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Scilab Help >> Spreadsheet > xls_open


opens an Excel file for reading

Calling Sequence

[fd,SST,Sheetnames,Sheetpos] = xls_open(file_path)



a character string: the path of the Excel file.


a number: the logical unit on the Excel stream.


A vector of all character strings which appear in the Excel sheets.


a vector of strings: the sheet names.


a vector of numbers: the position of the beginning of sheets in the Excel stream.


This function first analyzes the ole2 data structure associated with the given file to extract the Excel stream which is included in. After that the Excel stream is saved in the TMDIR directory and opened. The fd logical unit points to this temporary file. Then the first sheet in this stream is read to get the global information like number of sheets, sheet names Sheetnames, sheet addresses within the stream Sheetpos and the SST which contains all the strings used in the following sheets.

The fd and Sheetpos data have to be passed to xls_read to read the data sheets.

The readxls function can be used to read all an Excel file in one function with a single function call.

Only BIFF8 Excel files (last Excel file version (2003)) are handled.


//Decode ole file, extract and open Excel stream
[fd,SST,Sheetnames,Sheetpos] = xls_open('SCI/modules/spreadsheet/demos/xls/Test1.xls')
//Read first data sheet
[Value,TextInd] = xls_read(fd,Sheetpos(1))
//close the spreadsheet stream

See Also

  • xls_read — reads a sheet in an Excel file
  • readxls — reads an Excel file


This function is based on the Microsoft ole2 file documentation ( and on Excel stream description from OpenOffice (

Used Functions

The ripole-0.1.4 procedure ( is used to extract the spreadsheet stream out of the ole file.

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Last updated:
Fri Apr 11 14:07:04 CEST 2014