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IBM developerWorkks: Reading and writing Excel files with Perl

Sep 30, 2001, 09:56 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Teodor Zlatanov)
Parsing Excel files presents a conundrum any way you look at it. Until last year, UNIX modules were completely unavailable, and data from Excel files for Windows could only be retrieved with the Win32::OLE modules. But things have finally changed, thanks to two Perl hackers and a lot of volunteer help and contributions!

In 2000, Takanori Kawai and John McNamara produced the Spreadsheet::WriteExcel and Spreadsheet::ParseExcel modules and posted them on CPAN, which made it possible, though not easy, to extract data from Excel files on any platform.

As we'll see later, Win32::OLE still offers a simpler, more reliable solution if you're working with Windows, and is recommended by the Spreadsheet::WriteExcel module for more powerful manipulations of data and worksheets. Win32::OLE comes with the ActiveState Perl toolkit, and can be used to drive a lot of other Windows applications through OLE. Note that to use this module, you still need to have the Excel engine (usually installed with Excel itself) installed and licensed on your machine."

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