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Excel 2007+ Binary Workbook (xlsb) parser

Project description

pyxlsb2 (a variant of pyxlsb - is an Excel 2007+ Binary Workbook (xlsb) parser written in Python.

pyxslb2 offers the following improvements/changes in comparison to pyxlsb:

  1. By default, keeps all data in memory instead of creating temporary files. This is mainly to speed up the processing and also not changing the local filesystem during the processing.

  2. relies on both “xl\workbook.bin” and “xl\_rels\workbook.bin.rels” to load locate boundsheets. As a result, it can load all worksheets as well as all macrosheets.

  3. extracts macro formulas:

  • accurately shows the formulas

  • supports A1 addressing

  • supports external addressing (partially implemented))

  1. extracts defined names such as auto_open


  1. Installing the whl file

Download .whl file from the release section

pip install -U [path to whl file]

  1. Installing the latest development

Using pip

pip install -U

Or download the latest version


Extract the zip file and go to the extracted directory

python install –user


The module exposes an open_workbook(name) method (similar to Xlrd and OpenPyXl) for opening XLSB files. The Workbook object representing the file is returned.

from pyxlsb2 import open_workbook
with open_workbook('Book1.xlsb') as wb:
    # Do stuff with wb

The Workbook object exposes a get_sheet_by_index(idx) and get_sheet_by_name(name) method to retrieve Worksheet instances.

# Using the sheet index (0-based, unlike VBA)
with wb.get_sheet_by_index(0) as sheet:
    # Do stuff with sheet

# Using the sheet name
with wb.get_sheet_by_name('Sheet1') as sheet:
    # Do stuff with sheet

A sheets property containing the sheet names is available on the Workbook instance.

The rows() method will hand out an iterator to read the worksheet rows. The Worksheet object is also directly iterable and is equivalent to calling rows().

# You can use .rows(sparse=False) to include empty rows
for row in sheet.rows():
# [Cell(r=0, c=0, v='TEXT'), Cell(r=0, c=1, v=42.1337)]

NOTE: Iterating the same Worksheet instance multiple times in parallel (nested for for instance) will yield unexpected results, retrieve more instances instead.

Note that dates will appear as floats. You must use the convert_date(date) method from the corresponding Workbook instance to turn them into datetime.

# datetime.datetime(2012, 11, 22, 10, 56, 19)


Converting a workbook to CSV:

import csv
from pyxlsb2 import open_workbook

with open_workbook('Book1.xlsb') as wb:
    for name in wb.sheets:
        with wb.get_sheet_by_name(name) as sheet:
            with open(name + '.csv', 'w') as f:
                writer = csv.writer(f)
                for row in sheet.rows():
                    writer.writerow([c.v for c in row])


Non exhaustive list of things that are currently not supported:

  • Style and formatting WIP

  • Rich text cells (formatting is lost, but getting the text works)

  • Encrypted (password protected) workbooks

  • Comments and other annotations

  • Writing (out of scope)

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