How to use Libre Calc instead of Microsoft Excel? (Where's the .xls file?)


It appears that ESPlanner builds a .xls file and attempts to load into Excel when the "Excel" option is chosen for Report output. However, I use Libre Office rather than Microsoft Office. When I try to create the Excel view, the program only throws out some error messages. The easiest workaround would to be to manually open the .xls file in Calc - if I could find it. Thanks


dan royer's picture

Open the program and in Help / Customize you can see (and change) the directory for the report output.

Thank you. I've found the pdf version of the report in that folder but not the Excel format. If it should be, I may need to open a ticket?

dan royer's picture

Hmm. Well, I suppose it needs Excel in order to generate an Excel report. I guess that's kind of obvious now that I think about it. I believe the program needs Excel on the Windows side of things for this to work. I didn't shop, but it appears to run around $109. I'll double check with the engineer, but I'm pretty sure it needs Excel to create the Excel sheet. Of course after the document is created, it might be opened in other programs.

If ESPlanner could create a data file where the report values are comma separated on each line (aka csv files), that would be nice because all spreadsheet apps will open those kind of files. Once open the spreadsheet app will allow saving in its own format, if desired. This is not hard to do for a software engineer.

Dan - Thank you again for your quick response. I wouldn't think that Excel would necessarily be needed to create an Excel compatible format. E.g. ESPlanner uses an MS Access DB format but, fortunately, doesn't need Access installed. tomindenver's suggestion that a csv be created would fit the bill nicely. The bottom line is that I do not wish to buy an MS product - at any price - in order to enjoy the functionality of my ESPlanner.

dan royer's picture

I'd have to ask the engineer about how those files get created etc. I just don't know. I was only guessing. But PDF is of course an option for reading the file output. I can ask the engineer.

ESPlanner uses the specific Excel API to open, populate, format, and save the Excel reports. So, there is not an inherent way to support .ods files with the current design.

Creating output in csv files is a possibility though and I will add that to the enhancement list.


Might it be as universal a format, and the format more controllable, to create output as XML?

Darryl - Thanks for jumping in. We wouldn't need it in .ods although that would be great. Or XML. Or csv. But if you can give us an Excel file, most office suites should be able to open it. When you say you "will add that to the enhancement list", do you have an idea of eta?

dan royer's picture

It won't be the next release, but perhaps in the next quarter.

I would like to add my vote for data output without needing Excel. I installed on a new computer and don't have MS Office installed, and, like others, don't wish to spend another $80 - $110 on Microsoft product to get data export. The PDF format is not very useful, so this is making my ESPLanner Plus license mostly useless until it is resolved.

dan royer's picture

I find the PDF output easier to navigate myself.

+1 for creating an .xls file without the need for Excel. I don't want to be forced to purchase another piece of software only for ESPlanner. I find the ability to quickly move between tabs far easier to correlate and comprehend data than flipping between PDF pages.

Another +1 for creating data output with something other than Excel. Like others, I'm running ESPlanner in Parallels on a Mac, and buying another copy of Office or Excel to try this feature of ESPlanner seems excessive.

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