Saving Worksheets in Lotus 1-2-3 Format

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 6, 2016)


Normally you save your worksheets using Excel's native file formats. In this way you can maintain all the program features supported by Excel. You may have a need, however, to save your worksheets in a different format, such as Lotus 1-2-3, so they can be used by someone else who does not use Excel. To do this, you can follow these steps:

  1. Create your worksheet as you normally would.
  2. Choose Save As from the File menu. Excel displays the Save As dialog box.
  3. Use the Save As Type drop-down list to specify the file format to use. In this case, select one of the Lotus 1-2-3 formats available in your version of Excel, such as WKS, WK1, WK3, or WK4.
  4. Click on Save. Excel displays a dialog box asking if you really want to save in the foreign format.
  5. Click on Yes. Your worksheet is saved.

You should note that it may be possible in your version of Excel that there isn't a choice to save a worksheet in Lotus 1-2-3 format. If you need to have that capability, and you cannot see such a format in your version, you may need to use the Office Setup program to see which export filters are installed for your version of Excel.

It is always a good idea to maintain a "master copy" of your workbook in Excel format, and then only save a copy in Lotus 1-2-3 format if you have a need. This prevents any incompatibility problems that may crop up if you keep your work in a format not natively supported by Excel.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2509) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is 4 + 4?

2014-02-15 23:14:58


John, you *did* notice that this tip is for the very versions you mention--up through 2003--and not for anything after that, right?

2014-02-15 18:11:21


BS tip - there hasn't been a save as Lotus feature since Excel 2003 and if you install MS patches, it evens takes the ability out of that version.

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