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ruby gem for Write to a cross-platform Excel binary file.
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Write to a cross-platform Excel binary file.


This library is converted from Spreadsheet::WriteExcel module of Perl.

Some examples written in perl was successfully converted to Ruby. But this library written in Ruby has many bugs, I think.

Original description is below:

The Spreadsheet::WriteExcel module can be used to create a cross-
platform Excel binary file. Multiple worksheets can be added to a
workbook and formatting can be applied to cells. Text, numbers,
formulas, hyperlinks and images can be written to the cells.

TThe Excel file produced by this module is compatible with 97,
2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007.

The module will work on the majority of Windows, UNIX and
Macintosh platforms. Generated files are also compatible with the
spreadsheet applications Gnumeric and

This module cannot be used to read an Excel file.


See rdoc's WriteExcel class document. You must save source file in UTF8 and run ruby with -Ku option or set $KCODE='u'.

Example Code:

require 'writeexcel'

# Create a new Excel Workbook
workbook ='ruby.xls')

# Add worksheet(s)
worksheet  = workbook.add_worksheet
worksheet2 = workbook.add_worksheet

# Add and define a format
format = workbook.add_format

# write a formatted and unformatted string.
worksheet.write(1, 1, 'Hi Excel.', format)  # cell B2
worksheet.write(2, 1, 'Hi Excel.')          # cell B3

# write a number and formula using A1 notation
worksheet.write('B4', 3.14159)
worksheet.write('B5', '=SIN(B4/4)')

# write to file

Difference with Perl module


    • accept default format parameter such as new('foo.xls', :font => 'Roman', :size => 12)

  • Unary minus is supported, but it will be stored as '-1*'. ex) '=-1' -> '=-1*1', '=-SIN(PI()/2)' => '=-1*SIN(PI()/2)'

  • Worksheet.write(row, col, token, format)

    • if token.kind_of?(Numeric) then call write_number, if token.kind_of?(String) then not call write_number().

  • Worksheet.keep_leading_zeros()

    • ignore. if write 0001, use string such as write(1,2, '0001')

  • and .…..


You must save source file in UTF8 and run ruby with -Ku option or set $KCODE='u' when use urf8 string data.


  • ruby 1.8, ruby 1.9.1, ruby 1.9.2

Recent Changes


  • Bug fix. endless loop when inserted image size > 8224bytes.


  • Bug fix. endless loop when inserted image size > 8224.


  • Bug fix. to avoid output stack trace for debug when defined $debug such as Rails 2.3.8 development console.


  • Bug fix. to avoid destroy to_json method when using with Rails 3


  • use 1.9-compatible Encoding interface for Ruby 1.8 encodings class; support US-ASCII and ASCII-8BIT. by Jeremy Weathers The original project by cxn03651 has its own odd encoding scheme that is not compatible with other software (e.g. nokogiri) that expects strings encodings to be compatible with Ruby 1.9 Encodings. The purpose of this fork is to make the encoding system for Ruby 1.8 compatible with the Ruby 1.9 encoding system.


  • test passed under Ruby 1.9.2

  • Bug fix. Format#set_format_properties, Formula#convert_number found under Ruby 1.9.2

  • Bug fix in test_set_rolation().


  • use namespace 'Writeexcel::' to Chart(::*), Colors, Format, Formula, Worksheet.

  • add_chart() parameter of :type changed . ex) Chart::Bar => 'Chart::Bar'

  • almost complete japanese document : writeexcel.doc

  • Bug fix. typo in Worksheet#set_zoom()

  • some refactoring.


  • Bug fix. Workbook#add_format() doesn't work when received two or more parameters.

  • Bug fix. Worksheet#write_formula() doesn't work when formula contains utf8 string.


  • works also on Ruby 1.9.1.

  • modify README.rdoc below.

  • write source and run in utf8.

  • unary minus supported. but -1 –> -1*1, -SIN() –> -1*SIN()


Original was written in Perl by John McNamara (

Convert to ruby by Hideo Nakamura ( Copyright © 2009-2010 Hideo NAKAMURA. See LICENSE for details.


same as Ruby.

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.

  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.

  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.

  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)

  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.

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