How to manipulate excel workbook by Python?

This blog introduces how to use openpyxl package to manipulate Excel workbook and worksheet, like create a workbook and worksheet, write values in cells, set font(size, type, bold, italic), cut and...

During the work we need to automate some reports frequently, including manipulating excel workbook. In this blog I will introduce some basic manipulations on excel workbook by openpyxl package.

In the following, I will create a workbook, write values into one worksheet, and some handling like merging cells, set font size/color/type, set background color, set borders, etc.

Before coding, I’ll import all packages we need.

import openpyxl
from openpyxl.styles import Alignment
from openpyxl.styles import Font
from openpyxl.styles import PatternFill
from openpyxl.styles.borders import Border, Side
from openpyxl.workbook import Workbook
import string

Now, let’s start!

# Create a workbook
wb = Workbook()
dest_filename = 'test.xlsx'

ws_test =
ws_test.title = 'test_wksht'

Workbook() helps us to create a workbook, use active module to assign actual worksheet and use title module to name it.

Write values

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VAL_POS_MAP = {'Merge D1:E2': 'D1',
               'Id': 'C4',
               'T1': 'C6',
               'T2': 'C7',
               'CliendId': 'D4',
               'C1': 'D6',
               'C2': 'D7',
               'Volumn (year N)': 'E4',
               567213: 'E6',
               6784: 'E7',
               'Turnover (year N)': 'F4',
               234231: 'F6',
               32145: 'F7'}
for value, pos in VAL_POS_MAP.items():
    ws_test[pos] = value

We can write values into specified cells with pattern worksheet[cells] = value. Here I iterate a map, who contains values and cells’ positions, to write values iteratively.

Font (size, type, bold, italic)

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GLOBAL_TITLE_FONT = Font(name='Calibri',

SUBTITLE_FONT = Font(name='Calibri',

SZ14_FONT = Font(name='Calibri',

BG_YELLOW_LIST = ['C4', 'D4', 'E4', 'F4']
CONTENT_LIST = ['C6', 'C7', 'D6', 'D7', 'E6', 'E7', 'F6', 'F7']

ws_test['D1'].font = GLOBAL_TITLE_FONT

for pos in BG_YELLOW_LIST:
    ws_test[pos].font = SUBTITLE_FONT

for pos in CONTENT_LIST:
    ws_test[pos].font = SZ14_FONT

According to openpyxl, we can set font styles(size/color/type) by different arguments of Font(). Then assign worksheet[cells].font equals to Font() setting.

Cut and paste values from C4:F4 to C5:F5

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for col in string.ascii_uppercase[2:6]:
    new_pos = col + '5'
    old_pos = col + '4'

    ws_test[new_pos].value = ws_test[old_pos].value
    if ws_test[old_pos].has_style:
        ws_test[new_pos]._style = ws_test[old_pos]._style
    ws_test[old_pos].value = None

Here I use string.ascii_uppercase to generate automatically from letter C to letter F, and copy values from row 4 to row 5. But if we only copy value, font style will be lost, so I also copied cell’s style with ._style for the one who .has_style==True.

Remove row 4

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Since we don’t need the fourth row any more, I removed it by delete_rows().

Merge C1:D2 and set number format

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EURO_LIST = ['F5', 'F6']
SEP_K_LIST = ['E5', 'E6']
for pos in EURO_LIST:
    ws_test[pos].number_format = '#,##0€'
for pos in SEP_K_LIST:
    ws_test[pos].number_format = '#,##0'

Then I merge cells from D1 to E2 with worksheet.merge_cells. If you want to set numbers’ format, like currency or display a thousands separator, you can specify module number_format’s value.

Set cells’ background colors and center characters

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# background colors
for pos in BG_YELLOW_LIST:
    ws_test[pos].fill = PatternFill(start_color="feedc6",

# center characters
for row_cells in ws_test.iter_rows():
    for cell in row_cells:
        cell.alignment = Alignment(horizontal='center',

When we want to highlight header, adding the background color might be a good idea. Then we can assign worksheet[cell].fill to PatternFill(), with RBG colors. Moreover, I wanted to center horizontal and vertical alignment for all cells. So I iterated all cells, and set their alignment module as center.

Wrap text in cells

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SUBTITLE_ALIGN = Alignment(wrap_text=True, horizontal='center', vertical='center')
for row in ['4:4']:
    for cell in ws_test[row]:
        cell.alignment = SUBTITLE_ALIGN

Since characters in each cell of row 4 are a little bit more, we can wrap them with wrap_text=True of Alignment() for each cell in row 4.

Reset columns’ width

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for col in ['D', 'E']:
    ws_test.column_dimensions[col].width = 13
ws_test.column_dimensions['F'].width = 12

Sometimes, a cell contains lots of characters and cannot be displayed by default. In this case, if you want to display all, you can set cell’s width, with pattern worksheet.column_dimensions[column].width.

Set borders

one plot

BORDER_LIST = ['C4:F4', 'C5:F6']

def set_border(ws, cell_range):
    rows = ws[cell_range]
    side = Side(border_style='thin', color="FF000000")

    rows = list(rows)
    max_y = len(rows) - 1  # index of the last row
    for pos_y, cells in enumerate(rows):
        max_x = len(cells) - 1  # index of the last cell
        for pos_x, cell in enumerate(cells):
            border = Border(
            if pos_x == 0:
                border.left = side
            if pos_x == max_x:
                border.right = side
            if pos_y == 0:
       = side
            if pos_y == max_y:
                border.bottom = side

            # set new border only if it's one of the edge cells
            if pos_x == 0 or pos_x == max_x or pos_y == 0 or pos_y == max_y:
                cell.border = border

# border
for pos in BORDER_LIST:
    set_border(ws_test, pos)

Next, I used a function set_border() that found on stackoverflow. In this function, it used Side() and Border() to set outside borders for given cells.

Hide grid and set zoom scale

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ws_test.sheet_view.showGridLines = False
ws_test.sheet_view.zoomScale = 80

Furthermore, if you want to hide all grid lines or set zoom scale, you can use worksheet.sheet_view.showGridLines or worksheet.sheet_view.zoomScale.

Create named range

wb.create_named_range('ZoneId', ws_test, '$C$4:$C$6')

workbook.create_named_range() create named ranges from C4 to C6, in ws_test worksheet, named ‘ZoneId’.


Finally, save the workbook to given path with

Voila, result as follows:

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