pyexcel - Let you focus on data, instead of file formats

Source code:
License:GPL v3
Generated:February 04, 2015


pyexcel is a wrapper library to read, manipulate and write data in different excel formats. This library makes information processing involving excel files an enjoyable task. The data in excel files can be turned into array or dict with least code, vice versa. And ready-made custom filters and formatters can be applied. This library focuses on data processing using excel files as storage media hence fonts, colors and charts were not and will not be considered.

It was created due to the lack of uniform programming interface to access data in different excel formats. A developer needs to use different methods of different libraries to read the same data in different excel formats, hence the resulting code is cluttered and unmaintainable. This is a challenge posed by users who do not know or care about the differences in excel file formats.Instead of educating the users about the specific excel format a data processing application supports, the library takes up the challenge and promises to support all known excel formats.

Excel files are de-facto file format for information sharing in non-software centric organisations. Excel files are not only used for mathematical computation in financial institutions but also used for many other purposes in an office work environment. This is largely casued by wide adoption of Microsoft Office. Comparing the existing, mathematics savvy Pandas library, this library intends to help data processing job where data extraction is more important than data analysis. In such context, ease of use, and low overhead is preferred, while Pandas is as big as 4MB and contains hundreds of potentially useful functions.

All great work have done by individual library developers. This library unites only the data access code. With that said, pyexcel also bring something new on the table: “csvz” and “tsvz” format, new format names as of 2014. They are invented and supported by pyexcel.

Getting the source

Source code is hosted in github. You can get it using git client:

$ git clone


You can install it via pip:

$ pip install pyexcel

For individual excel file formats, please install them as you wish:

a map of plugins and supported excel file formats
Plugin Supported file formats Dependencies Python versions Comments
pyexcel csv, csvz [1], tsv, tsvz [2] pyexcel-io 2.6, 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, pypy  
xls xls, xlsx(read only), xlsm(read only) xlrd, xlwt 2.6, 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, pypy writing xls only
xlsx xlsx openpyxl 2.6, 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, pypy  
ods ods (python 2.6, 2.7) odfpy 2.6, 2.7  
ods3 ods (python 2.7, 3.3, 3.4) ezodf, lxml 3.3, 3.4  
text json, rst, mediawiki,latex, grid, pipe, orgtbl, plain simple tabulate 2.6, 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, pypy writing to files only

Please import them before you start to access the desired file formats:

from pyexcel.ext import plugin


import pyexcel.ext.plugin
Plugin compatibility table
pyexcel pyexcel-io xls xlsx ods ods3 text
v0.1.2 0.0.2 0.0.3+ 0.0.2+ 0.0.4 0.0.5 0.0.2
v0.1.1 0.0.2 0.0.3+ 0.0.2+ 0.0.4 0.0.5 0.0.2
v0.0.10 0.0.2 0.0.3+ 0.0.2+ 0.0.4 0.0.5 0.0.2
v0.0.9 0.0.1 0.0.2 0.0.1 0.0.3 0.0.4 0.0.2
v0.0.8 n/a 0.0.1 n/a 0.0.2 0.0.2+ 0.0.1
v0.0.7   n/a   0.0.2 0.0.2 n/a
v0.0.6       0.0.2 0.0.2  


Suppose you want to process the following excel data :

Name Age
Adam 28
Beatrice 29
Ceri 30
Dean 26

Here are the example usages:

>>> import pyexcel as pe
>>> import pyexcel.ext.xls # import it to handle xls file
>>> import pyexcel.ext.xlsx # import it to handle xlsx file
>>> records = pe.get_records(file_name="your_file.xls")
>>> for record in records:
...     print("%s is aged at %d" % (record['Name'], record['Age']))
Adam is aged at 28
Beatrice is aged at 29
Ceri is aged at 30
Dean is aged at 26

Real world cases

Indices and tables


[1]zipped csv file
[2]zipped tsv file