Spreadsheet (Excel XLS/XLSX/XLSM/XLSB/XML) CLI
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Simple data wrapper that attempts to wrap xlsjs and xlsx to provide a uniform way to access data from Excel files.

Excel files are parsed based on the content (not by filename). For example, CSV files can be renamed to .XLS and excel will do the right thing.

Supported Formats:

Format Library
XLS (BIFF8, 97-2003) JS-XLS
XLSX (2007+) JS-XLSX
XLSM (2007+ w/macros) JS-XLSX
XLSB (2007+ binary) JS-XLSX
XML (2003/2004, basic) JS-XLS

Output formats:

  • XML and HTML work with Excel Web Query
  • CSV (and other delimited formats such as TSV)
  • JSON
  • Formulae list (e.g. A1=NOW(), A2=A1+3)


npm install -g j

Node Library

var J = require('j');

J.readFile(filename) opens the file specified by filename and returns an array whose first object is the parsing object (XLS or XLSX) and whose second object is the parsed file.

J.utils has various helpers that expect an array like those from readFile:

  • to_csv(w) / to_dsv(w, delim) will generate CSV/DSV respectively
  • to_json(w) will generate JSON row objects
  • to_html(w) will generate simple HTML tables
  • to_xml(w) will generate simple XML

CLI Tool

The node module ships with a binary j which has a help message:

$ j --help

  Usage: j.njs [options] <file> [sheetname]


    -h, --help             output usage information
    -V, --version          output the version number
    -f, --file <file>      use specified workbook
    -s, --sheet <sheet>    print specified sheet (default first sheet)
    -l, --list-sheets      list sheet names and exit
    -S, --formulae         print formulae
    -j, --json             emit formatted JSON rather than CSV (all fields text)
    -J, --raw-js           emit raw JS object rather than CSV (raw numbers)
    -X, --xml              emit XML rather than CSV
    -H, --html             emit HTML rather than CSV
    -F, --field-sep <sep>  CSV field separator
    -R, --row-sep <sep>    CSV row separator
    --dev                  development mode
    --read                 read but do not print out contents
    -q, --quiet            quiet mode

  Support email: dev@sheetjs.com
  Web Demo: http://oss.sheetjs.com/


Please consult the attached LICENSE file for details. All rights not explicitly granted by the Apache 2.0 license are reserved by the Original Author.

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Using J for diffing XLS/XLSB/XLSM/XLSX files

Using git textconv, you can use J to generate more meaningful diffs!

One-time configuration (misc/gitdiff.sh):


# Define a sheetjs diff type that uses j
git config --global diff.sheetjs.textconv "j"

# Configure a user .gitattributes file that maps the xls{,x,m} files
touch ~/.gitattributes
cat <<EOF >>~/.gitattributes
*.xls diff=sheetjs
*.xlsb diff=sheetjs
*.xlsm diff=sheetjs
*.xlsx diff=sheetjs
*.XLS diff=sheetjs
*.XLSB diff=sheetjs
*.XLSM diff=sheetjs
*.XLSX diff=sheetjs

# Set the .gitattributes to be used for all repos on the system:
git config --global core.attributesfile '~/.gitattributes'

If you just want to compare formulae (for example, in a sheet using NOW):

git config --global diff.sheetjs.textconv "j -S"

NOTE: There are some known issues regarding global modules in Windows. The best bet is to npm install j in your git directory before diffing.