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
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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