Open Source Python API for Spreadsheets

Python library for reading and formatting XLS & XLSX file format.

Xlrd is an open source python API for reading & formatting Microsoft Excel (XLS, XLSX) file format. The API allows the Python developer to read Excel files, handle Unicode in it, manage dates, format cells & columns, use constants, formulas, macros, and more. Furthermore, the API provides loading worksheets with on-demand functionality that allows developers to save memory by loading only the required sheets.

The developer no more maintains the API, and corrupted & non-standard Excel files will not work with this API. The API will ignore VBA modules, comments, hyperlinks, autofilters, advance filters, and few other excel features as well.

Previous Next

Getting Started with Xlrd

You need to have Python 2.7 or 3.4+ or higher installed on your system to run Xlrd smoothly. The recommended way to install via PIP. Please use the following command.

Install Xlrd via PIP Command

pip install xlrd

Read Excel Worksheets via Free Python API

Xlrd API allows reading Microsoft Excel XLS & XLSX files using Python. The developers can easily open existing workbooks using xlrd.open_workbook() method. You can get worksheets and sheet names of your excel file using workbook.nsheets & workbook.sheet_names properties respectively. In order to read rows & columns, you can select a sheet by using workbook.sheet_by_index() method and use worksheet.nrows & worksheet.ncols respectively.

Open & Acccess Contents of Excel Workbook via Python API

from mmap import mmap,ACCESS_READ
from xlrd import open_workbook
print open_workbook('simple.xls')
with open('simple.xls','rb') as f:
print open_workbook(
aString = open('simple.xls','rb').read()
print open_workbook(file_contents=aString)

Load Worksheets on Demand using Python

The Open Source spreadsheet library Xlrd allows software developers to load worksheets on demand. The functionality reduces memory usage and loads only required worksheets. You can use on-demand load functionality by using on_demang argument.

Work with Large Excel Workbook via Python API

 from xlrd import open_workbook
book = open_workbook('simple.xls',on_demand=True)
for name in book.sheet_names():
if name.endswith('2'):
sheet = book.sheet_by_name(name)
print sheet.cell_value(0,0)

Formatting Informatin in Excel using Python

Xlrd library gives developers the capability to read, display & render excel spreadsheet contents on a screen or to another file without losing the ability to display/render it. Default formatting is applied to all empty cells. The API firstly will use Rowinfo & Colinfo class to get the properties. If Rowinfo & Colinfor class properties are not available the API will use the default properties.