Microsoft Excel gracefully accepts proprietary data created in many other applications. Excel also makes it easy to import data from text files and helps you parse it into worksheet columns.
There are mountains of very specific, sleep-inducing technical details available about importing and exporting files. If you need such detail for conversion issues like transferring hundreds of macro-driven Lotus files into Excel, you should consult the Microsoft Office Resource Kit, available from Microsoft Press. Also, for information regarding sharing data with other Office applications and working with external databases, see Chapter 23, "Integrating Excel with Word and PowerPoint," and Chapter 29.