olefile is a Python package to
parse, read and write Microsoft OLE2
called Structured Storage, Compound File Binary Format or Compound
Document File Format), such as Microsoft Office 97-2003 documents,
vbaProject.bin in MS Office 2007+ files, Image Composer and FlashPix
files, Outlook messages, StickyNotes, several Microscopy file formats,
McAfee antivirus quarantine files, etc.
Quick links: Home page -
- Documentation -
- Contact the author -
Repository - Updates
Follow all updates and news on Twitter: https://twitter.com/decalage2
- 2015-01-25 v0.42: improved handling of special characters in
stream/storage names on Python 2.x (using UTF-8 instead of Latin-1),
fixed bug in listdir with empty storages.
- 2014-11-25 v0.41: OleFileIO.open and isOleFile now support OLE files
stored in byte strings, fixed installer for python 3, added support
for Jython (Niko Ehrenfeuchter)
- 2014-10-01 v0.40: renamed OleFileIO_PL to olefile, added initial
write support for streams >4K, updated doc and license, improved the
- 2014-07-27 v0.31: fixed support for large files with 4K sectors,
thanks to Niko Ehrenfeuchter, Martijn Berger and Dave Jones. Added
test scripts from Pillow (by hugovk). Fixed setup for Python 3
- 2014-02-04 v0.30: now compatible with Python 3.x, thanks to Martin
Panter who did most of the hard work.
- 2013-07-24 v0.26: added methods to parse stream/storage timestamps,
improved listdir to include storages, fixed parsing of direntry
- 2013-05-27 v0.25: improved metadata extraction, properties parsing
and exception handling, fixed issue
- 2013-05-07 v0.24: new features to extract metadata (get_metadata
method and OleMetadata class), improved getproperties to convert
timestamps to Python datetime
- 2012-10-09: published
package of analysis tools based on OleFileIO_PL
- 2012-09-11 v0.23: added support for file-like objects, fixed issue
- 2012-02-17 v0.22: fixed issues #7 (bug in getproperties) and #2
(added close method)
- 2011-10-20: code hosted on bitbucket to ease contributions and bug
- 2010-01-24 v0.21: fixed support for big-endian CPUs, such as PowerPC
- 2009-12-11 v0.20: small bugfix in OleFileIO.open when filename is not
- 2009-12-10 v0.19: fixed support for 64 bits platforms (thanks to Ben
G. and Martijn for reporting the bug)
- see changelog in source code for more info.
If you have pip or setuptools installed (pip is included in Python
2.7.9+), you may simply run pip install olefile or easy_install
olefile for the first installation.
To update olefile, run pip install -U olefile.
Otherwise, see https://bitbucket.org/decalage/olefileio_pl/wiki/Install
- Parse, read and write any OLE file such as Microsoft Office 97-2003
legacy document formats (Word .doc, Excel .xls, PowerPoint .ppt,
Visio .vsd, Project .mpp), Image Composer and FlashPix files, Outlook
messages, StickyNotes, Zeiss AxioVision ZVI files, Olympus FluoView
OIB files, etc
- List all the streams and storages contained in an OLE file
- Open streams as files
- Parse and read property streams, containing metadata of the file
- Portable, pure Python module, no dependency
olefile can be used as an independent package or with PIL/Pillow.
olefile is mostly meant for developers. If you are looking for tools to
analyze OLE files or to extract data (especially for security purposes
such as malware analysis and forensics), then please also check my
python-oletools, which are
built upon olefile and provide a higher-level interface.
olefile is based on the OleFileIO module from
PIL, the excellent
Python Imaging Library, created and maintained by Fredrik Lundh. The
olefile API is still compatible with PIL, but since 2005 I have improved
the internal implementation significantly, with new features, bugfixes
and a more robust design. From 2005 to 2014 the project was called
OleFileIO_PL, and in 2014 I changed its name to olefile to celebrate
its 9 years and its new write features.
As far as I know, olefile is the most complete and robust Python
implementation to read MS OLE2 files, portable on several operating
systems. (please tell me if you know other similar Python modules)
Since 2014 olefile/OleFileIO_PL has been integrated into
Pillow, the friendly fork of PIL.
olefile will continue to be improved as a separate project, and new
versions will be merged into Pillow regularly.
Main improvements over the original version of OleFileIO in PIL:
- Compatible with Python 3.x and 2.6+
- Many bug fixes
- Support for files larger than 6.8MB
- Support for 64 bits platforms and big-endian CPUs
- Robust: many checks to detect malformed files
- Runtime option to choose if malformed files should be parsed or raise
- Improved API
- Metadata extraction, stream/storage timestamps (e.g. for document
- Can open file-like objects
- Added setup.py and install.bat to ease installation
- More convenient slash-based syntax for stream paths
- Write features
Please see the online
more information, especially the OLE
and the API
describe how to use olefile in Python applications. A copy of the same
documentation is also provided in the doc subfolder of the olefile
olefile (formerly OleFileIO_PL) is copyright (c) 2005-2015 Philippe
All rights reserved.
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are
- Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
- Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS “AS
IS” AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED
TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT
HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL,
SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED
TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR
PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING
NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS
SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
olefile is based on source code from the OleFileIO module of the Python
Imaging Library (PIL) published by Fredrik Lundh under the following
The Python Imaging Library (PIL) is
- Copyright (c) 1997-2005 by Secret Labs AB
- Copyright (c) 1995-2005 by Fredrik Lundh
By obtaining, using, and/or copying this software and/or its associated
documentation, you agree that you have read, understood, and will comply
with the following terms and conditions:
Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its
associated documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby
granted, provided that the above copyright notice appears in all copies,
and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in
supporting documentation, and that the name of Secret Labs AB or the
author not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to
distribution of the software without specific, written prior permission.
SECRET LABS AB AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO
THIS SOFTWARE, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND
FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL SECRET LABS AB OR THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR
ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER
RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF
CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN
CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.