This is a comprehensive Python Openpyxl Tutorial to read and write MS Excel files in Python. Openpyxl is
a Python module to deal with Excel files without involving MS Excel
application software. It is used extensively in different operations
from data copying to data mining and data analysis by computer
operators to data analysts and data scientists. openpyxl is the most used module in python to handle excel files. If you have to read data from excel, or you want to write data or draw some charts, accessing sheets, renaming sheets, adding or deleting sheets, formatting and styling in sheets or any other task, openpyxl will do the job for you.
we discuss some of the keywords used in Python excel relationship which
are used in openpyxl programming for excel.
Basics for Python excel openpyxl work:
- An Excel file is usually called as Spreadsheet however in
openpyxl we call it Workbook.
- A single Workbook is usually saved in a file with extension
- A Workbook may have as less as one sheet and as many as
dozens of worksheets.
- Active sheet is the worksheet user is viewing or viewed
before closing the file.
- Each sheet consists of vertical columns, known as Column
starting from A.
- Each sheet consists of rows, called as Row. Numbering
starts from 1.
- Row and column meet at a box called Cell. Each cell has
specific address in refrence to Row and Column. The cell may contain
number, formula or text.
- The grid of cells make the work area or worksheet in excel.
The start: Reading data from an Excel sheet:
Lets suppose we have this Excel file which we are going to use in our
example. Its name is testfile.xlsx. You can either create a new excel
file and fill in the data as it is shown in figure or download it and
save it in your root folder. Mean the python folder in which all python
files are located.
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Sample file for reading. testfile.xlsx Its better
that you create excel file and fill in the same data.
Now after downloading and installing openpyxl and after having this
testfile in root folder lets get to the task.In case you don't know
what is your root directory for python. Type in the following code at
We will import operating system, and then call function get c
it will tell the current working directory for python, the result may
be like that, as it is in my interpreter.
Yes you are wise enough to know that I am using Python 3.4 for this
If you want to change the
current working directory you can use the command
os.chdir( ). For example you have a file named abc.xlsx saved in myfiles folder which is in C: root directory, then you may use
With this code now you can work on files saved in myfiles directory on C drive. If you want to work with excel files in Python for a Live 1 on 1 Python Openpyxl Training you may contact us
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Opening excel files in Python:
First we will import openpyxl module with this statement
If there is no error message then it would mean openpyxl has been
correctly installed and now it is available to work with Excel files.
Next thing we are going to do is to load the Workbook testfile.xlsx
with the help of following code
openpyxl.load_workbook('testfile.xlsx') is a function. It
takes the file name as parameter or argument and returns a workbook
datatype. Workbook datatype infact represents the file just like as
File object represents a text file that is opened. After loading the
testfile.xlsx we will see what type of handle is available by typing
The green colored line should be seen on the python shell. If you get
this line up to here then all is well. Now a summary of commands we
have typed with their output in python shell. Command typed by us is
shown in blue, while response of interpreter is shown in green here and
through out this tutorial.
Accessing sheets from the loaded workbook:
We have to know the name of excel file to access it, now we can read
and know about it more. To get information about the number of sheets
in a workbook, and their names there is a function get_sheet_names( )
This function returns the names of the sheets in a workbook and you can
count the names to tell about total number of sheets in current
workbook. The code will be
You can see that the function has returned three sheet names, which
means the file has three sheets. Now you can do a little practice.
Change the sheet names, save the file. Load the file again and see the
results. We change the sheet names as
S1, S2, S3
and then save the Excel file. We have
to load the file again so that changes appear in the response. We are
creating a new workbook object. Code will remain same. Write in the
Now we see that sheet names are changed in output. You can practice a
bit more. Please keep in mind, the more you work on this, the more you
learn. Books and tutorials are for guidance, you have to be creative to
master the art. Now change the sheet names to their orginal ones again.
You will have to load the file once again for changes to take effect.
After knowing names we can access any sheet at one time. Lets suppose
we want to access Sheet3. Following code should be written
>>> import openpyxl
the function get_sheet_by_name('Sheet3')
is used to access a particular sheet. This function takes the name of
sheet as argument and returns a sheet object. We store that in a
variable and can use it like...
if we write sheet
it will tell which sheet is it pointing to, as in code, the shell
replies with Worksheet "Sheet3".
If we want to ask type of sheet object. type(sheet)
It will tell what is the object sheet pointing to?
sheet.title tells the title of sheet that is referenced by sheet
Some more code with sheet. If we want to access the active sheet. The
interpreter will write the name of active sheet>
Accessing data in Cells of Worksheet:
For accessing data from sheet cells we refer by sheet and then the cell
7, 6, 4, 50, 30)
Another way of accessing cell data is like
Getting data from cells with the help of rows and columns:
>>> sheet.cell(row=2, column=4)
Instead of getting one value from a column, now we print whole column,
see the syntax. Ofcourse we will use iteration else we will have to
write print statement again and again.
For printing whole column the code will be
>>> for x in range (1,9):
Now after printing the one complete column, what comes next? Print
multiple columns, and as our file is a small one, we print all the
columns here. See the code here.
for y in range (1,9,1):
This code will print all the columns in the worksheet. Hence upto now,
we accessed an excel file, loaded it in memory, accessed sheets, and in
the end accessed individual cells, keep tuned for next. (Professor M.N)
Learn 1 on 1 live at Skype from the Author of this site.
If you want to Read, Write and Manipulate(Copy, cut, paste, delete or search for an item etc) Excel files in Python with simple and practical examples I will suggest you to see this simple and to the point Python Excel Openpyxl Course with examples about how to deal with MS Excel files in Python. This video course teaches efficiently how to manipulate excel files and automate tasks.
Everything you do in Microsoft Excel, can be automated with Python. So why not use the power of Python and make your life easy. You can make intelligent and thinking Excel sheets, bringing the power of logic and thinking of Python to Excel which is usually static, hence bringing flexibility in Excel and a number of opportunities.
Now after reading Excel files in Python, its time to learn
How to write to Excel Files in Python