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Other than openoffice, can you suggest a light free viewer for excel files?

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Isn't QuickLook enough?

You could also try to upload them on Google Docs.

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+1 for QuickLook. You can't do any editing within QuickLook, mind you, but simply for viewing you can't get any more lightweight than that. – Scottie Aug 25 '10 at 19:03
+1 here as well as I don't even have Office on my Mac and I can still view Office documents, and I just use OpenOffice if I ever have to get content out of them. – Philip Regan Aug 25 '10 at 19:28
+1 Quicklook is really useful when you just want to read a Microsoft Office file. – Studer Aug 25 '10 at 19:42
I'm aware of QuickLook and it is great, however the view disappears when you edit another document. Moreover, you cannot copy and paste text from the view. – emit Aug 26 '10 at 2:30

I myself use OS X's Quick Look. I think it's good enough.

Just select your xls (or xlsx) file and do one of the following:

  • press Space

  • press ⌘ Y

  • right click and choose Quick Look

and the file will be viewable in a separate window. Press Space again to close.

Quick Look can also be opened in full screen by pressing ⌥ Space or ⌥ ⌘ Y in the Finder. Press Esc to exit full screen.

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Quick Look can be set to allow copying of text. Launch Terminal and type the following command:

defaults write QLEnableTextSelection -bool true

Then restart the Finder with the following command:

killall Finder

After selecting use the keyboard ⌘+C to copy.

Read more at Cult of Mac

I hope this helps too.

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Apple Numbers can open Excel files. Numbers launches faster than Excel, however it still takes forever and it's not free.

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