The Startup
Published in

The Startup

Pandas & Excel — Read, Write, Charts

Handle Excel files with python and pandas

Pandas is an awesome tool when it comes to manipulates data with python. Pandas also have really cool function to handle Excels files. Thought this article I will explain how to read and writes files, highlight cells and how to add charts.

Installs and imports

Install these packages with pip

pip install pandas
pip install XlsxWriter

And now import

import pandas as pd

Read an Excel File

Reading an excel file and importing it in a pandas dataframe is as simple as :

df = pd.read_excel("file_name")

A Dataframe is a 2-dimensional labeled data structure, it the main data structure used in pandas.

read_excel as a lot of arguments as you can see in the doc. Here are the mains ones :

  • io : The file to load
  • sheetname: use it to load specifics sheets of your Excel
  • header: Index of the row where the name of the columns can be found. By default, it’s the first one.
  • skiprows : number of rows to skip at the beginning of the file.
  • usecols: lists of columns you want to import. If None it will import all of them.
df = pd.read_excel(file_name, sheetname='Sheet1', header=2, skiprows=2, usecols=[0,1,2])


To write your dataframe in an excel file

df = pd.DataFrame({"data": [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]})   
writer = pd.ExcelWriter(f"/tmp/file.xlsx", engine="xlsxwriter")

You can also write to a specific sheet

df.to_excel(writer, sheet_name="Sheet 1")
df2.to_excel(writer, sheet_name="Sheet 2")
Create multiple sheets

Cells formats

Let’s adapt the formats of the cell. We want to set “Numbers“ columns with two decimals, “Percentage” should be in percentage and have the “Date” set to this format “mm/dd/yyyy”.

df = pd.DataFrame({'Numbers':    [1, 2.244, 3.33333, 2000],
'Percentage': [0.1, 0.33, 0.7555555555, 1],
'Date': [datetime.datetime(2020, 10, 1, 0, 30),
datetime.datetime(2020, 10, 1, 1, 33),
datetime.datetime(2020, 10, 2, 2, 45),
datetime.datetime(2020, 10, 2, 3, 30)],
#datetime_format param will set the format for all the datetime values
writer = pd.ExcelWriter(f"/tmp/file.xlsx", engine="xlsxwriter",
df.to_excel(writer, sheet_name="Sheet 1")

# Get xlsxwriter objects
workbook =
worksheet = writer.sheets['Sheet 1']

# Create cells formats
format1 = workbook.add_format({'num_format': '0.00'})
format2 = workbook.add_format({'num_format': '0%'})

# Set the column width and format for columns B
worksheet.set_column('B:B', 20, format1)

# Set the format but not the column width for columns C
worksheet.set_column('C:C', None, format2)

Highlight cells

Change cells colors and background color based on a condition.

df = pd.DataFrame({
'Data': [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]
writer = pd.ExcelWriter(f"/tmp/file.xlsx", engine="xlsxwriter")
def color(value):
if value > 4:
color = 'red'
background = 'white'
elif 4 >= value > 2:
color = '#FFFFFF'
background = 'orange'
color = 'green'
background = 'white'

# Change style of the cell
return f'color: {color}; background-color: {background}'
# Apply method on all values of "Data"
df =, subset=['Data'])

Add Charts

We can directly add graph through the code

df = pd.DataFrame({"data":[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]})   
writer = pd.ExcelWriter(f"/tmp/file.xlsx", engine="xlsxwriter")
# Get xlsxwriter objects
workbook =
worksheet = writer.sheets['Sheet 1']
# Create a 'column' chart
chart = workbook.add_chart({'type': 'column'})
# select the values of the series and set a name for the series
'values': '=\'Sheet 1\'!$B$2:$B$8',
"name": "My Series's Name"
# Insert the chart into the worksheet in the D2 cell
worksheet.insert_chart('D2', chart)
A bar chart

Now let’s do a line plot, but instead of a string we are passing a list to values, which is more convenient to use.

There are 5 elements in the list :
- Sheet’s name as a string
- The first cell row
- The first cell column
- The last cell row
- The last cell column

chart2 = workbook.add_chart({'type': 'line'})
chart2.add_series({'values': ["Sheet 1", 1, 1, 7, 1]})
worksheet.insert_chart('P2', chart2)

/!\ indexes start at 0
Here [“Sheet 1”, 1, 1, 7, 1] will take values from B2 to B8 in Sheet 1.

You can create all your favorites charts: scatter plots, stacked bar charts, pie charts … See more here




Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +756K followers.

Recommended from Medium

Let’s Discuss About Machine Learning Algorithms..

Override date filter in Power BI

Examples of EDA for Image Analysis

KPIspy Delivers Data Analytics in Easy-to-Understand Videos for SMBs

Top features in Tabular Editor 3 to boost your Power BI development

Professional translators or Google Translate? Weighing the pros and cons of each

Create a Twitter Stream

Visualizing Missing Data

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alexis Gomes

Alexis Gomes

I work at yper. I’m a python developer, learning data science. I’ve made a app

More from Medium

Analyzing My Personal Fitness Data

Frequently use Pandas methods/functions

Churn rate visualizations in Python

A Beginners Guide To Using Python in Tableau