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





dynamically application (25)


I agree about generating XML Spreadsheets, here's an example on how to do it for C# 3 (everyone just blogs about it in VB 9 :P) http://www.aaron-powell.com/linq-to-xml-to-excel

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




Some 3rd party component vendors like Infragistics or Syncfusion provide very good Excel export capabilities that do not require Microsoft Excel to be installed.

Since these vendors also provide advanced UI grid components, these components are particularly handy if you want the style and layout of an excel export to mimic the current state of a grid in the user interface of your application.

If your export is intended to be executed server side with emphasis on the data to be exported and with no link to the UI, then I would go for one of the free open source options (e.g. ExcelLibrary).

I have previously been involved with projects that attempted to use server side automation on the Microsoft Office suite. Based on this experience I would strongly recommend against that approach.




You can use a library called ExcelLibrary. It's a free, open source library posted on Google Code:

ExcelLibrary

This looks to be a port of the PHP ExcelWriter that you mentioned above. It will not write to the new .xlsx format yet, but they are working on adding that functionality in.

It's very simple, small and easy to use. Plus it has a DataSetHelper that lets you use DataSets and DataTables to easily work with Excel data.

ExcelLibrary seems to still only work for the older Excel format (.xls files), but may be adding support in the future for newer 2007/2010 formats.

You can also use EPPlus, which works only for Excel 2007/2010 format files (.xlsx files).

There are a few known bugs with each library as noted in the comments. In all, EPPlus seems to be the best choice as time goes on. It seems to be more actively updated and documented as well.

Also, as noted by @АртёмЦарионов below, EPPlus has support for Pivot Tables and ExcelLibrary may have some support (Pivot table issue in ExcelLibrary)

Here are a couple links for quick reference:
ExcelLibrary - GNU Lesser GPL
EPPlus - GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)

Here some example code for ExcelLibrary:

Here is an example taking data from a database and creating a workbook from it. Note that the ExcelLibrary code is the single line at the bottom:

//Create the data set and table
DataSet ds = new DataSet("New_DataSet");
DataTable dt = new DataTable("New_DataTable");

//Set the locale for each
ds.Locale = System.Threading.Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture;
dt.Locale = System.Threading.Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture;

//Open a DB connection (in this example with OleDB)
OleDbConnection con = new OleDbConnection(dbConnectionString);
con.Open();

//Create a query and fill the data table with the data from the DB
string sql = "SELECT Whatever FROM MyDBTable;";
OleDbCommand cmd = new OleDbCommand(sql, con);
OleDbDataAdapter adptr = new OleDbDataAdapter();

adptr.SelectCommand = cmd;
adptr.Fill(dt);
con.Close();

//Add the table to the data set
ds.Tables.Add(dt);

//Here's the easy part. Create the Excel worksheet from the data set
ExcelLibrary.DataSetHelper.CreateWorkbook("MyExcelFile.xls", ds);

Creating the Excel file is as easy as that. You can also manually create Excel files, but the above functionality is what really impressed me.




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)




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




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#.)




You can use OLEDB to create and manipulate Excel files. Check this: Reading and Writing Excel using OLEDB.

Typical example:

using (OleDbConnection conn = new OleDbConnection("Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=C:\\temp\\test.xls;Extended Properties='Excel 8.0;HDR=Yes'"))
{
  conn.Open();
  OleDbCommand cmd = new OleDbCommand("CREATE TABLE [Sheet1] ([Column1] string, [Column2] string)", conn);
  cmd.ExecuteNonQuery();
}

EDIT - Some more links:










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.




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.




IKVM + POI

Or, you could use the Interop ...




OpenXML is also a good alternative that helps avoid installing MS Excel on Server.The Open XML SDK 2.0 provided by Microsoft simplifies the task of manipulating Open XML packages and the underlying Open XML schema elements within a package. The Open XML Application Programming Interface (API) encapsulates many common tasks that developers perform on Open XML packages.

Check this out OpenXML: Alternative that helps avoid installing MS Excel on Server




You may want to take a look at GemBox.Spreadsheet.

They have a free version with all features but limited to 150 rows per sheet and 5 sheets per workbook, if that falls within your needs.

I haven't had need to use it myself yet, but does look interesting.




A few options I have used:

If XLSX is a must: ExcelPackage is a good start but died off when the developer quit working on it. ExML picked up from there and added a few features. ExML isn't a bad option, I'm still using it in a couple of production websites.

For all of my new projects, though, I'm using NPOI, the .NET port of Apache POI. NPOI 2.0 (Alpha) also supports XLSX.




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 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




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.







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 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.




If you're creating Excel 2007/2010 files give this open source project a try: https://github.com/closedxml/closedxml

It provides an object oriented way to manipulate the files (similar to VBA) without dealing with the hassles of XML Documents. It can be used by any .NET language like C# and Visual Basic (VB).

ClosedXML allows you to create Excel 2007/2010 files without the Excel application. The typical example is creating Excel reports on a web server:

var workbook = new XLWorkbook();
var worksheet = workbook.Worksheets.Add("Sample Sheet");
worksheet.Cell("A1").Value = "Hello World!";
workbook.SaveAs("HelloWorld.xlsx");






It depends on what you want the bytes FOR

This is because, as Tyler so aptly said, "Strings aren't pure data. They also have information." In this case, the information is an encoding that was assumed when the string was created.

Assuming that you have binary data (rather than text) stored in a string

This is based off of OP's comment on his own question, and is the correct question if I understand OP's hints at the use-case.

Storing binary data in strings is probably the wrong approach because of the assumed encoding mentioned above! Whatever program or library stored that binary data in a string (instead of a byte[] array which would have been more appropriate) has already lost the battle before it has begun. If they are sending the bytes to you in a REST request/response or anything that must transmit strings, Base64 would be the right approach.

If you have a text string with an unknown encoding

Everybody else answered this incorrect question incorrectly.

If the string looks good as-is, just pick an encoding (preferably one starting with UTF), use the corresponding System.Text.Encoding.???.GetBytes() function, and tell whoever you give the bytes to which encoding you picked.







c# .net excel file-io