.net programmatically in - Create Excel (.XLS and .XLSX) file from C#





15 Answers

If you are happy with the xlsx format, try my codeplex GitHub project. EPPlus. Started it with the source from ExcelPackage, but today it's a total rewrite. Supports ranges, cell styling, charts, shapes, pictures, namesranges, autofilter and a lot of other stuff.

without using interop

How can I create an Excel Spreadsheet with C# without requiring Excel to be installed on the machine that's running the code?







The commercial solution, SpreadsheetGear for .NET will do it.

You can see live ASP.NET (C# and VB) samples here and download an evaluation version here.

Disclaimer: I own SpreadsheetGear LLC




An extremely lightweight option may be to use HTML tables. Just create head, body, and table tags in a file, and save it as a file with an .xls extension. There are Microsoft specific attributes that you can use to style the output, including formulas.

I realize that you may not be coding this in a web application, but here is an example of the composition of an Excel file via an HTML table. This technique could be used if you were coding a console app, desktop app, or service.




You actually might want to check out the interop classes. You say no OLE (which this isn't), but the interop classes are very easy to use.

You might be impressed if you haven't tried them.

Please be warned of Microsoft's stance on this:

Microsoft does not currently recommend, and does not support, Automation of Microsoft Office applications from any unattended, non-interactive client application or component (including ASP, ASP.NET, DCOM, and NT Services), because Office may exhibit unstable behavior and/or deadlock when Office is run in this environment.




Here's a completely free C# library, which lets you export from a DataSet, DataTable or List<> into a genuine Excel 2007 .xlsx file, using the OpenXML libraries:

http://mikesknowledgebase.com/pages/CSharp/ExportToExcel.htm

Full source code is provided - free of charge - along with instructions, and a demo application.

After adding this class to your application, you can export your DataSet to Excel in just one line of code:

CreateExcelFile.CreateExcelDocument(myDataSet, "C:\\Sample.xlsx");

It doesn't get much simpler than that...

And it doesn't even require Excel to be present on your server.




Syncfusion Essential XlsIO can do this. It has no dependency on Microsoft office and also has specific support for different platforms.

Code sample:

//Creates a new instance for ExcelEngine.
ExcelEngine excelEngine = new ExcelEngine();
//Loads or open an existing workbook through Open method of IWorkbooks
IWorkbook workbook = excelEngine.Excel.Workbooks.Open(fileName);
//To-Do some manipulation|
//To-Do some manipulation
//Set the version of the workbook.
workbook.Version = ExcelVersion.Excel2013;
//Save the workbook in file system as xlsx format
workbook.SaveAs(outputFileName);

The whole suite of controls is available for free through the community license program if you qualify (less than 1 million USD in revenue). Note: I work for Syncfusion.




Well,

you can also use a third party library like Aspose.

This library has the benefit that it does not require Excel to be installed on your machine which would be ideal in your case.




Just want to add another reference to a third party solution that directly addresses your issue: http://www.officewriter.com

(Disclaimer: I work for SoftArtisans, the company that makes OfficeWriter)




The various Office 2003 XML libraries avaliable work pretty well for smaller excel files. However, I find the sheer size of a large workbook saved in the XML format to be a problem. For example, a workbook I work with that would be 40MB in the new (and admittedly more tightly packed) XLSX format becomes a 360MB XML file.

As far as my research has taken me, there are two commercial packages that allow output to the older binary file formats. They are:

Neither are cheap (500USD and 800USD respectively, I think). but both work independant of Excel itself.

What I would be curious about is the Excel output module for the likes of OpenOffice.org. I wonder if they can be ported from Java to .Net.




Here's a way to do it with LINQ to XML, complete with sample code:

Quickly Import and Export Excel Data with LINQ to XML

It's a little complex, since you have to import namespaces and so forth, but it does let you avoid any external dependencies.

(Also, of course, it's VB .NET, not C#, but you can always isolate the VB .NET stuff in its own project to use XML Literals, and do everything else in C#.)




public class GridViewExportUtil
{
    public static void Export(string fileName, GridView gv)
    {
        HttpContext.Current.Response.Clear();
        HttpContext.Current.Response.AddHeader(
            "content-disposition", string.Format("attachment; filename={0}", fileName));
        HttpContext.Current.Response.ContentType = "application/ms-excel";

        using (StringWriter sw = new StringWriter())
        {
            using (HtmlTextWriter htw = new HtmlTextWriter(sw))
            {
                //  Create a form to contain the grid
                Table table = new Table();

                //  add the header row to the table
                if (gv.HeaderRow != null)
                {
                    GridViewExportUtil.PrepareControlForExport(gv.HeaderRow);
                    table.Rows.Add(gv.HeaderRow);
                }

                //  add each of the data rows to the table
                foreach (GridViewRow row in gv.Rows)
                {
                    GridViewExportUtil.PrepareControlForExport(row);
                    table.Rows.Add(row);
                }

                //  add the footer row to the table
                if (gv.FooterRow != null)
                {
                    GridViewExportUtil.PrepareControlForExport(gv.FooterRow);
                    table.Rows.Add(gv.FooterRow);
                }

                //  render the table into the htmlwriter
                table.RenderControl(htw);

                //  render the htmlwriter into the response
                HttpContext.Current.Response.Write(sw.ToString());
                HttpContext.Current.Response.End();
            }
        }
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Replace any of the contained controls with literals
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="control"></param>
    private static void PrepareControlForExport(Control control)
    {
        for (int i = 0; i < control.Controls.Count; i++)
        {
            Control current = control.Controls[i];
            if (current is LinkButton)
            {
                control.Controls.Remove(current);
                control.Controls.AddAt(i, new LiteralControl((current as LinkButton).Text));
            }
            else if (current is ImageButton)
            {
                control.Controls.Remove(current);
                control.Controls.AddAt(i, new LiteralControl((current as ImageButton).AlternateText));
            }
            else if (current is HyperLink)
            {
                control.Controls.Remove(current);
                control.Controls.AddAt(i, new LiteralControl((current as HyperLink).Text));
            }
            else if (current is DropDownList)
            {
                control.Controls.Remove(current);
                control.Controls.AddAt(i, new LiteralControl((current as DropDownList).SelectedItem.Text));
            }
            else if (current is CheckBox)
            {
                control.Controls.Remove(current);
                control.Controls.AddAt(i, new LiteralControl((current as CheckBox).Checked ? "True" : "False"));
            }

            if (current.HasControls())
            {
                GridViewExportUtil.PrepareControlForExport(current);
            }
        }
    }
}

Hi this solution is to export your grid view to your excel file it might help you out




I've just recently used FlexCel.NET and found it to be an excellent library! I don't say that about too many software products. No point in giving the whole sales pitch here, you can read all the features on their website.

It is a commercial product, but you get the full source if you buy it. So I suppose you could compile it into your assembly if you really wanted to. Otherwise it's just one extra assembly to xcopy - no configuration or installation or anything like that.

I don't think you'll find any way to do this without third-party libraries as .NET framework, obviously, does not have built in support for it and OLE Automation is just a whole world of pain.




The simplest and fastest way to create an Excel file from C# is to use the Open XML Productivity Tool. The Open XML Productivity Tool comes with the Open XML SDK installation. The tool reverse engineers any Excel file into C# code. The C# code can then be used to re-generate that file.

An overview of the process involved is:

  1. Install the Open XML SDK with the tool.
  2. Create an Excel file using the latest Excel client with desired look. Name it DesiredLook.xlsx.
  3. With the tool open DesiredLook.xlsx and click the Reflect Code button near the top.
  4. The C# code for your file will be generated in the right pane of the tool. Add this to your C# solution and generate files with that desired look.

As a bonus, this method works for any Word and PowerPoint files. As the C# developer, you will then make changes to the code to fit your needs.

I have developed a simple WPF app on github which will run on Windows for this purpose. There is a placeholder class called GeneratedClass where you can paste the generated code. If you go back one version of the file, it will generate an excel file like this:




Have you ever tried sylk?

We used to generate excelsheets in classic asp as sylk and right now we're searching for an excelgenerater too.

The advantages for sylk are, you can format the cells.




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