ExceLint is an Excel add-in that automatically finds formula errors in spreadsheets. It is a product of research from the PLASMA lab @ UMass Amherst and Microsoft Research.
Talks on ExceLint
- ExceLint - Automatically Finding Spreadsheet Formula Errors, OOPSLA 2018 conference talk by Dan Barowy
- Saving the world from spreadsheets, Univ. of Washington PLSE seminar, by Emery Berger
- The next generation of developer tools for data programming, Microsoft Research Webinar Series, by Ben Zorn
ExceLint works as an add-in for all modern versions of Excel, including Mac, Windows, and online.
You need to install the file
manifest.xml following the appropriate instructions for each platform:
- Windows: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dev/add-ins/testing/create-a-network-shared-folder-catalog-for-task-pane-and-content-add-ins
- on-line: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dev/add-ins/testing/sideload-office-add-ins-for-testing
- Mac: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dev/add-ins/testing/sideload-an-office-add-in-on-ipad-and-mac#sideload-an-add-in-in-office-on-mac
Source code for the add-in may be found at its GitHub repository.
The ExceLint add-in does not collect personally identifiable information. See the privacy statement for more details.
The following technical paper describes how ExceLint works and includes an extensive empirical evaluation: ExceLint: Automatically Finding Spreadsheet Formula Errors, Daniel W. Barowy (Williams College), Emery D. Berger (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Benjamin Zorn (Microsoft Research). In Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages, Volume 2, Number OOPSLA.
The ExceLint addin is written entirely in TypeScript. It is already set up to be hostable locally.
Running the ExceLint service locally
First, run the following commands to build and start the local ExceLint service (which just hosts the assets).
git clone https://github.com/plasma-umass/ExceLint-addin cd ExceLint-addin npm install npm run start-local
The easiest way to test the local service is to use Excel 365
(https://www.office.com/launch/excel?auth=2). Open a workbook, click
the Insert menu, then click "Office Add-ins" on the ribbon. Click
"Upload My Add-in" (in the upper-right hand corner), and select the
manifest-localhost.xml. If everything works as planned, you should
see an icon for ExceLint on the Home ribbon. Click on it and it should open
the task pane on the right-hand side of the window.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CCF-1617892. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.