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1.7.2 • Public • Published

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A full featured xlsx file generation library allowing for the creation of advanced Excel files.

excel4node conforms to the ECMA-376 OOXML specification 2nd edition

OpenXML White Paper
ECMA-376 Website
OpenOffice Excel File Format Reference
OpenOffice Anatomy of OOXML explanation
MS-XSLX spec (pdf)

Code references specifications sections from ECMA-376 2nd edition doc
ECMA-376, Second Edition, Part 1 - Fundamentals And Markup Language Reference.pdf
found in ECMA-376 2nd edition Part 1 download at

Basic Usage

// Require library
var xl = require('excel4node');
// Create a new instance of a Workbook class
var wb = new xl.Workbook();
// Add Worksheets to the workbook
var ws = wb.addWorksheet('Sheet 1');
var ws2 = wb.addWorksheet('Sheet 2');
// Create a reusable style
var style = wb.createStyle({
  font: {
    color: '#FF0800',
    size: 12,
  numberFormat: '$#,##0.00; ($#,##0.00); -',
// Set value of cell A1 to 100 as a number type styled with paramaters of style
ws.cell(1, 1)
// Set value of cell B1 to 200 as a number type styled with paramaters of style
ws.cell(1, 2)
// Set value of cell C1 to a formula styled with paramaters of style
ws.cell(1, 3)
  .formula('A1 + B1')
// Set value of cell A2 to 'string' styled with paramaters of style
ws.cell(2, 1)
// Set value of cell A3 to true as a boolean type styled with paramaters of style but with an adjustment to the font size.
ws.cell(3, 1)
  .style({font: {size: 14}});


excel4node comes with some generic functions and types

Accepts cell reference (i.e. 'A1') and returns object with corresponding row and column

// returns { row: 5, col: 2}

Accepts column as integer and returns corresponding column reference as alpha

// returns 'J'

xl.getExcelCellRef(row, column)
Accepts row and column as integers and returns Excel cell reference

xl.getExcelCellRef(5, 3);
// returns 'C5'

Accepts Date object and returns an Excel timestamp

var newDate = new Date('2015-01-01T00:00:00.0000Z');
// Returns 42004.791666666664



An instance of the Workbook class contains all data and parameters for the Excel Workbook.


Workbook constructor accepts an optional configuration object.

var xl = require('excel4node');
var wb = new xl.Workbook({
  jszip: {
    compression: 'DEFLATE',
  defaultFont: {
    size: 12,
    name: 'Calibri',
    color: 'FFFFFFFF',
  dateFormat: 'm/d/yy hh:mm:ss',
  workbookView: {
    activeTab: 1, // Specifies an unsignedInt that contains the index to the active sheet in this book view.
    autoFilterDateGrouping: true, // Specifies a boolean value that indicates whether to group dates when presenting the user with filtering options in the user interface.
    firstSheet: 1, // Specifies the index to the first sheet in this book view.
    minimized: false, // Specifies a boolean value that indicates whether the workbook window is minimized.
    showHorizontalScroll: true, // Specifies a boolean value that indicates whether to display the horizontal scroll bar in the user interface.
    showSheetTabs: true, // Specifies a boolean value that indicates whether to display the sheet tabs in the user interface.
    showVerticalScroll: true, // Specifies a boolean value that indicates whether to display the vertical scroll bar.
    tabRatio: 600, // Specifies ratio between the workbook tabs bar and the horizontal scroll bar.
    visibility: 'visible', // Specifies visible state of the workbook window. ('hidden', 'veryHidden', 'visible') (§18.18.89)
    windowHeight: 17620, // Specifies the height of the workbook window. The unit of measurement for this value is twips.
    windowWidth: 28800, // Specifies the width of the workbook window. The unit of measurement for this value is twips..
    xWindow: 0, // Specifies the X coordinate for the upper left corner of the workbook window. The unit of measurement for this value is twips.
    yWindow: 440, // Specifies the Y coordinate for the upper left corner of the workbook window. The unit of measurement for this value is twips.
  logLevel: 0, // 0 - 5. 0 suppresses all logs, 1 shows errors only, 5 is for debugging
  author: 'Microsoft Office User', // Name for use in features such as comments


wb.addWorksheet(name, options);
Adds a new Worksheet to the Workbook
Accepts name of new Worksheet and options object (see Worksheet section)
Returns a Worksheet instance

Sets which tab will be selected when the Workbook is opened
Accepts Sheet ID (1-indexed sheet in order that sheets were added)

Creates a new Style instance
Accepts Style configuration object (see Style section) Returns a new Style instance

The write() method can accept a single filename, a filename with callback function or an HTTP response object.

var xl = require('excel4node');
var wb = new xl.Workbook();
wb.write('ExcelFile.xlsx'); // Writes the file ExcelFile.xlsx to the process.cwd();
wb.write('ExcelFile.xlsx', function(err, stats) {
  if (err) {
  } else {
    console.log(stats); // Prints out an instance of a node.js fs.Stats object
// sends Excel file to web client requesting the / route
// server will respond with 500 error if excel workbook cannot be generated
var express = require('express');
var app = express();
app.get('/', function(req, res) {
  wb.write('ExcelFile.xlsx', res);
app.listen(3000, function() {
  console.log('Example app listening on port 3000!');

The writeToBuffer() method access no parameters and returns a promise that resolves with the nodebuffer generated by the JSZip library. This buffer can then be sent to other streams.

var xl = require('excel4node');
var wb = new xl.Workbook();
wb.writeToBuffer().then(function(buffer) {
  // Do something with buffer


An instance of the Worksheet class contains all information specific to that worksheet


Worksheet constructor is called via Workbook class and accepts a name and configuration object

var xl = require('excel4node');
var wb = new xl.Workbook();
var options = {
  margins: {
    left: 1.5,
    right: 1.5,
var ws = wb.addWorksheet('sheetname', options);

Full Worksheet options. All options are optional.

    'margins': { // Accepts a Double in Inches
        'bottom': Double,
        'footer': Double,
        'header': Double,
        'left': Double,
        'right': Double,
        'top': Double
    'printOptions': {
        'centerHorizontal': Boolean,
        'centerVertical': Boolean,
        'printGridLines': Boolean,
        'printHeadings': Boolean

    'headerFooter': { // Set Header and Footer strings and options. See note below
        'evenFooter': String,
        'evenHeader': String,
        'firstFooter': String,
        'firstHeader': String,
        'oddFooter': String,
        'oddHeader': String,
        'alignWithMargins': Boolean,
        'differentFirst': Boolean,
        'differentOddEven': Boolean,
        'scaleWithDoc': Boolean
    'pageSetup': {
        'blackAndWhite': Boolean,
        'cellComments': xl.CellComment, // one of 'none', 'asDisplayed', 'atEnd'
        'copies': Integer,
        'draft': Boolean,
        'errors': xl.PrintError, // One of 'displayed', 'blank', 'dash', 'NA'
        'firstPageNumber': Integer,
        'fitToHeight': Integer, // Number of vertical pages to fit to
        'fitToWidth': Integer, // Number of horizontal pages to fit to
        'horizontalDpi': Integer,
        'orientation': xl.Orientation, // One of 'default', 'portrait', 'landscape'
        'pageOrder': xl.PageOrder, // One of 'downThenOver', 'overThenDown'
        'paperHeight': xl.PositiveUniversalMeasure, // Value must a positive Float immediately followed by unit of measure from list mm, cm, in, pt, pc, pi. i.e. '10.5cm'
        'paperSize': xl.PaperSize, // see lib/types/paperSize.js for all types and descriptions of types. setting paperSize overrides paperHeight and paperWidth settings
        'paperWidth': xl.PositiveUniversalMeasure,
        'scale': Integer,
        'useFirstPageNumber': Boolean,
        'usePrinterDefaults': Boolean,
        'verticalDpi': Integer
    'sheetView': {
        'pane': { // Note. Calling .freeze() on a row or column will adjust these values
            'activePane': xl.Pane, // one of 'bottomLeft', 'bottomRight', 'topLeft', 'topRight'
            'state': xl.PaneState, // one of 'split', 'frozen', 'frozenSplit'
            'topLeftCell': Cell Reference, // i.e. 'A1'
            'xSplit': Float, // Horizontal position of the split, in 1/20th of a point; 0 (zero) if none. If the pane is frozen, this value indicates the number of columns visible in the top pane.
            'ySplit': Float // Vertical position of the split, in 1/20th of a point; 0 (zero) if none. If the pane is frozen, this value indicates the number of rows visible in the left pane.
        'rightToLeft': Boolean, // Flag indicating whether the sheet is in 'right to left' display mode. When in this mode, Column A is on the far right, Column B ;is one column left of Column A, and so on. Also, information in cells is displayed in the Right to Left format.
        'showGridLines': Boolean, // Flag indicating whether the sheet should have gridlines enabled or disabled during view
        'zoomScale': Integer, // Defaults to 100
        'zoomScaleNormal': Integer, // Defaults to 100
        'zoomScalePageLayoutView': Integer // Defaults to 100
    'sheetFormat': {
        'baseColWidth': Integer, // Defaults to 10. Specifies the number of characters of the maximum digit width of the normal style's font. This value does not include margin padding or extra padding for gridlines. It is only the number of characters.,
        'defaultColWidth': Integer,
        'defaultRowHeight': Integer,
        'thickBottom': Boolean, // 'True' if rows have a thick bottom border by default.
        'thickTop': Boolean // 'True' if rows have a thick top border by default.
    'sheetProtection': { // same as "Protect Sheet" in Review tab of Excel
        'autoFilter': Boolean, // True means that that user will be unable to modify this setting
        'deleteColumns': Boolean,
        'deleteRows': Boolean,
        'formatCells': Boolean,
        'formatColumns': Boolean,
        'formatRows': Boolean,
        'insertColumns': Boolean,
        'insertHyperlinks': Boolean,
        'insertRows': Boolean,
        'objects': Boolean,
        'password': String,
        'pivotTables': Boolean,
        'scenarios': Boolean,
        'selectLockedCells': Boolean,
        'selectUnlockedCells': Boolean,
        'sheet': Boolean,
        'sort': Boolean
    'outline': {
        'summaryBelow': Boolean, // Flag indicating whether summary rows appear below detail in an outline, when applying an outline/grouping.
        'summaryRight': Boolean // Flag indicating whether summary columns appear to the right of detail in an outline, when applying an outline/grouping.
    'disableRowSpansOptimization': Boolean // Flag indicating whether to remove the "spans" attribute on row definitions. Including spans in an optimization for Excel file readers but is not necessary,
    'hidden': Boolean // Flag indicating whether to not hide the worksheet within the workbook.

Note: headerFooter strings accept Dynamic Formatting Strings. i.e. '&L&A&C&BCompany, Inc. Confidential&B&RPage &P of &N'


Worksheet data validations

Accepts a validation options object with these available options. All options are optional with exception of sqref.

    sqref: String, // Required. Specifies range of cells to apply validate. i.e. "A1:A100"
    allowBlank: Boolean, // Allows cells to be empty
    errorStyle: String, // One of 'stop', 'warning', 'information'. You must specify an error string for this to take effect
    error: String, // Message to show on error
    errorTitle: String, // Title of message shown on error
    showErrorMessage: Boolean, // Defaults to true if error or errorTitle is set
    imeMode: String, // Restricts input to a specific set of characters. One of 'noControl', 'off', 'on', 'disabled', 'hiragana', 'fullKatakana', 'halfKatakana', 'fullAlpha', 'halfAlpha', 'fullHangul', 'halfHangul'
    operator: String, // Must be one of 'between', 'notBetween', 'equal', 'notEqual', 'lessThan', 'lessThanOrEqual', 'greaterThan', 'greaterThanOrEqual'
    prompt: String, // Message text of input prompt
    promptTitle: String, // Title of input prompt
    showInputMessage: Boolean, // Defaults to true if prompt or promptTitle is set
    showDropDown: Boolean, // A boolean value indicating whether to display a dropdown combo box for a list type data validation. Defaults to true for type:list
    type: String, // One of 'none', 'whole', 'decimal', 'list', 'date', 'time', 'textLength', 'custom'
    formulas: Array // Minimum count 1, maximum count 2.
  type: 'list',
  allowBlank: true,
  prompt: 'Choose from dropdown',
  error: 'Invalid choice was chosen',
  showDropDown: true,
  sqref: 'X2:X10',
  formulas: ['value1,value2'],
  type: 'list',
  allowBlank: 1,
  sqref: 'B2:B10',
  formulas: ['=sheet2!$A$1:$A$2'],
  type: 'whole',
  operator: 'between',
  allowBlank: 1,
  sqref: 'A1:A10',
  formulas: [0, 100],
Worksheet Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting adds custom formats in response to cell reference state. A subset of conditional formatting features is currently supported by excel4node.
Formatting rules apply at the worksheet level.
The following example will highlight all cells between A1 and A10 that contain the string "ok" with bold, green text:

var wb = new xl.Workbook();
var ws = wb.addWorksheet('Sheet 1');
var myStyle = wb.createStyle({
  font: {
    bold: true,
    color: '00FF00',
ws.addConditionalFormattingRule('A1:A10', {
  // apply ws formatting ref 'A1:A10'
  type: 'expression', // the conditional formatting type
  priority: 1, // rule priority order (required)
  formula: 'NOT(ISERROR(SEARCH("ok", A1)))', // formula that returns nonzero or 0
  style: myStyle, // a style object containing styles to apply

The only conditional formatting type that is currently supported is expression.
When the formula returns zero, conditional formatting is NOT displayed. When the formula returns a nonzero value, conditional formatting is displayed.

Worksheet Page Breaks

Worksheet page breaks can be added at rows and columns

ws.addPageBreak(type, position) where type is row or column and position is the last row/column before the page break.

// Add page break after row 5
const wb = new xl.Workbook();
const ws = wb.addWorksheet('Sheet 1');
ws.cell(5, 1).string('Last row on this page');
ws.addPageBreak('row', 5);
Worksheet Print Area

Worksheet print areas can be set

ws.setPrintArea(startRow, startCol, endRow, endCol) where parameters are numbers corresponding to print area

// Sets print area to include all cells between A1 and C5 including C5
const wb = new xl.Workbook();
const ws = wb.addWorksheet('Sheet 1');
ws.cell(5, 3).string('Included in print area');
ws.cell(6, 3).string('Outside of print area, not included in printing');
ws.setPrintArea(1, 1, 5, 3);

Rows and Columns

Set custom widths and heights of columns/rows


Set rows and/or columns to create a frozen pane with an optionall scrollTo

ws.column(2).freeze(4); // Freezes the first two columns and scrolls the right view to column D
ws.row(4).freeze(); // Freezes the top four rows

Add Filters to a row If not options are given to the filter function, a filter will be added to all columns that contain data. Optionally, if you wish to restrict your filter to a specific range, you can specify start and end rows and columns for that range. The filter row should be included in this range.

  firstRow: 1,
  firstColumn: 1,
  lastRow: 20,
  lastColumn: 5,

Hide a row or column


Create groupings of rows or columns and optionally state to collapse the grouping

ws.row(2).group(1, true);
ws.row(3).group(1, true);
ws.column(4).group(1, true);
ws.column(5).group(1, true);

Multiple groupings can be nested as demonstrated in this gist


The cell method accesses a single cell or range of cells to manipulate
cell method takes two required parameters and 3 optional parameters
.string() accepts a String or Array. Sending array allows for multiple font formattings within the same cell.
.number(number) accepts a number
.formula(formula) accepts an Excel formula
.date(date) accepts either a date or a date string
.link(url, [displayStr, tooltip]) accepts a URL and optionally a displayStr and hover tooltip
.bool(value) accepts a boolean (true or false)
.style(object) accepts the same object as when creating a new style. When applied to a cell that already has style formatting, the original formatting will be kept and updated with the changes sent to the style function. .comment(comment, options) Add a comment to the particular cell

// ws.cell(startRow, startColumn, [[endRow, endColumn], isMerged]);
ws.cell(1, 1).string('My simple string');
ws.cell(1, 2).number(5);
ws.cell(1, 3).formula('B1 * 10');
ws.cell(1, 4).date(new Date());
ws.cell(1, 5).link('');
ws.cell(1, 6).bool(true);
ws.cell(2, 1, 2, 6, true).string('One big merged cell');
ws.cell(3, 1, 3, 6).number(1); // All 6 cells set to number 1
var complexString = [
  'Workbook default font String\n',
    bold: true,
    underline: true,
    italics: true,
    color: 'FF0000',
    size: 18,
    name: 'Courier',
    value: 'Hello',
  ' World!',
    color: '000000',
    underline: false,
    name: 'Arial',
    vertAlign: 'subscript',
  ' All',
  ' these',
  ' strings',
  ' are',
  ' black subsript,',
    color: '0000FF',
    value: '\nbut',
    vertAlign: 'baseline',
  ' now are blue',
ws.cell(4, 1).string(complexString);
ws.cell(5, 1)
  .string('another simple string')
  .style({font: {name: 'Helvetica'}});


Style objects can be applied to Cells
Any combination of style values can be set
Creating a preset style is much more efficient than applying styles to individual cells

Style Options Object:
    alignment: { // §18.8.1
        horizontal: ['center', 'centerContinuous', 'distributed', 'fill', 'general', 'justify', 'left', 'right'],
        indent: integer, // Number of spaces to indent = indent value * 3
        justifyLastLine: boolean,
        readingOrder: ['contextDependent', 'leftToRight', 'rightToLeft'], 
        relativeIndent: integer, // number of additional spaces to indent
        shrinkToFit: boolean,
        textRotation: integer, // number of degrees to rotate text counter-clockwise
        vertical: ['bottom', 'center', 'distributed', 'justify', 'top'],
        wrapText: boolean
    font: { // §18.8.22
        bold: boolean,
        charset: integer,
        color: string,
        condense: boolean,
        extend: boolean,
        family: string,
        italics: boolean,
        name: string,
        outline: boolean,
        scheme: string, // §18.18.33 ST_FontScheme (Font scheme Styles)
        shadow: boolean,
        strike: boolean,
        size: integer,
        underline: boolean,
        vertAlign: string // § ST_VerticalAlignRun (Vertical Positioning Location)
    border: { // §18.8.4 border (Border)
        left: {
            style: string, //§18.18.3 ST_BorderStyle (Border Line Styles) ['none', 'thin', 'medium', 'dashed', 'dotted', 'thick', 'double', 'hair', 'mediumDashed', 'dashDot', 'mediumDashDot', 'dashDotDot', 'mediumDashDotDot', 'slantDashDot']
            color: string // HTML style hex value
        right: {
            style: string,
            color: string
        top: {
            style: string,
            color: string
        bottom: {
            style: string,
            color: string
        diagonal: {
            style: string,
            color: string
        diagonalDown: boolean,
        diagonalUp: boolean,
        outline: boolean
    fill: { // §18.8.20 fill (Fill)
        type: string, // Currently only 'pattern' is implemented. Non-implemented option is 'gradient'
        patternType: string, //§18.18.55 ST_PatternType (Pattern Type)
        bgColor: string // HTML style hex value. defaults to black
        fgColor: string // HTML style hex value. defaults to black.
    numberFormat: integer or string // §18.8.30 numFmt (Number Format)
var wb = new xl.Workbook();
var ws = wb.addWorksheet('Sheet 1');
var myStyle = wb.createStyle({
  font: {
    bold: true,
    underline: true,
  alignment: {
    wrapText: true,
    horizontal: 'center',
ws.cell(1, 1)
  .string('my \n multiline\n string')
ws.cell(2, 1).string('row 2 string');
ws.cell(3, 1).string('row 3 string');
ws.cell(2, 1, 3, 1).style(myStyle);
ws.cell(3, 1).style({font: {underline: false}});
ws.cell(4, 1)
  .date(new Date())
  .style({numberFormat: 'yyyy-mm-dd'});
// Since dates are stored as numbers in Excel, use the numberFormat option of the styles to set the date format as well.


Comments can be added to cells with some options

var wb = new xl.Workbook();
var ws = wb.addWorksheet('Sheet 1');
ws.cell(1, 1).comment('My Basic Comment');
ws.cell(2, 1).string('Cell A2').comment('My custom comment', {
  fillColor: '#ABABAB', // default #FFFFE1
  height: '100pt', // default 69pt
  width: '160pt', // default 104pt
  marginLeft: '200pt', // default is calculated from column
  marginTop: '120pt', // default is calculated from row
  visibility: 'visible', // default hidden
  zIndex: '2', // default 1


Adds and image to the worksheet.
currently on 'picture' type is supported
positioning has 3 types, 'absoluteAnchor', 'oneCellAnchor', 'twoCellAnchor'
absoluteAnchor takes two position elements in either EMUs or measurements in cm, mm, or in
x:0, y:0 is top left corner of worksheet
oneCellAnchor and twoCellAnchor types will take positional objects:

    'col': 1, \\ left side of image will be placed on left edge of this column
    'colOff': '.5mm', \\ offset from left edge of column as EMU or measurment in cm, mm or in
    'row': 1, \\top of image will be place on the top edge of this row
    'rowOff': '.1in' or string \\ offset from top edge or row as EMU or measurement in cm, mm or in

position type of oneCellAnchor will take a single "from" position
position type of twoCellAnchor will take a "from" and "to" position
specifying a twoCellAnchor will automatically adjust the image to fit within the bounds of the two anchors.

  path: './screenshot2.jpeg',
  type: 'picture',
  position: {
    type: 'absoluteAnchor',
    x: '1in',
    y: '2in',
  path: './screenshot1.jpg',
  type: 'picture',
  position: {
    type: 'oneCellAnchor',
    from: {
      col: 1,
      colOff: '0.5in',
      row: 1,
      rowOff: 0,
  path: './screenshot1.png',
  type: 'picture',
  position: {
    type: 'twoCellAnchor',
    from: {
      col: 1,
      colOff: 0,
      row: 10,
      rowOff: 0,
    to: {
      col: 4,
      colOff: 0,
      row: 13,
      rowOff: 0,

You can also pass buffer with loaded to memory image:

  image: fs.readFileSync(path.resolve(__dirname, '../sampleFiles/logo.png')),
  name: 'logo', // name is not required param
  type: 'picture',
  position: {
    type: 'absoluteAnchor',
    x: '1in',
    y: '2in',


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