Axlsx: Office Open XML Spreadsheet Generation

Build Status

IRC: / #axlsx Git: Author: Randy Morgan Copyright: 2011 License: MIT License Latest Version: 1.0.18 Ruby Version: 1.8.7, 1.9.2, 1.9.3

Release Date: March 5th 2012


Axlsx is an Office Open XML Spreadsheet generator for the Ruby programming language. With Axlsx you can create excel worksheets with charts, images (with links), automated and fixed column widths, customizable styles, functions, merged cells, auto filters, file and stream serialization as well as full schema validation. Axlsx excels at helping you generate beautiful Office Open XML Spreadsheet documents without having to understand the entire ECMA specification.

If you are working in rails, or with active record see:

There are guides for using axlsx and acts_as_xlsx here:

Help Wanted

I'd really like to get rid of the depenency on RMagick in this gem. RMagic is being used to calculate the column widths in a worksheet based on the content the user specified. If there happens to be anyone out there with the background and c skills to write an extenstion that can determine the width of a single character rendered with a specific font at a specific font size please give me a shout.

Feature List

**1. Author xlsx documents: Axlsx is made to let you easily and quickly generate profesional xlsx based reports that can be validated before serialiation.

**2. Generate 3D Pie, Line and Bar Charts: With Axlsx chart generation and management is as easy as a few lines of code. You can build charts based off data in your worksheet or generate charts without any data in your sheet at all.

**3. Custom Styles: With guaranteed document validity, you can style borders, alignment, fills, fonts, and number formats in a single line of code. Those styles can be applied to an entire row, or a single cell anywhere in your workbook.

**4. Automatic type support: Axlsx will automatically determine the type of data you are generating. In this release Float, Integer, String, Date, Time and Boolean types are automatically identified and serialized to your spreadsheet.

**5. Automatic and fixed column widths: Axlsx will automatically determine the appropriate width for your columns based on the content in the worksheet, or use any value you specify for the really funky stuff.

**6. Support for automatically formatted 1904 and 1900 epochs configurable in the workbook.

**7. Add jpg, gif and png images to worksheets with hyperlinks

**8. Reference cells in your worksheet with "A1" and "A1:D4" style references or from the workbook using "Sheett1!A3:B4" style references

**9. Cell level style overrides for default and customized style objects

**10. Support for formulas

**11. Support for cell merging via worksheet.merged_cells

**12. Auto filtering tables with worksheet.auto_filter

**13. Export using shared strings or inline strings so we can inter-op with iWork Numbers (sans charts for now).

**14. Output to file or StringIO

**15. Support for page margins


To install Axlsx, use the following command:

$ gem install axlsx


 require 'axlsx'

 p =
 wb = p.workbook

A Simple Workbook

  wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Basic Worksheet") do |sheet|
    sheet.add_row ["First Column", "Second", "Third"]
    sheet.add_row [1, 2, 3]

Using Custom Styles and Row Heights

 wb.styles do |s|
   black_cell = s.add_style :bg_color => "00", :fg_color => "FF", :sz => 14, :alignment => { :horizontal=> :center }
   blue_cell =  s.add_style  :bg_color => "0000FF", :fg_color => "FF", :sz => 20, :alignment => { :horizontal=> :center }
   wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Custom Styles") do |sheet|
     sheet.add_row ["Text Autowidth", "Second", "Third"], :style => [black_cell, blue_cell, black_cell]
     sheet.add_row [1, 2, 3], :style => Axlsx::STYLE_THIN_BORDER, :height => 20

Using Custom Formatting and date1904

 require 'date'
 wb.styles do |s|
   date = s.add_style(:format_code => "yyyy-mm-dd", :border => Axlsx::STYLE_THIN_BORDER)
   padded = s.add_style(:format_code => "00#", :border => Axlsx::STYLE_THIN_BORDER)
   percent = s.add_style(:format_code => "0000%", :border => Axlsx::STYLE_THIN_BORDER)
   wb.date1904 = true # required for generation on mac
   wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Formatting Data") do |sheet|
     sheet.add_row ["Custom Formatted Date", "Percent Formatted Float", "Padded Numbers"], :style => Axlsx::STYLE_THIN_BORDER
     sheet.add_row [Date::strptime('2012-01-19','%Y-%m-%d'), 0.2, 32], :style => [date, percent, padded]

Add an Image

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Images") do |sheet|
   img = File.expand_path('examples/image1.jpeg')
   sheet.add_image(:image_src => img, :noSelect => true, :noMove => true) do |image|
     image.start_at 2, 2

Add an Image with a hyperlink

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Image with Hyperlink") do |sheet|
   img = File.expand_path('examples/image1.jpeg')
   sheet.add_image(:image_src => img, :noSelect => true, :noMove => true, :hyperlink=>"") do |image|
     image.hyperlink.tooltip = "Labeled Link"
     image.start_at 2, 2

Asian Language Support

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Unicode Support") do |sheet|
   sheet.add_row ["日本語"]
   sheet.add_row ["华语/華語"]
   sheet.add_row ["한국어/조선말"]

Styling Columns

 wb.styles do |s|
   percent = s.add_style :num_fmt => 9
   wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Styling Columns") do |sheet|
     sheet.add_row ['col 1', 'col 2', 'col 3', 'col 4']
     sheet.add_row [1, 2, 0.3, 4]
     sheet.add_row [1, 2, 0.2, 4]
     sheet.add_row [1, 2, 0.1, 4]
     sheet.col_style 2, percent, :row_offset => 1

Styling Rows

 wb.styles do |s|
   head = s.add_style :bg_color => "00", :fg_color => "FF"
   percent = s.add_style :num_fmt => 9
   wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Styling Rows") do |sheet|
     sheet.add_row ['col 1', 'col 2', 'col 3', 'col 4']
     sheet.add_row [1, 2, 0.3, 4]
     sheet.add_row [1, 2, 0.2, 4]
     sheet.add_row [1, 2, 0.1, 4]
     sheet.col_style 2, percent, :row_offset => 1
     sheet.row_style 0, head

Styling Cell Overrides

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Cell Level Style Overrides") do |sheet|
     # cell level style overides when adding cells
     sheet.add_row ['col 1', 'col 2', 'col 3', 'col 4'], :sz => 16
     sheet.add_row [1, 2, 3, "=SUM(A2:C2)"]
     # cell level style overrides via sheet range
     sheet["A1:D1"].each { |c| c.color = "FF0000"}
     sheet['A1:D2'].each { |c| = Axlsx::STYLE_THIN_BORDER }

Using formula

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Using Formulas") do |sheet|
   sheet.add_row ['col 1', 'col 2', 'col 3', 'col 4']
   sheet.add_row [1, 2, 3, "=SUM(A2:C2)"]

Automatic cell types

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Automatic cell types") do |sheet|
   sheet.add_row ["Date", "Time", "String", "Boolean", "Float", "Integer"]
   sheet.add_row [,, "value", true, 0.1, 1]

Merging Cells.

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => 'Merging Cells') do |sheet|
     # cell level style overides when adding cells
     sheet.add_row ["col 1", "col 2", "col 3", "col 4"], :sz => 16
     sheet.add_row [1, 2, 3, "=SUM(A2:C2)"]
     sheet.add_row [2, 3, 4, "=SUM(A3:C3)"]
     sheet.add_row ["total", "", "", "=SUM(D2:D3)"]
     sheet["A1:D1"].each { |c| c.color = "FF0000"}
     sheet["A1:D4"].each { |c| = Axlsx::STYLE_THIN_BORDER }

Generating A Bar Chart

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Bar Chart") do |sheet|
   sheet.add_row ["A Simple Bar Chart"]
   sheet.add_row ["First", "Second", "Third"]
   sheet.add_row [1, 2, 3]
   sheet.add_chart(Axlsx::Bar3DChart, :start_at => "A4", :end_at => "F17") do |chart|
     chart.add_series :data => sheet["A3:C3"], :labels => sheet["A2:C2"], :title => sheet["A1"]

Generating A Pie Chart

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Pie Chart") do |sheet|
   sheet.add_row ["First", "Second", "Third", "Fourth"]
   sheet.add_row [1, 2, 3, "=PRODUCT(A2:C2)"]
   sheet.add_chart(Axlsx::Pie3DChart, :start_at => [0,2], :end_at => [5, 15], :title => "example 3: Pie Chart") do |chart|
     chart.add_series :data => sheet["A2:D2"], :labels => sheet["A1:D1"]

Data over time

 wb.add_worksheet(:name=>'Charting Dates') do |sheet|
     # cell level style overides when adding cells
     sheet.add_row ['Date', 'Value'], :sz => 16
     sheet.add_row [ - (7*60*60*24), 3]
     sheet.add_row [ - (6*60*60*24), 7]
     sheet.add_row [ - (5*60*60*24), 18]
     sheet.add_row [ - (4*60*60*24), 1]
     sheet.add_chart(Axlsx::Bar3DChart) do |chart|
        chart.start_at "B7"
        chart.end_at "H27"
        chart.add_series(:data => sheet["B2:B5"], :labels => sheet["A2:A5"], :title => sheet["B1"])

Generating A Line Chart

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Line Chart") do |sheet|
   sheet.add_row ["First", 1, 5, 7, 9]
   sheet.add_row ["Second", 5, 2, 14, 9]
   sheet.add_chart(Axlsx::Line3DChart, :title => "example 6: Line Chart", :rotX => 30, :rotY => 20) do |chart|
     chart.start_at 0, 2
     chart.end_at 10, 15
     chart.add_series :data => sheet["B1:E1"], :title => sheet["A1"]
     chart.add_series :data => sheet["B2:E2"], :title => sheet["A2"]

Auto Filter

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "Auto Filter") do |sheet|
   sheet.add_row ["Build Matrix"]
   sheet.add_row ["Build", "Duration", "Finished", "Rvm"]
   sheet.add_row ["19.1", "1 min 32 sec", "about 10 hours ago", "1.8.7"]
   sheet.add_row ["19.2", "1 min 28 sec", "about 10 hours ago", "1.9.2"]
   sheet.add_row ["19.3", "1 min 35 sec", "about 10 hours ago", "1.9.3"]
   sheet.auto_filter = "A2:D5"

Specifying Column Widths

 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "custom column widths") do |sheet|
   sheet.add_row ["I use auto_fit and am very wide", "I use a custom width and am narrow"]
   sheet.column_widths nil, 3

Specify Page Margins for printing

 margins = {:left => 3, :right => 3, :top => 1.2, :bottom => 1.2, :header => 0.7, :footer => 0.7}
 wb.add_worksheet(:name => "print margins", :page_margins => margins) do |sheet|
   sheet.add_row["this sheet uses customized page margins for printing"]

Validate and Serialize

 p.validate.each { |e| puts e.message }

 # alternatively, serilaize to StringIO
 s = p.to_stream()'example_streamed.xlsx', 'w') { |f| f.write( }

Using Shared Strings

 p.use_shared_strings = true


This gem is 100% documented with YARD, an exceptional documentation library. To see documentation for this, and all the gems installed on your system use:

  gem install yard
  yard server -g


This gem has 100% test coverage using test/unit. To execute tests for this gem, simply run rake in the gem directory.


  • ** March.5.12**: 1.0.18 release

    • bugfix custom borders are not properly applied when using styles.add_style
    • interop worksheet names must be 31 characters or less or some versions of office complain about repairs
    • added type support for :boolean and :date types cell values
    • added support for fixed column widths
    • added support for page_margins
    • added << alias for add_row
    • removed presetting of date1904 based on authoring platform. Now defaults to use 1900 epoch (date1904 = false)
  • ** February.14.12**: 1.0.17 release

    • Added in support for serializing to StringIO
    • Added in support for using shared strings table. This makes most of the features in axlsx interoperable with iWorks Numbers
    • Added in support for fixed column_widths
    • Removed unneded depenencies on activesupport and i18n
  • ** February.2.12**: 1.0.16 release

    • Bug fix for schema file locations when validating in rails
    • Added hyperlink to images
    • date1904 now automatically set in bsd and mac environments
    • removed whitespace/indentation from xml outputs
    • col_style now skips rows that do not contain cells at the column index

Please see the CHANGELOG document for past release information.


ochko - for performance fixes, kicking the crap out of axlsx and helping to maintain my general sanity.

kleine2 - for generously donating in return for the image hyperlink feature.

ffmike - for knocking down an over restrictive i18n dependency, massive patience and great communication skills.

JonathanTron - for giving the gem some style, and making sure it applies.

JosephHalter - for making sure we arrive at the right time on the right date.

noniq - for keeping true to the gem's style, and making sure what we put on paper does not get marginalized.

jurriaan - for showing there is more than one way to skin a cat, and work with rows while you are at it.

Copyright and License

Axlsx © 2011 by Randy Morgan. Axlsx is licensed under the MIT license. Please see the LICENSE document for more information.