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How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

Python as an Excel scripting language

Let us do scripting with Python! Yay! Not only as an alternative to VBA, but also as an alternative to field functions (=SUM(A1:A2))

5,952 votes
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    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    Daniel shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Accepting Votes  ·  AdminExcel Team [MSFT] (Admin, Office.com) responded  · 

    Wow.

    Thank you to all those participated in our survey. What an amazing number of responses, many of them with very deep content. We’re processing the over ten thousand responses(!), and already appreciate the time so many of you took to answer with passion and experience.

    Please know this survey is used to help influence various topics – both on Python as well as other related topics that the comments started to bleed into. Given the passion, I want to be clear this remains an area of exploration for us, without any specific timeline.

    We’ll provide updates as we progress on this feature request.

    Thanks!

    Ashvini Sharma
    Lead Program Manager
    Excel

    414 comments

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      • Kent Maxwell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My recommendation is provided Python support in Power Query for Excel, just like it's being now offered in Power Query in Power BI. I do not understand why Power Query is not the same for both products. Why does Power BI get all the new love?

      • Paul Mulherin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        PyXLL looks very nice Tony!

        Sadly only half of our team use Office for Windows and the rest are running Office for Mac OSX so I'm still waiting for an official, Microsoft-supported Python solution that covers *both* versions of Excel... :-/

      • Tony Roberts commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You can use PyXLL, the Python Excel Add-In to do this. You can use it to write user defined function, macros, menus, RTD functions and customise the ribbon all in Python.

        See https://www.pyxll.com.

        You can use it to do anything you can in VBA and more, and it supports all versions of Python.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Make it so.
        That would make excel really awesome.
        Combining the tools and easyness of python and the ease of visualisation of excel. Especially in a corporate-environment.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes I agree. Any word yet? Not sure If it has been addressed but IMHO it also needs to integrate the macro recorder with python. The recorder is an excellent way to learn the Excel object model.

      • AKG commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Any updates to this please? When are you planning to Roll it?

      • Alex Reed commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Now I can't speak for Mac users, but if you're a Windows' User, you can technically start integrating the whole VBA object model with Python.

        For example, if I want to copy between Excel & PowerPoint using Python I can do this with Win32 Python library, this allows us to plugin to the Windows' API and control different objects.

        One of the coolest things about this library is that if use it inside of a Jupyter notebook I can run Python code real time inside of my Excel workbook. This means I can make API calls, dump data into Excel or even upload data to a Python object.

        If, for example, you wanted to run Pandas real time inside of Excel this is also possible. The only reason I know this is I've written some scripts that will allow me to do this.

        Now the documentation for all of this is few and far between; it's just not covered very well. This is why I started making YouTube videos on it because it changes the way we can look at Office and I know people could benefit from it. Using Python with Excel VBA is one of those things for some reason that never got out, and I don't think people ever realized you could do it.

        If you want to check out the videos I made a playlist that covers some introduction topics:
        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcFcktZ0wnNnf4eh5ObzPzoLFOzTiFVKa

      • Bill Tubbs commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think trying to integrate Python with Excel would be like putting lipstick on a pig. We really need a complete re-design of Excel’s underlying data structures, objects, functions, the formula writing language, how it allocates memory and the calculation method. This would hopefully solve the long-standing problems with crashes and lost work that we all experience on a regular basis. When these things are done it would be a good time to include a good scripting language like Python.

      • Tom commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Being able to script Excel with Python would be great. It would be most useful if there were an API that could be used to run Excel using general-purpose Python scripts written in any environment. For example, I currently use xlwings to call Python user defined functions which, in turn, connect to other external tools, such as the DWSIM Standalone Thermodynamics Library. One further complication: that library is a .NET assembly, which means I also need pythonnet.
        Anything that streamlines the process of exporting third-party calculation results to Excel would be appreciated. My end users expect a pure, simple spreadsheet interface, yet need to access functionality contained in complex tools.

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