Embed excel file as an excel-alike table into sphinx documentation
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sphinxcontrib-excel - Let you focus on data, instead of file formats

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/pyexcel/pyexcel.github.io/master/images/patreon.png https://api.travis-ci.org/pyexcel/sphinxcontrib-excel.svg?branch=master

Support the project

If your company has embedded pyexcel and its components into a revenue generating product, please support me on patreon to maintain the project and develop it further.

If you are an individual, you are welcome to support me too on patreon and for however long you feel like to. As a patreon, you will receive early access to pyexcel related contents.

With your financial support, I will be able to invest a little bit more time in coding, documentation and writing interesting posts.


sphinxcontrib-excel uses pyexcel to read an excel files and renders into an excel-alike sheet in your sphinx documentation. The excel file formats are:

  1. csv
  2. tsv
  3. csvz
  4. tsvz
  5. xls
  6. xlsx
  7. xlsm
  8. ods


You can install it via pip:

$ pip install sphinxcontrib-excel

or clone it and install it:

$ git clone https://github.com/pyexcel/sphinxcontrib-excel.git
$ cd sphinxcontrib-excel
$ python setup.py install


Please add sphinxcontrib-excel into your conf.py file:

extensions = [

And you will need to copy a few resources file to your sphinx source directory:



resources directory is in github. please check it out.

Here is the syntax to present your excel file in sphinx documentation:

.. pyexcel-table:: filename.csv

And 'filename.csv' is expected in the directory where the referring rst file is. Relative path needs to be given if your file is somewhere else.

For example, the following rst statment:

table directive

is translated as:

table view

Embed csv into your sphinx documentation

Here is the syntax for embedded csv, rendering as a single handsontable:

.. pyexcel-table::

   ---pyexcel:example table---

Here is the complex example for embedded csv, which will be rendered as multi-tab handsontable):

.. pyexcel-table::

   ---pyexcel:Sheet 1---
   ---pyexcel:Sheet 2---
   ---pyexcel:Sheet 3---

Development guide

Development steps for code changes

  1. git clone https://github.com/pyexcel/sphinxcontrib-excel.git
  2. cd sphinxcontrib-excel

Upgrade your setup tools and pip. They are needed for development and testing only:

  1. pip install --upgrade setuptools pip

Then install relevant development requirements:

  1. pip install -r rnd_requirements.txt # if such a file exists
  2. pip install -r requirements.txt
  3. pip install -r tests/requirements.txt

Once you have finished your changes, please provide test case(s), relevant documentation and update CHANGELOG.rst.


As to rnd_requirements.txt, usually, it is created when a dependent library is not released. Once the dependecy is installed (will be released), the future version of the dependency in the requirements.txt will be valid.

How to test your contribution

Although nose and doctest are both used in code testing, it is adviable that unit tests are put in tests. doctest is incorporated only to make sure the code examples in documentation remain valid across different development releases.

On Linux/Unix systems, please launch your tests like this:

$ make

On Windows systems, please issue this command:

> test.bat

How to update test environment and update documentation

Additional steps are required:

  1. pip install moban
  2. git clone https://github.com/moremoban/setupmobans.git # generic setup
  3. git clone https://github.com/pyexcel/pyexcel-commons.git commons
  4. make your changes in .moban.d directory, then issue command moban

What is pyexcel-commons

Many information that are shared across pyexcel projects, such as: this developer guide, license info, etc. are stored in pyexcel-commons project.

What is .moban.d

.moban.d stores the specific meta data for the library.

Acceptance criteria

  1. Has Test cases written
  2. Has all code lines tested
  3. Passes all Travis CI builds
  4. Has fair amount of documentation if your change is complex
  5. Please update CHANGELOG.rst
  6. Please add yourself to CONTRIBUTORS.rst
  7. Agree on NEW BSD License for your contribution


New BSD License