as Type" list to save the document as an XLS file (because the native format for Excel 2007 and 2010 is XLSX). In previous versions of Excel, select "Excel Workbook." Click "Save."