A Django middleware to read, manipulate and write data in different excel formats: csv, ods, xls, xlsx and xlsm.
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django-excel - Let you focus on data, instead of file formats

https://api.travis-ci.org/pyexcel/django-excel.svg?branch=master https://codecov.io/github/pyexcel/django-excel/coverage.png https://readthedocs.org/projects/django-excel/badge/?version=latest

Known constraints

Fonts, colors and charts are not supported.

Here is a typical conversation between the developer and the user:

User: "I have uploaded an excel file"
      "but your application says un-supported file format"
Developer: "Did you upload an xlsx file or a csv file?"
User: "Well, I am not sure. I saved the data using "
      "Microsoft Excel. Surely, it must be in an excel format."
Developer: "OK. Here is the thing. I were not told to support"
           "all available excel formats in day 1. Live with it"
           "or delay the project x number of days."

django-excel is based on pyexcel and makes it easy to consume/produce information stored in excel files over HTTP protocol as well as on file system. This library can turn the excel data into a list of lists, a list of records(dictionaries), dictionaries of lists. And vice versa. Hence it lets you focus on data in Django based web development, instead of file formats.

The idea originated from the common usability problem when developing an excel file driven web applications for non-technical office workers: such as office assistant, human resource administrator. The fact is that not all people know the difference among various excel formats: csv, xls, xlsx. Instead of training those people about file formats, this library helps web developers to handle most of the excel file formats by providing a common programming interface. To add a specific excel file format to you application, all you need is to install an extra pyexcel plugin. No code change to your application. Looking at the community, this library and its associated ones try to become a small and easy to install alternative to Pandas.

The highlighted features are:

  1. excel data import into and export from databases
  2. turn uploaded excel file directly into Python data structure
  3. pass Python data structures as an excel file download
  4. provide data persistence as an excel file in server side
  5. supports csv, tsv, csvz, tsvz by default and other formats are supported via the following plugins:
A list of file formats supported by external plugins
Package name Supported file formats Dependencies Python versions
pyexcel-io csv, csvz [1], tsv, tsvz [2]   2.6, 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, pypy
pyexcel-xls xls, xlsx(read only), xlsm(read only) xlrd, xlwt same as above
pyexcel-xlsx xlsx openpyxl same as above
pyexcel-xlsxw xlsx(write only) XlsxWriter same as above
pyexcel-ods3 ods ezodf, lxml 2.6, 2.7, 3.3, 3.4 3.5
pyexcel-ods ods odfpy same as above
pyexcel-text (write only)json, rst, mediawiki, html, latex, grid, pipe, orgtbl, plain simple tabulate 2.6, 2.7, 3.3, 3.4 3.5, pypy, pypy3


[1]zipped csv file
[2]zipped tsv file

This library makes information processing involving various excel files as easy as processing array, dictionary when processing file upload/download, data import into and export from SQL databases, information analysis and persistence. It uses pyexcel and its plugins:

  1. to provide one uniform programming interface to handle csv, tsv, xls, xlsx, xlsm and ods formats.
  2. to provide one-stop utility to import the data in uploaded file into a database and to export tables in a database as excel files for file download.
  3. to provide the same interface for information persistence at server side: saving a uploaded excel file to and loading a saved excel file from file system.

Tested Django Versions


You can install it via pip:

$ pip install django-excel

or clone it and install it:

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


You will need to update your settings.py:

FILE_UPLOAD_HANDLERS = ("django_excel.ExcelMemoryFileUploadHandler",


Here is the example viewing function codes:

from django.shortcuts import render_to_response
from django.http import HttpResponseBadRequest
from django import forms
from django.template import RequestContext
import django_excel as excel

class UploadFileForm(forms.Form):
    file = forms.FileField()

def upload(request):
    if request.method == "POST":
        form = UploadFileForm(request.POST, request.FILES)
        if form.is_valid():
            filehandle = request.FILES['file']
            return excel.make_response(filehandle.get_sheet(), "csv")
            return HttpResponseBadRequest()
        form = UploadFileForm()
    return render_to_response('upload_form.html',
                              {'form': form},

def download(request):
    sheet = excel.pe.Sheet([[1, 2],[3, 4]])
    return excel.make_response(sheet, "csv")

Development guide

Development steps for code changes

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

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

  1. pip install --upgrade setuptools "pip==7.1"

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

In order to update test environment, and documentation, additional setps are required:

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

What is 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.

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.

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 test

On Windows systems, please issue this command:

> test.bat


New BSD License