Xsv .xlsx reader

Xsv is a very basic parser for Office Open XML spreadsheet files (.xlsx files) that aims to provide feature parity with common CSV readers with high performance. This means it only parses values to basic Ruby types and does not deal with most formatting or more advanced functionality. The goal is to allow for fast parsing of large worksheets with minimal RAM and CPU consumption.

Xsv stands for 'Excel Separated Values', because Excel just gets in the way.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'xsv'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install xsv


Xsv has two modes of operation. By default it returns an array for each row in the sheet:

x = Xsv::Workbook.open("sheet.xlsx")

sheet = x.sheets[0]

# Iterate over rows
sheet.each_row do |row|
  row # => ["header1", "header2"], etc.

# Access row by index (zero-based)
sheet[1] # => ["value1", "value2"]

Alternatively, it can load the headers from the first row and return a hash for every row:

x = Xsv::Workbook.open("sheet.xlsx")

sheet = x.sheets[0]

sheet.mode # => :array

# Parse headers and switch to hash mode

sheet.mode # => :hash

sheet.each_row do |row|
  row # => {"header1" => "value1", "header2" => "value2"}, etc.

sheet[1] # => {"header1" => "value1", "header2" => "value2"}

Be aware that hash mode will lead to unpredictable results if you have multiple columns with the same name!

Xsv::Workbook.open accepts a filename, or a IO or String containing a workbook.

Xsv::Sheet implements Enumerable so you can call methods like #first, #filter and #map on it.


Since Xsv treats worksheets like csv files it makes certain assumptions about your sheet:

  • In array mode, your data starts on the first row

  • In has mode the first row of the sheet contains headers, followed by rows of data

If your data or headers does not start on the first row of the sheet you can tell Xsv to skip a number of rows:

workbook.sheets[0].row_skip = 1

All operations will honour this offset, making the skipped rows unreachable.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake test to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to rubygems.org.


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at https://github.com/martijn/xsv. Please provide an .xlsx file with a minimum breaking example that is acceptable for inclusion in the source code repository.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.