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Automating Excel Sheet in Python

May 1, 2022

Python is full of rich libraries, useful packages, and ready-to-use functions for automation that greatly facilitate testing. Python allows you to choose what is best for your project.

In this article, we are going to implement Python libraries and excel data to automate. It will help us gain a better understanding of Python and Excel.

Table of contents


To follow along with this tutorial, you will need to have;

  • Basic knowledge of the Python programming language.
  • Knowledge of working with Python libraries.
  • Knowledge of MS Excel.


A brief understanding of Python and MS excel will help us navigate through the automation process. We will go into their history, how they came to be, and why we chose them for our project.

Python overview

Python is an intelligent, object-arranged programming language with many elements that utilize a mediator to handle code scraps. Since it works at the order brief, it very well may be utilized to play out a framework approach essentially to all working frameworks.

In case you have not installed Python here is a guide on how to install Python and test it in your operating system.

Why do we prefer Python over other programming languages:

  • It is a free and open-source programming language - you can download Python and install it from this website freely.
  • Python is an easy-to-use language - beginners with little knowledge in programming can easily learn Python syntax and understand it.
  • It additionally upholds object - situated programming empowers the client to compose decipherable and reusable codes.

MS Excel overview

Microsoft Excel is a bookkeeping sheet device created by Microsoft in 1987 for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. It has filled in ubiquity throughout the years due to its effortlessness in directing ‘CRUD’ activities at the beginning of information.

It also supports many formulae while retrieving data from MS Excel files.

Analyzing the Excel dataset

In this section, we will analyze the dataset that I have prepared in Excel. You can download the data from [here] (

The dataset is already in the .csv extension, which we need to change to the “.xslx` format for us to be able to automate. We will use the data above to generate the data below:


Scheming pivot tables using Pandas

We will need to import the following Python libraries into our workspace to make the pivot table:

import pandas as pd
import Openpyxl
from Openpyxl import load_workbook
from Openpyxl.sytles import Font
from openpyxl.chart import BarChart, Reference
import string

The ‘Pandas’ library is used to analyze Excel files and create pivot tables in Excel. Python’s ‘Openpyxl’ module is intended to make Excel calculations and create graphs and spreadsheets.

In case you have not installed the Openpyxl library, run the command below in your command prompt to add it to your workspace:

pip install pandas 

Our Excel sheet should be in the same location as our Python script. Load_workbook function, imported from the Openpyxl library, will be used to design our report.

You can learn more about the Python library here

Viewing Excel data

To read our excel file, we will use pd.read_excel() function as demonstrated in the code snippet below:

    # excel file
excel_file = pd.read_excel('student_results.xlsx')
    # columns names in the file
excel_file[['Student Name' , 'course' , 'Date' , 'points']]

The following results will be displayed after running the code above:


Pivot table

To create our pivot table, we are going to use the .pivot_table() function to showcase the student_results. To pivot the total points attained by students of different courses, we will run the code snippet below:

report_table = excel_file..pivot_table(index='Student Number', columns='Course' , values='points' , aggfun='sum').round(0)

The report will be as shown below:

Pivot table

The above aggfun = 'sum' pivot_table function is used to calculate the sum of points in the columns grouped by the course. The .round (0) function is for null return.

The function _to_excel() will be used to export our excel file. Inside the brackets, we will specify the name of the output Excel file (report_2021.xlsx). It is followed by the sheet name we are going to generate (report), and the pivot table cell (5).

The code below will send the report table to an Excel file:

report_table.to_excel('report_2021.xlsx' , sheet_name='Report' , startrow=5)

Generating the reports using Openpyxl library

In this section, we will use the load_workbook function that will be used to access the workbook and use its .save() function to save the workbook. The loading and saving of the workbook will be done every time we modify the workbook and it will be done once.

We are required to identify the maximum and minimum active columns and rows to ensure that even if we add more data to the Excel sheet, the code will keep working.

The code below illustrates the maximum and minimum rows and columns:

Minimum Columns: 4
Maximum Columns: 15
Minimum Rows: 1
Maximum Rows: 5

This is verified by the original report.xlsx file that we exported shown below:

Maximum and minimum rows and columns

Automating the report using Python

After designing our report, the next and most important part is to automate it. In this part, we will compose all the code utilizing one function to make it simple to automate our report.

Putting the code under the same function ensures that next time we are required to automate the report, we will only have to specify the file name and run the code. Here is our complete code.

You can apply the function automate_excel('student_results.xlsx') if you are only dealing with single data points. In the case of multiple data, the criteria remains the same.

We need to apply the functions one by one to get the required reports. For example, if we need to generate two reports, we use the code snippet below:


Scheduling Python scripts

At this point, we’ve finished up with all the code. Next, we need to use the task scheduler to run the Python script at various times based on the data needs. The data may need to be sent daily, weekly, or even monthly.

With that, we have successfully automated our excel file simply and understandably.


This article that give the reader a simple and direct guide on how to automate excel files in Python with clear and simple steps. You may share your experience of setting up the automation with excel in Python in the comment section below.

Thank you! Happy coding!

Peer Review Contributions by: Dawe Daniel