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Axlsx: Office Open XML Spreadsheet Generation

Build Status

If you are using axlsx for comercial purposes, or just want to show your appreciation for the gem, please don't hesitate to make a donation.

Click here to lend your support to: axlsx and make a donation at ! / #axlsx



Google Group:!forum/axlsx

Author: Randy Morgan

Copyright: 2011 - 2013

License: MIT License

Latest Version: 1.3.7

Ruby Version: 1.8.7 (soon to be depreciated!!!), 1.9.2, 1.9.3, 2.0.0

JRuby Version: 1.6.7 1.8 and 1.9 modes

Rubinius Version: rubinius 2.0.0dev * lower versions may run, this gem always tests against head.

Release Date: June ? 2013

If you are working in rails, or with active record see: acts_as_xlsx

acts_as_xlsx is a simple ActiveRecord mixin that lets you generate a workbook with:

Posts.where(created_at >

** and **

  • Axlsx_Rails provides an Axlsx renderer so you can move all your spreadsheet code from your controller into view files. Partials are supported so you can organize any code into reusable chunks (e.g. cover sheets, common styling, etc.) You can use it with acts_as_xlsx, placing the to_xlsx call in a view and add ':package => xlsx_package' to the parameter list. Now you can keep your controllers thin!

There are guides for using axlsx and acts_as_xlsx here:

If you are working with ActiveAdmin see:


It provies a plugin and dsl for generating downloadable reports.

The examples directory contains a number of more specific examples as well.


Axlsx is an Office Open XML Spreadsheet generator for the Ruby programming language. With Axlsx you can create excel worksheets with charts, images (with links), automated and fixed column widths, customized styles, functions, tables, conditional formatting, print options, comments, merged cells, auto filters, file and stream serialization as well as full schema validation. Axlsx excels at helping you generate beautiful Office Open XML Spreadsheet documents without having to understand the entire ECMA specification.

Screen 1

Feature List

**1. Author xlsx documents: Axlsx is made to let you easily and quickly generate professional xlsx based reports that can be validated before serialization.

**2. Generate 3D Pie, Line, Scatter and Bar Charts: With Axlsx chart generation and management is as easy as a few lines of code. You can build charts based off data in your worksheet or generate charts without any data in your sheet at all. Customize gridlines, label rotation and series colors as well.

**3. Custom Styles: With guaranteed document validity, you can style borders, alignment, fills, fonts, and number formats in a single line of code. Those styles can be applied to an entire row, or a single cell anywhere in your workbook.

**4. Automatic type support: Axlsx will automatically determine the type of data you are generating. In this release Float, Integer, String, Date, Time and Boolean types are automatically identified and serialized to your spreadsheet.

**5. Automatic and fixed column widths: Axlsx will automatically determine the appropriate width for your columns based on the content in the worksheet, or use any value you specify for the really funky stuff.

**6. Support for automatically formatted 1904 and 1900 epochs configurable in the workbook.

**7. Add jpg, gif and png images to worksheets with hyperlinks

**8. Reference cells in your worksheet with "A1" and "A1:D4" style references or from the workbook using "Sheet1!A3:B4" style references

**9. Cell level style overrides for default and customized style objects

**10. Support for formulas, merging, row and column outlining as well as cell level input data validation.

**12. Auto filtering tables with worksheet.auto_filter as well as support for Tables

**13. Export using shared strings or inline strings so we can inter-op with iWork Numbers (sans charts for now).

**14. Output to file or StringIO

**15. Support for page margins and print options

**16. Support for password and non password based sheet protection.

**17. First stage interoperability support for GoogleDocs, LibreOffice, and Numbers

**18. Support for defined names, which gives you repeated header rows for printing.

**19. Data labels for charts as well as series color customization.

**20. Support for sheet headers and footers


To install Axlsx, use the following command:

$ gem install axlsx


The example listing is getting overly large to maintain here. If you are using Yard, you will be able to see the examples in line below.

Here's a teaser that kicks about 2% of what the gem can do. do |p|
  p.workbook.add_worksheet(:name => "Pie Chart") do |sheet|
    sheet.add_row ["Simple Pie Chart"]
    %w(first second third).each { |label| sheet.add_row [label, rand(24)+1] }
    sheet.add_chart(Axlsx::Pie3DChart, :start_at => [0,5], :end_at => [10, 20], :title => "example 3: Pie Chart") do |chart|
      chart.add_series :data => sheet["B2:B4"], :labels => sheet["A2:A4"],  :colors => ['FF0000', '00FF00', '0000FF']

Please see the examples for more.


There is much, much more you can do with this gem. If you get stuck, grab me on IRC or submit an issue to GitHub. Chances are that it has already been implemented. If it hasn't - let's take a look at adding it in.


This gem is 100% documented with YARD, an exceptional documentation library. To see documentation for this, and all the gems installed on your system use:

 gem install yard

 yard server -g


This gem has 100% test coverage using test/unit. To execute tests for this gem, simply run rake in the gem directory.

#Change log

  • June.?.13:1.3.7
    • Bugfix: transposition of cells for Worksheet#cols now supports incongruent column counts.counts
    • Added space preservation for cell text. This will allow whitespace in cell text both when using shared strings and when serializing directly to the cell.
  • April.24.13:1.3.6
    • Fixed LibreOffice/OpenOffice issue to properly apply colors to lines in charts.
    • Added support for specifying between/notBetween formula in an array. thanks straydogstudio!
    • Added standard line chart support. thanks scambra
    • Fixed straydogstudio's link in the README. thanks nogara!
  • February.4.13:1.3.5
    • converted vary_colors for chart data to instance variable with appropriate defulats for the various charts.
    • Added trust_input method on Axlsx to instruct the serializer to skip HTML escaping. This will give you a tremendous performance boost, Please be sure that you will never have <, >, etc in your content or the XML will be invalid.
    • Rewrote cell serialization to improve performance
    • Added iso_8601 type to support text based date and time management.
    • Bug fix for relationahip management in drawings when you add images and charts to the same worksheet drawing.
    • Added outline_level_rows and outline_level_columns to worksheet to simplify setting up outlining in the worksheet.
    • Added support for pivot tables
    • Added support for descrete border edge styles
    • Improved validation of sheet names
    • Added support for formula value caching so that iOS and OSX preview can show the proper values. See Cell.add_row and the formula_values option.
  • November.25.12:1.3.4
    • Support for headers and footers for worksheets
    • bug fix: Properly escape hyperlink urls
    • Improvements in color_scale generation for conditional formatting
    • Improvements in autowidth calculation.
  • November.8.12:1.3.3
    • Patched cell run styles for u and validation for family

Please see the {} document for past release information.

Known interoperability issues.

As axslx implements the Office Open XML (ECMA-376 spec) much of the functionality is interoperable with other spreadsheet software. Below is a listing of some known issues.

  1. Libre Office

    • You must specify colors for your series. see examples/chart_colors.rb for an example.
    • You must use data in your sheet for charts. You cannot use hard coded values.
    • Chart axis and gridlines do not render. I have a feeling this is related to themes, which axlsx does not implement at this time.
  2. Google Docs

    • Images are known to not work with google docs
    • border colors do not work
  3. Numbers

    • you must set 'use_shared_strings' to true. This is most conveniently done just before rendering by calling Package.use_shared_strings = true prior to serialization.
p =
p.workbook.add_worksheet(:name => "Basic Worksheet") do |sheet|
  sheet.add_row ["First Column", "Second", "Third"]
  sheet.add_row [1, 2, 3]
p.use_shared_strings = true
  • charts do not render


Open source software is a community effort. None of this could have been done without the help of the people below.

ochko - for performance fixes, kicking the crap out of axlsx and helping to maintain my general sanity.

kleine2 - for generously donating in return for the image hyperlink feature.

ffmike - for knocking down an over restrictive i18n dependency, massive patience and great communication skills.

JonathanTron - for giving the gem some style, and making sure it applies.

JosephHalter - for making sure we arrive at the right time on the right date.

noniq - for keeping true to the gem's style, and making sure what we put on paper does not get marginalized.

jurriaan - for showing there is more than one way to skin a cat, and work with rows while you are at it.

joekain - for keeping our references working even in the double digits!

moskrin - for keeping border creation on the edge.

scpike - for keeping numbers fixed even when they are rational and a super clean implementation of conditional formatting.

janhuehne - for working out the decoder ring and adding in cell level validation, and providing a support for window panes.

rfc2616 - for FINALLY working out the interop issues with google docs.

straydogstudio - For making an AWESOME axlsx templating gem for rails.

MitchellAJ - For catching a bug in font_size calculations, finding some old code in an example and above all for reporting all of that brilliantly

ebenoist - For taking control of control characters and keeping what is between the lines, between the lines.

adammathys - For getting our head in the air and our feet on the ground.

raiis - For letting us specify diffent border styles on any edge.

alexrothenberg - For an outstanding implementation of PivotTables, one of the last BIG chunks missing from the spec.

ball-hayden - For making sure we only get the right characters in our sheet names.

nibus - For patching sheet name uniqueness.

scambra - For keeping our lines in line!

agardiner - For the preservation of space.

#Copyright and License

Axlsx © 2011-2013 by Randy Morgan.

Axlsx is licensed under the MIT license. Please see the LICENSE document for more information.