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Spreadsheet::ParseExcel_XLHTML - Parse Excel Spreadsheets using xlhtml


    use Spreadsheet::ParseExcel_XLHTML;

    my $excel = Spreadsheet::ParseExcel_XLHTML->new;

    my $book = $excel->Parse('/some/excel/file.xls');

    # Cheesy CSV printer...
    for my $sheet (@{$book->{Worksheet}}) {
            print STDERR "Worksheet: ", $sheet->{Name}, "\n";
            for my $i ($sheet->{MinRow}..$sheet->{MaxRow}) {
                    print join ',', map { qq|"$_"| }
                                    map { defined $_ ? $_->Value : "" }
                    print "\n";

    # or...

    use Spreadsheet::ParseExcel_XLHTML qw/-install/;

    # then use the Spreadsheet::ParseExcel API

    my $book  = Spreadsheet::ParseExcel::Workbook->parse('/some/file.xls');
    my $sheet = $book->{Worksheet}[0];


This module follows the interface of the Spreadsheet::ParseExcel module, except only the "Value" fields of cells are filled, there is no extra fancy stuff. The reason I wrote it was to have a faster way to parse Excel spreadsheets in Perl. This module parses around six times faster according to my own informal benchmarks then the original Spreadsheet::ParseExcel at the time of writing.

To achieve this, it uses a program called "xlhtml" by Stev Grubb. You can find it here:

It is also in Debian as the xlhtml package.

Get the latest developer release. Once compiled, it needs to be in the PATH of your Perl program for this module to work correctly.

You only need to use this module if you have a large volume of big Excel spreadsheets that you are parsing, or perhaps need to speed up a CGI/mod_perl handler. Otherwise stick to the Spreadsheet::ParseExcel module.

Now, someday we will have a nice C library with an XS interface, but this is not someday :)


The workbook 'Author' attribute is supported, and the following worksheet attributes are supported: 'Name', 'MinRow', 'MaxRow', 'MinCol', 'MaxCol'.

In terms of behaviour, there is one other difference which may or may not affect you. Spreadsheet::ParseExcel will often create Spreadsheet::ParseExcel::Cell objects with empty or whitespace-filled Value fields, while this module will only create Cell objects if a value exists; otherwise the Cells array will contain an undef for that cell.

In other words, don't blindly call $sheet->{Cells}[$i][$j]->Value, check if the cell is defined first.


When used with the -install (dash optional) option, it will install its own "new" and "Parse" methods into the Spreadsheet::ParseExcel namespace, useful if you want to try using this module along with modules that depend on the Spreadsheet::ParseExcel module, and/or minimize changes to your code for compatibility.


Rafael Kitover <>


This program is Copyright (c) 2001-2009 by Rafael Kitover. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


Thanks to the authors of Spreadsheet::ParseExcel and xlhtml for allowing us to deal with Excel files in the UNIX world.

Thanks to my employer, Gradience, Inc., for allowing me to work on projects as free software.


are tasty!


I'll take suggestions.


Spreadsheet::ParseExcel, xlhtml