A Rails plugin to generate xls documents by using rxls templates.

Based on Defv's railsxls plugin (github.com/DefV/railsxls) without the Java part.

Also inspired heavily from prawn_rails gem (github.com/Volundr/prawn-rails).

The gem has a new cool feature which lets you pick a hand-crafted excel file as a template in your view. Pass the path to your excel template using the :template_path option and instead of creating a blank spreadsheet for you to fill, your excel file will be parsed and yielded for you to fill in the blank. Thanks to Stepan Filatov @ github.com/sfilatov


Note that this gem works only with Rails 3

Put the following line in your Gemfile gem 'excel_rails'

Run 'bundle install'

Name your views as action.xls.rxls (See below for usage)

Make a request to your application with .xls extension to respond to excel.


ruby-ole spreadsheet iconv


Example spreadsheet usage as found here: github.com/jacobat/ruby-spreadsheet

– in the view “index.xls.rxls”

excel_document(:filename => “all_lines.xls”) do |workbook|

sheet = workbook.create_worksheet
sheet.name = "What's in a name"

sheet.row(0).concat %w{Name Country Acknowlegement}
sheet[1,0] = 'Japan'
row = sheet.row(1)
row.push 'Creator of Ruby'
row.unshift 'Yukihiro Matsumoto'
sheet.row(2).replace [ 'Daniel J. Berger', 'U.S.A.',
                       'Author of original code for Spreadsheet::Excel' ]
sheet.row(3).push 'Charles Lowe', 'Author of the ruby-ole Library'
sheet.row(3).insert 1, 'Unknown'
sheet.update_row 4, 'Hannes Wyss', 'Switzerland', 'Author'

sheet.row(0).height = 18

format = Spreadsheet::Format.new :color => :blue,
                                 :weight => :bold,
                                 :size => 18
sheet.row(0).default_format = format

bold = Spreadsheet::Format.new :weight => :bold
4.times do |x| sheet.row(x + 1).set_format(0, bold) end


In the above file excel_document yields a new Spreadsheet:Workbook object to the block. If you provide a :filename option to the excel_document method, a filename will be provided to the downloaded file. If your browser supports it you can inline the excel document as well.

If you provide :template_path - path to existed xls file, workbook will be loaded from the file.

excel_document(:filename => “report.xls”, :template_path => “/tmp/report_template.xls”) do |workbook|

sheet = workbook.worksheet 0
... # any staff form previous example


If you provide a :renderer option to the excel_document method, you can use your customized Spreadsheet::Workbook to create a new excel file.

Your view “index.xls.rxls” file could look like this:

excel_document(:filename => “foobar.xls”, :renderer => Spreadsheet::CustomWorkbook) do |workbook|



And the renderer class (“lib/spreadsheet”):

module Spreadsheet

class CustomWorkbook < Spreadsheet::Workbook

  attr_accessor :sheet

  def new_worksheet
    @sheet = workbook.create_worksheet
    @sheet.name = "What's in a name"


– in the controller

def index

@lines = Line.find(:all)

respond_to do |format|
  format.html # index.html.erb
  format.xml  { render :xml => @lines }


Copyright © 2010 Aditya Sanghi, released under the MIT license