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sc-im - Spreadsheet Calculator Improvised -- An ncurses spreadsheet program for terminal


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NOTE 06/01/2023:

This project needs some help. This is a one person project and lost sponsoring in the last months. There are only just a few left. I want to still maintain and develop sc-im, but I am the only income in my family and its becoming difficult to work as much as I would want. If you can make a donation (see at the bottom), please do. Your help would be really appreciated!! Thanks.


Spreadsheet Calculator Improvised, aka sc-im, is an ncurses based, vim-like spreadsheet calculator.

sc-im is based on sc, whose original authors are James Gosling and Mark Weiser, and mods were later added by Chuck Martin.

Some of the features of sc-im

  • Vim movements commands for editing cell content.
  • UNDO / REDO.
  • 65.536 rows and 702 columns supported. (The number of rows can be expanded to 1.048.576 if wished).
  • CSV / TAB delimited / XLSX file import and export. ODS import. Markdown export.
  • Key-mappings.
  • Autobackup.
  • Direct color support - specifing the RGB values, screen colors can be customized by user, even at runtime.
  • Colorize cells or give them format such as bold, italic or underline.
  • Wide character support. The following alphabets are supported: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, Turkish, Czech, Japanese, Chinese.
  • Sort of rows.
  • Filter of rows.
  • Subtotals.
  • Cell shifting.
  • Clipboard support.
  • GNUPlot interaction.
  • Scripting support with LUA. Also with triggers and c dynamic linked modules.
  • Implement external functions in the language you prefer and use them in SC-IM.
  • Use SC-IM as a non-interactive calculator, reading its input from an external script.

Quick start

Key Purpose
= Insert a numeric value
\ Insert a text value
e Edit a numeric value
E Edit a string value
x Delete current cell content
:q Quit the app
:h See help
:w Save current spreadsheet in sc format
j Move down
k Move up
h Move left
l Move right
goab12 go to cell AB12
u undo last change
C-r redo last change undone
yy Copy current cell
v select a range using cursor/hjkl keys
p paste a previously yanked cell or range
ir insert row
ic insert column
dr delete row
dc delete column


demo image demo image demo image demo image demo image demo image



  • Requirements:

    • ncurses (best if compiled with wide chars support)
    • bison or yacc
    • gcc
    • make
    • pkg-config and which (for make to do its job)
  • Optionals:

    • tmux / xclip / pbpaste (for clipboard copy/paste)
    • gnuplot (for plots)
    • libxlsxreader (for xls support)
    • xlsxwriter (for xlsx export support)
    • libxml-2.0 and libzip (for xlsx/ods import support)
    • lua (for Lua scripting)
    • threads support (in case you want to test this in Minix, just disable autobackup and HAVE_PTHREAD)


    vim src/Makefile
  • Run make:
    make -C src
  • Optional: You can install the binary sc-im in your system by typing with a privileged user:
    make -C src install

Building on OS X

You can follow the instructions as above, but if you would like Lua scripting support, you will need to install Lua 5.1, which you can do with,

    brew install lua@5.1

And then follow the instructions as above.

Homebrew for OSX users

brew install sc-im

Ubuntu with XLSX import & export

See this wiki page.

Other distros / OS

Please check wiki pages


The scimrc file can be used to configure sc-im. The file should be placed in the ~/.config/sc-im directory.

Here is an example ~/.config/sc-im/scimrc :

set autocalc
set numeric
set numeric_decimal=0
set overlap
set xlsx_readformulas

Other configuration variables are listed in the help file.

Issues and questions

Please open an issue if you find a bug. If you are now sure if its a bug, please take a look at the discussions and/or ask there. If you have a question please check out current discussions and if you still are in doubt, open a discussion as well. If you want to ask for a feature request, the same, check out current discussions. Thank you!


sc-im tutorial

Related projects

  • vim-scimark - Vim plugin, edit embedded markdown tables with sc-im in vim terminal.

Helping us

Want to help? You can help us with one or more of the following:

  • giving sc-im a star on GitHub
  • taking screenshots / creating screencasts showing sc-im
  • making a donation (see below).
  • telling if you use it / like it. I really don't have a clue if this app is used by someone.


If you like sc-im please support its development by making a DONATION with Patreon or PayPal. It would really help a lot.

If you wish to make a donation, please click the above button or just send money to via PayPal, choosing "Goods and Services". or with Patreon.

Thank you!