Tag Archives: Excel

x_x: The Dead Guy CLI

With barely a week left for this site, I’m beginning to trim away programs that I just probably won’t get to, by virtue of time or technical dilemmas. I’m also making a conscious effort to pick out titles that amuse me in one form or another, so I finish with happy memories. 😛

x_x, which I mentally refer to as “the Dead Guy CLI,” because the home page uses that as a subtitle, is a rather nifty tool that I’m surprised I haven’t seen covered elsewhere. Using a bland, dull, boring Excel spreadsheet borrowed from a corner of the Interweb, Dead Guy CLI transmogrifies it into this:


Well isn’t that clever.

Dead Guy CLI gives you a small measure of control over your output, by allowing you to specify a header row or allow for special encoding. It also works with CSV files, so you’re not strapped trying to convert back and forth to Excel, just to fiddle with x_x.

Aside from that though, Dead Guy CLI seems very simple. Of course, your spreadsheet may need some management if you expect it to fit into a certain dimension, but I am confident that as a skilled and capable member of the information age, you won’t throw a wobbly over a pear-shaped spreadsheet.

Keep x_x in mind when you’re thinking about things like csv2xls or xlhtml, since it may save you a step or prevent you from relying on graphical tools just to extract data from a spreadsheet. And of course, if you’re working with csv files, x_x could supplement what tabview or other tools can do.

For my own recordkeeping, Dead Guy CLI gets points for doing something obvious that I don’t recall seeing elsewhere. And also for the snarky name. I’m a fan of snarky names. 😈

Tagged: ascii, change, chart, convert, csv, data, excel, file, spreadsheet, xls

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Excel to PDF with xlwings and xtopdf

By Vasudev Ram

Excel to PDF with xlwings and xtopdf – how many x in that? 🙂

I came across xlwings recently via the Net.

xlwings is by Zoomer Analytics, a startup based in Zürich, Switzerland, by a team with background in financial institutions.

Excerpt from the xlwings documentation:

[ xlwings is a BSD-licensed Python library that makes it easy to call Python from Excel and vice versa:

Interact with Excel from Python using a syntax that is close to VBA yet Pythonic.

Replace your VBA macros with Python code and still pass around your workbooks as easily as before.

xlwings fully supports NumPy arrays and Pandas DataFrames. It works with Microsoft Excel on Windows and Mac. ]

I checked out the xlwings quickstart.

Then did a quick test of using xlwings with xtopdf, my toolkit for PDF creation, to create a simple Excel spreadsheet, then read back its contents, and convert that to PDF.

Here is the code:

A demo program to show how to convert the text extracted from Excel
content, using xlwings, to PDF. It uses the xlwings library, to create
and read the Excel input, and the xtopdf library to write the PDF output.
Author: Vasudev Ram - http://www.dancingbison.com
Copyright 2015 Vasudev Ram

import sys
from xlwings import Workbook, Sheet, Range, Chart
from PDFWriter import PDFWriter

# Create a connection with a new workbook.
wb = Workbook()

# Create the Excel data.
# Column 1.
Range('A1').value = 'Foo 1'
Range('A2').value = 'Foo 2'
Range('A3').value = 'Foo 3'
# Column 2.
Range('B1').value = 'Bar 1'
Range('B2').value = 'Bar 2'
Range('B3').value = 'Bar 3'

pw = PDFWriter("xlwingsTo.pdf")
pw.setFont("Courier", 10)
pw.setHeader("Testing Excel conversion to PDF with xlwings and xtopdf")
pw.setFooter("xlwings: http://xlwings.org --- xtopdf: http://slid.es/vasudevram/xtopdf")

for row in Range('A1..B3').value:
s = ''
for col in row:
s += col + ' | '


I ran it with this command:

py xlwingsToPDF.py

and here is a screenshot of the output PDF file:

Note: The xlwings library can be installed with:

pip install xlwings

But a prerequisite for it, pywin32, did not install automatically. pywin32 is a very useful and powerful Windows API wrapper library for Python, by Mark Hammond. I’ve used it a few times earlier, in earlier Python versions than Python 2.7.8, which I currently am using. I usually installed it directly in those earlier versions. This time, though it was a dependency for xlwings, it did not get installed automatically, and the above Python program gave a runtime error. I had to manually install pywin32 before the program could work.

– Enjoy.

Vasudev Ram – Dancing Bison Enterprises

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