Node.js bindings for libxl. Node versions starting from 10.0.0 are supported (see 'Platform and Node.js support' below for details).
Pull the library into your project with
npm install libxl
and require the module via
var xl = require('libxl');
As this packages contains only bindings for the libxl library, the library itself is required for building and running the bindings.
Before the bindings are compiled, the
install-libxl.js script pulls the latest
version of the library from the XLware FTP server and unpacks it in
Therefore, no separate installation of libxl is necessary for building the
If you want to compile the bindings against a particular version of the library
or if, for some reason, the automatic download fails, you can point the install
script to a locally downloaded archive of the SDK by setting the
NODE_LIBXL_SDK_ARCHIVE environment variable.
In order to load and use the bindings, the libxl library must be available in your dynamic library search path. This is achieved by either
Copying the library into your system library search path, e.g.
Copying the library into the working directory where you run the script which
uses the bindings. The name of the library file is
libxl.so on Linux,
libxl.dylib on Mac and
libxl.dll on Windows.
Properly setting the
LD_LIBRARY_PATH (Linux) or
environment variable. For example, the following command will execute the
demo.js script in the package directory without requiring libxl to be
LD_LIBRARY_PATH="`pwd`/deps/libxl/lib:`pwd`/deps/libxl/lib64:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH" node demo.js
libxl.node file by setting the
NODE_LIBXL_PATH environment variable. This
allows to distribute / deploy an application that uses the bindings to a system
which runs on a different platform / architecture without recompiling the
A new excel document is created via
var xlsBook = new xl.Book(xl.BOOK_TYPE_XLS);
var xlsxBook = new xl.Book(xl.BOOK_TYPE_XLSX);
(for xlsx documents). The document is written to disk via
and read back via
callback will be called after the operation has completed, receiving an
optional error object as argument if anything goes wrong.
IMPORTANT: See below for additional notes on the async implementation of libxl calls.
var sheet = xlsBook.addSheet('Sheet 1');
sheet.writeStr(1, 0, 'A string');
sheet.writeNum(1, 1, 42);
Functions whose C++ counterpart returns void or an error status have been implemented to return the respective instance, so it is possible to chain calls
.writeStr(1, 0, 'A string');
.writeNum(1, 1, 42);
Errors are handled by throwing exceptions.
Functions that return multiple values by reference in C++ (like Book::dateUnpack) return a object with the return values as properties.
See 'Differences...' below for a more detailed description of the methods whose behavior differs from their C++ counterpart.
The bindings cover the current (version 3.5.4) libxl API completely.
The async variants of libxl calls implement the standard Node.js API for
async functions: a callback is passed as last argument which is called once the
operation has finished. The first argument of the callback is an error object,
undefined if the operation completed without errors. Any results are
passed as additional arguments to the callback.
IMPORTANT: While an async operation is pending, other operations (sync or async) on the same book object (and its descendants like sheets, formats and fonts) are not allowed and will throw an exception. However, multiple simultaneous operations on different books are allowed.
The following async functions are available:
book.loadare implemented asynchroneously. If you need synchroneous behavior you can use
book.loadRaware implemented asynchroneously.
book.saveRawand its alias return the book data as second argument to the supplied callback. Use
book.loadRawSync& friends for synchroneous behavior.
book.addPicturehas a async version
book.addPictureAsync. The index of the new picture is passed as the second argument to the callback.
book.getPicturehas a async version
book.getPictureAsync. Picture type and data are passed to the callback as second and third arguments.
sheet.insertColare very slow and thus are also available as async implementations
book.writeRawand their sync versions are also available as
book.loadRawSynctake a node buffer as argument
book.writeRawSyncreturn a node buffer
book.getPicturereturns an object with
dataproperty is a node buffer containing the image data.
book.addPictureAsyncare overloaded and can be called with either a file path or a node buffer, thus implementing both
Book.AddPicture2from the libxl API.
book.dateUnpack: Returns an object with
book.colorUnpack: Returns an object with
book.defaultFont: Returns an object with
sheet.readStr& friends: If
sheet.readXXXis provided with an object as optional second argument, the cell format is returned in the objects
sheet.getMerge: Returns an object with the
sheet.getPrintFit: Returns either
falseor an object with the
sheet.getNamedRange: Returns an object with
sheet.namedRange: Returns an object with
sheet.getTopLeftView: Returns an object with
sheet.addrToRowCol: Returns an object with
- Book object creation: Books are not created via
xlCreateXMLBook. Instead, object instances are directly constructed from the
xl.Bookconstructor via either
- Accessing the parent book: sheet, format and font objects hold a reference to
their parent book that can be accessed via the
All C enum constants provided by the library are available as constants on the
library object, e.g.
If you have purchased a licence key from XLware, you can call book.setKey in
order to unlock the library. As an alternative, you can build the key into the
bindings by modifying
api_key.h and rebuilding the library via
node-gyp rebuild (you'll have to install node-gyp for this) or
npm install in the
The package supports Linux, Windows and Mac.
The current branch (0.4.x) supports all current versions of Node.js starting with 10.0.0. If you need support for older Node versions, use the 0.3.x and 0.2.x branches --- those support Node.js down to version 0.10.0.
Be aware, though, that the build time dependencies have moved on and are starting to use ES6 features that break support for Node < 6, even if those older versions of node-libxl still support it. If you still need to use such an old version of Node, you'll have to use lockfiles to pin those transitive dependencies.
Some of the newer parts of the libxl API are currently unsupported. Nag me to implement them if you miss anything (or provide a pull request).
The async hooks API introduced with Node.js 9 is currently unsupported.
The bindings are fully covered with jasmine tests. If you have jasmine-node installed (via NPM), you can run the suite via
Please report any bugs or feature requests on the github issue tracker.
As the API is completely covered, I consider the bindings complete. New releases will only cover new libxl methods and fix bugs. If you identify parts of libxl that are particularily slow, asynchroneous version of those could be added as well. Note that only the latest version branch (0.3.x) is maintained and supported.
- Torben Fitschen wrote the install script which pulls the necessary libxl SDK before building.
- Martin Schröder for adding Mac support.
- Parts if this package were developed during slacktime provided by the awesome folks at Mayflower GmbH
- Alexander Makarenko wrote node-excel-libxl Though node-libxl is rewritten from scratch, this package served as the starting point.