Performing Common Excel Spreadsheet Operations


This page includes basic, intermediate, and advanced points on performing spreadsheet operations, from getting and setting simple values to adjusting printer properties.


  • Creating and Managing Workbooks and Spreadsheets

    • Create a new in-memory document (work book), for an Excel 2007 spreadsheet.

      dim Doc as Office::ExcelDocument
    • or for an Excel 2003 spreadsheet

      dim Doc as Office::Excel2003Document
    • Create a new spreadsheet

      dim Sheet as Office::Spreadsheet
    • Attach a sheet to a document (work book)

      Sheet = Doc.AddSheet("My sheet name")
    • Add a string to a spreadsheet cell

      dim row as N = 1 
      dim column as N = 1 
      dim message as C = "Hello, World!" 
      Sheet.Write(row, column, message)
    • or

      Sheet.Write(row, column, message, Format)
  • Understanding spreadsheet addressing and formulas

    The APIs in the Office class address cells by row and then column number. Excel and compatible sheets call the columns A, B, C, ... (up to 16,384 columns) and the rows 1, 2, 3, ... (up to 1,048,576 rows) and give the column before the row. When you are writing (row, column) in an API call, both row and column must be integer numbers. When you are writing a cell reference in a formula, use numbers for the row and letters for the column, e.g. B3 for column 2, row 3. Use a '$' symbol to indicate that a row or column in a reference is relative rather than absolute, e.g. $B$3 for the cell 2 columns to the right and 3 columns down. Formulas start with '=' and may include operators between cells and sheet designations followed by a '!'. So "=Sheet2!C6-Sheet3!E15" means to subtract the value of row 15 column 5 in Sheet3 from the value of row 6 column 3 in Sheet2.

  • Getting and setting values

    • Add a number to a spreadsheet cell

      dim number as N = 3.1415926
      Sheet.Write(row, column, number)
    • or

      Sheet.Write(row, column, number, Format)
    • Get cell type

      dim ct as Office::CellType = Sheet.CellType(row, column)
    • Read cell format

      dim cf as Office::CellFormat = Sheet.CellFormat(row, column)
    • Read cell contents. Note that Sheet.Read returns an A (Any) type variable

      if ct <> Office::CellType::Error 
          contents = Sheet.Read(row, column) 
      end if
    • Read cell contents and format

      if ct <> Office::CellType::Error 
          Contents = Sheet.Read(row, column, ct) 
      end if
    • Read cell comment

      dim comment as C
      comment = Sheet.ReadComment(row, column)
    • Read cell formula

      dim formula as C 
      if Sheet.IsFormula(row, column) 
          formula = Sheet.ReadFormula(row, column) 
      end if
    • Check cell for specific attributes

      dim answer as L answer = Sheet.IsBlank(row, column)
      answer = Sheet.IsBlank(row, column, cf) 
      answer = Sheet.IsFormula(row, column) 
      answer = Sheet.CellIsDateValue(row, column)
    • Copy a cell

      Sheet.CopyCell(sourceRow, sourceColumn, destinationRow, destinationColumn)
    • Blank a cell without changing the format

      Sheet.SetBlank(row, column)
    • Blank a cell and change the format

      Sheet.SetBlank(row, column, cf)
  • Clear all or part of a spreadsheet

    • Sheet.Clear()
      Sheet.Clear(FirstRow, FirstColumn, LastRow, LastColumn)
    • Save a document (work book)

    • Reinitialize an in-memory document (work book)

  • Free a document from memory

    delete Doc
  • Run Excel on a saved document

  • Database operations

    • Create a spreadsheet from a DBF

      on error goto noload 
          myTable = table.open(Path + TableName + ".DBF")
          Sheet = Doc.AddSheetFromDBF(myTable, TableName) 
          'more processing of sheet... 
          ' continue...
    • Create a spreadsheet from a SQL Query

      dim cn as sql::connection 
      if cn.Open(ConnectionString) 
          if cn.Execute(Query) 
              Sheet = Doc.AddSheetFromResultSet(cn.ResultSet, mySheetName) 
              'More processing... 
          end if 
      end if

Intermediate Tasks

  • Add a formula to a spreadsheet cell

    • dim formula as C = "=B2+C3"
      Sheet.WriteFormula(row, column, formula)
    • or

      Sheet.WriteFormula(row, column, formula, Format)
  • Working with Pictures

    • Add a picture to a spreadsheet cell

      dim picfile as C = "Daffodils.jpg"
      dim picBlob as B
      dim Id as N
      Id = Doc.AddPicture(picfile)
    • or

      picBlob = File.To_Blob(picfile)
      Id = Doc.AddPicture(picBlob)
    • then

      Sheet = Doc.AddSheet("Picture")
      Sheet.SetPicture(row, column,Id)
  • Working with sheets

    • Copy a sheet

      Doc.CopySheet(newSheetName, oldSheetIndex)
    • Delete a sheet

    • Count sheets in a workbook

      nSheets = Doc.SheetCount
    • Get a spreadsheet by name

    • Get a spreadsheet at an index number

      Sheet = Doc.GetSheet(Index)
    • Split a sheet

      Sheet.Split(row, column)
  • Formats and Fonts

    • Basics

      dim Format as Office::Format
      dim Font as Office::Font
      Format = Doc.AddFormat()
      Font = Doc.AddFont()
      Font.Color = Office::Color::DarkBlue 
      Font.Name= "Tahoma" 
      Font.Size = 14 
      Font.Bold = .t. 
      Format.Font = Font 
      Format.HorizontalAlignment = Office::HorizontalAlignment::Center
    • Count Fonts

      nFonts = Doc.FontCount
    • Get a Font

      font1 = Doc.GetFont(Index)
    • Count Formats

      nFonts = Doc.FormatCount
    • Get a Format

      format1 = Doc.GetFormat(Index)
    • Apply a Format to a spreadsheet cell or region

      Sheet.SetFormat(row, column, format) 
      Sheet.SetFormat(startRow, startColumn, endRow, endColumn, format)
    • Get/set the height/width of a row/column

      Width = Sheet.ColumnWidth(column) 
      Height = Sheet.RowHeight(row) 
      Sheet.SetColumn(FirstColumn, LastColumn, Width [, Format [, Hidden]]) 
      Sheet.SetColumn(row, Height [, Format [, Hidden]])
    • Add an entry in the next available row of a sheet

      nextRow = Sheet.NextAvailableRow
      Sheet.Write(nextRow, 1, "More text")

Advanced Topics

  • Working with existing spreadsheets

    • Load the contents of an existing Excel file

      dim filename as C = "myworkbook.xlsx" 
      dim result as L = Doc.Load(filename)
    • Open a spreadsheet file, select a sheet, write to a location, and save

      dim filename as C = "myworkbook.xlsx" 
      if Doc.Load(filename) 
          if Doc.FindSheet(Sheet,sheetName) 
              Sheet.Write(row, column, contents) 
          end if 
      end if
    • Working with ranges and groups

      • Merge a cell range (erasing the cell boundary lines)

        Sheet.SetMerge(FirstRow, LastRow, FirstColumn, LastColumn)
      • Get merged cell range to which a cell belongs

        Sheet.GetMerge(row, column, FirstRow, LastRow, FirstColumn, LastColumn)
      • Delete (unmerge) a merged cell range

        Sheet.DeleteMerge(row, column)
      • Group rows and collapse the group

        Sheet.GroupRows(FirstRow, LastRow, .T.)
      • Group columns and collapse the group

        Sheet.GroupColumns(FirstColumn, LastColumn, .T.)
    • Insert or remove rows or columns

      Sheet.InsertRow(FirstRow, LastRow) 
      Sheet.InsertColumn(FirstColum, LastColum) 
      Sheet.RemoveRow(FirstRow, LastRow) 
      Sheet.RemoveColumn(FirstColum, LastColum)
    • Load or save a work book from a memory image (blob)

      dim Data as B 
    • Adjust printing properties

      • Adjust spreadsheet margins

        Sheet.HeaderMargin = 10 
        Sheet.FooterMargin = 10 
        Sheet.MarginLeft = 10 
        Sheet.MarginRight = 10 
        Sheet.MarginTop = 10 
        Sheet.MarginBottom = 10
      • Set spreadsheet orientation and centering

        Sheet.Landscape = .T. 
        Sheet.CenterHorizontally = .T. 
        Sheet.CenterVertically = .F.
      • Set paper size

        Sheet.Paper = Office::Paper::Legal
      • Create page break at a row

        Sheet.SetHorizontalPageBreak(row, .T.)
      • Remove page break at a row

        Sheet.SetHorizontalPageBreak(row, .F.)
      • Create page break at a column

        Sheet.SetVerticalPageBreak(column, .T.)
      • Remove page break at a column

        Sheet.SetVerticalPageBreak(column, .F.)

See Also