What is an .IMP file?

An .IMP file is the extension for the Improv Spreadsheet file type. Created by Lotus Improv, the file type separates data into three segments. These segments are:

  • Data
  • View of the data
  • Formulas

An IMP file aims to simplify complex spreadsheets so that they become more user friendly and straight-forward to use.

What does IMP stand for?

IMP stands for Improv Spreadsheet File type. This is not to be confused with Adobe Audition Impulse that also uses the .IMP extension. The Adobe Audition Impulse version is an audio file type and is not related to the Improv Lotus spreadsheet file type.

History of the .IMP file.

The .IMP file was created by Lotus Improv - a popular software program in the 1990s. It was released in 1993 for Windows.

Lotus was bought by IBM in 1995 and the .IMP file was discontinued in the early 2000s. The file type may still be used in legacy systems and is an important artefact of historical spreadsheet software.

Currently, the file format is not usually supported by modern software, which can make it more difficult to transfer data between this format and another like Excel.

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What are .IMP files used for?

While .IMP files have now been discontinued, it’s main use is in historical context. It was replaced by IBM Lotus 1-2-3, but this has since also been discontinued.

There are four main spreadsheet app alternatives: CubeWeaver, XCubes, Morphit and Quantrix Modeller, that aim to separate and present data in a similar way.

Discover more about document files in general and different spreadsheet filet types.

Pros and cons of .IMP files.

There are various advantages and disadvantages of .IMP file types. This pros and cons include:


  • Changed the way data was stored. The .IMP file type was created in order to improve the way data is stored in a spreadsheet.
  • Made it easier to edit. Storing the data in three segments made it easier to manage and edit the information.
  • Helped improve accuracy of spreadsheets. Thanks to being easy to edit, this file type is also easier to keep accurate.


  • Difficult to transfer data. As the data within this file type is divided into three segments, it makes it harder to transfer the information into a different application.
  • Not supported by modern software. IMP files are hard to transfer to modern applications like Excel.
  • Discontinued by Lotus Improv and later by IBM. Both the .IMP file type and the IBM Lotus 1-2-3 file that replaced it, have been discontinued.

How to open, create or edit an .IMP file.

If you have an Improv Spreadsheet file that you need to open, you may need to use a legacy version of Lotus Improv, which is no longer readily available.

Alternatively, you can try using a file conversion tool to convert the file to a more modern spreadsheet format, such as Excel or CSV, which can be opened in many spreadsheet programmes.

How to convert an .IMP file to PDF?

As these files are no longer in use, you may find it difficult to convert them into a PDF file.

For other file conversion needs Adobe’s online PDF converter tool is simple to use and is compatible with many types of text-based file.

To convert an Improv Spreadsheet file to PDF, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Open the Improv Spreadsheet file in Lotus Improv, if you have access to it.
  2. Save the file in a more common spreadsheet format such as CSV or Excel. You can do this by selecting File > Save As and then choosing the desired format.
  3. Open the CSV or Excel file in a spreadsheet programme.
  4. Adjust the formatting and layout of the spreadsheet as needed to prepare it for conversion to PDF.
  5. Use the free .CSV to PDF Adobe tool to convert your file.

If you haven't got access to Lotus Improv or are unable to save the file in a more common format, it may be difficult to convert the file to PDF directly.

Learn more about similar file types to .IMP


Discover more about one of the most commonly used spreadsheet file types for Excel with our guide.


Find out about this spreadsheet file type that can also be used with Microsoft Excel.


Learn how you can convert a PDF to a suitable spreadsheet format, like Excel for your next project.


Find out more about this file type and whether it’s compatible with spreadsheets.

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What’s the difference between .IMP and XLSX?

An XLSX file is a format for Microsoft Excel documents, introduced with Microsoft Office in 2007, whereas .IMP files are older files that are not compatible with Microsoft Excel and have since been discontinued. The format of an XLSX file is a zip package that contains XML files.

What does an IMP file mean?

The .IMP file extension is used for a number of different, unrelated file formats. This includes Lotus Improv files for spreadsheets, audio files for Adobe Audition Impulse or a project created by Logotron Imagine.

What is an Adobe IMP file?

An Adobe Audition IMP file or ‘Audition impulse file’ is an audio file, with encoding specifications. Audition impulse Files may contain waveform amplitude maps and time signatures for easier monitoring and analysis.

Adobe .IMP files are opened with Adobe Audition and should not be confused with an IBM file type.