Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Working with Lotus 1-2-3 Spreadsheets.

Working with Lotus 1-2-3 Spreadsheets

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 2, 2013)

You probably already know that Excel will easily open a wide variety of spreadsheets stored in other formats. One that it will open is spreadsheets originally created in Lotus 1-2-3. If you have some old 1-2-3 files and you want to make sure that they are treated, in Excel, according to Lotus 1-2-3 "rules," there are a couple of settings you need to pay attention to.

Start by displaying the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 and Excel2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.) Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the options and you should see a section named Lotus Compatibility Settings. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The advanced Excel Options.

Notice that there are two options in this section; these are the two you want to work with.

  • Transition Formula Evaluation. When checked, this option causes Excel to open and evaluate 1-2-3 files without losing or changing information. Based on the formulas in the 1-2-3 file, if this option isn't checked, then you might lose some data or some formulas won't calculate the same in Excel as they would have in Lotus 1-2-3. Specifically, with this option selected Excel evaluates text strings as 0 (zero), Boolean expressions as 0 or 1, and database criteria according to the rules used in Lotus 1-2-3.
  • Transition Formula Entry. If this check box is selected, then formulas entered in Lotus 1-2-3 version 2.2 syntax are converted to Excel syntax. This option should not be selected if you don't plan on saving the spreadsheet in Excel format.

Make your settings, as desired, then close the Options dialog box. Open the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet and Excel should process the file according to the settings you made.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12498) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Working with Lotus 1-2-3 Spreadsheets.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using Header Information as the Filename

Save a document for the first time, and Word helpfully suggests a filename you can use or change. If you want this suggested ...

Discover More

Converting Strings to Numbers

When working with data in a macro, there are two broad categories you can manipulate: numbers and text. Sometimes you need to ...

Discover More

The Last Business Day

Many businesses need to know when the last business day of the month occurs. This tip discusses several ways you can ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (RIBBON)

Slash Key No Longer Works as Expected

Press the slash key and Excel may display a series of keyboard commands near the ribbon. If this behavior drives you nuts, ...

Discover More

Turning Off Names

You can use some of the tools in Excel to convert cell references in formulas into names. Converting back (from names into ...

Discover More

Controlling How Excel Interprets Percentages

When entering data in a worksheet, Excel tries to figure out how your entry can best be shown on the screen. When it comes to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share