The xlwt Module

A Python package for generating Microsoft Excel ™ spreadsheet files.

General information

State of Documentation

This documentation is currently incomplete. There may be methods and classes not included and any item marked with a [NC] is not complete and may have further parameters, methods, attributes and functionality that are not documented. In these cases, you'll have to refer to the source if the documentation provided is insufficient.

Module Contents [NC]

easyxf (function)

This function is used to create and configure XFStyle objects for use with (for example) the Worksheet.write method.


A string to be parsed to obtain attribute values for Alignment, Borders, Font, Pattern and Protection objects. Refer to the examples in the file .../examples/ and to the xf_dict dictionary in Various synonyms including color/colour, center/centre and gray/grey are allowed. Case is irrelevant (except maybe in font names). '-' may be used instead of '_'.
Example: "font: bold on; align: wrap on, vert centre, horiz center"


To get the "number format string" of an existing cell whose format you want to reproduce, select the cell and click on Format/Cells/Number/Custom. Otherwise, refer to Excel help.
Examples: "#,##0.00", "dd/mm/yyyy"

An object of the XFstyle class

Workbook (class) [#]

The class to instantiate to create a workbook

For more information about this class, see The Workbook Class.

Worksheet (class) [#]

A class to represent the contents of a sheet in a workbook.

For more information about this class, see The Worksheet Class.

The Workbook Class[NC]

Workbook(encoding='ascii',style_compression=0) (class) [#]

This is a class representing a workbook and all its contents. When creating Excel files with xlwt, you will normally start by instantiating an object of this class.

An object of the Workbook class

add_sheet(sheetname) [#]

This method is used to create Worksheets in a Workbook.

The name to use for this sheet, as it will appear in the tabs at the bottom of the Excel application.
An object of the Worksheet class

save(filename_or_stream) [#]

This method is used to save Workbook to a file in native Excel format.


This can be a string containing a filename of the file, in which case the excel file is saved to disk using the name provided.

It can also be a stream object with a write method, such as a StringIO, in which case the data for the excel file is written to the stream.

The Worksheet Class[NC]

Worksheet(sheetname, parent_book) (class) [#]

This is a class representing the contents of a sheet in a workbook.

WARNING: You don't normally create instances of this class yourself. They are returned from calls to Workbook.add_sheet

write(r, c, label="", style=Style.default_style) [#]

This method is used to write a cell to a Worksheet..

The zero-relative number of the row in the worksheet to which the cell should be written.
The zero-relative number of the column in the worksheet to which the cell should be written.
The data value to be written. An int, long, or decimal.Decimal instance is converted to float. A unicode instance is written as is. A str instance is converted to unicode using the encoding (default: 'ascii') specified when the Workbook instance was created. A datetime.datetime,, or datetime.time instance is converted into Excel date format (a float representing the number of days since (typically) 1899-12-31T00:00:00, under the pretence that 1900 was a leap year). A bool instance will show up as TRUE or FALSE in Excel. None causes the cell to be blank -- no data, only formatting. An xlwt.Formula instance causes an Excel formula to be written. [NC]
A style -- also known as an XF (extended format) -- is an XFStyle object, which encapsulates the formatting applied to the cell and its contents. XFStyle objects are best set up using the easyxf function. They may also be set up by setting attributes in Alignment, Borders, Pattern, Font and Protection objects then setting those objects and a format string as attributes of an XFStyle object. [NC]