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A flask extension that provides one application programming interface to read and write data in different excel file formats

Project description

Here is a typical conversation between the developer and the user:

User: "I have uploaded an excel file"
      "but your application says un-supported file format"
Developer: "Did you upload an xlsx file or a csv file?"
User: "Well, I am not sure. I saved the data using "
      "Microsoft Excel. Surely, it must be in an excel format."
Developer: "OK. Here is the thing. I were not told to support"
           "all available excel formats in day 1. Live with it"
           "or delay the project x number of days."

Flask-Excel is based on pyexcel and makes it easy to consume/produce information stored in excel files over HTTP protocol as well as on file system. This library can turn the excel data into a list of lists, a list of records(dictionaries), dictionaries of lists. And vice versa. Hence it lets you focus on data in Flask based web development, instead of file formats.

The idea originated from the common usability problem when developing an excel file driven web applications for non-technical office workers: such as office assistant, human resource administrator. The fact is that not all people know the difference among various excel formats: csv, xls, xlsx. Instead of training those people about file formats, this library helps web developers to handle most of the excel file formats by providing a common programming interface. To add a specific excel file format to you application, all you need is to install an extra pyexcel plugin. No code change to your application.

The highlighted features are:

  1. excel data import into and export from databases
  2. turn uploaded excel file directly into Python data structure
  3. pass Python data structures as an excel file download
  4. provide data persistence as an excel file in server side
  5. supports csv, tsv, csvz, tsvz by default and other formats are supported via the following plugins:
A list of file formats supported by external plugins
Plugins Supported file formats
pyexcel-xls xls, xlsx(r), xlsm(r)
pyexcel-xlsx xlsx
pyexcel-ods3 ods (python 2.6, 2.7, 3.3, 3.4)
pyexcel-ods ods (python 2.6, 2.7)
pyexcel-text (write only)json, rst, mediawiki, html latex, grid, pipe, orgtbl, plain simple

This library makes information processing involving various excel files as easy as processing array, dictionary when processing file upload/download, data import into and export from SQL databases, information analysis and persistence. It uses pyexcel and its plugins:

  1. to provide one uniform programming interface to handle csv, tsv, xls, xlsx, xlsm and ods formats.
  2. to provide one-stop utility to import the data in uploaded file into a database and to export tables in a database as excel files for file download.
  3. to provide the same interface for information persistence at server side: saving a uploaded excel file to and loading a saved excel file from file system.

Known constraints

Fonts, colors and charts are not supported.


Recently, pyexcel(0.2.2+) and its plugins(0.2.0+) started using newer version of setuptools. Please upgrade your setup tools before install latest pyexcel components:

$ pip install --upgrade setuptools

You can install it via pip:

$ pip install Flask-Excel

or clone it and install it:

$ git clone
$ cd Flask-Excel
$ python install


Here are some example codes:

from flask import Flask, request, jsonify
from flask.ext import excel


@app.route("/upload", methods=['GET', 'POST'])
def upload_file():
    if request.method == 'POST':
        return jsonify({"result": request.get_array(field_name='file')})
    return '''
    <!doctype html>
    <title>Upload an excel file</title>
    <h1>Excel file upload (csv, tsv, csvz, tsvz only)</h1>
    <form action="" method=post enctype=multipart/form-data>
    <p><input type=file name=file><input type=submit value=Upload>

@app.route("/export", methods=['GET'])
def export_records():
    return excel.make_response_from_array([[1,2], [3, 4]], "csv",

if __name__ == "__main__":


New BSD License

Change log

0.0.5 - 21.08.2016


  1. compatibility with pyexcel v0.2.2: automatic discovery of pyexcel plugins.
  2. #15: file name may have more than one dot

0.0.4 - 15.01.2016


  1. #8: set file name in response

0.0.3 - 01.07.2015


  1. code refactoring. less code lines in Flask-Excel and more reusable code in pyexcel-webio

0.0.2 - 21.05.2015


  1. turn query sets into a response

0.0.1 - 22.01.2015

Mix pyexcel into Flask.request and bring more make_response functions.

Project details

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