Standalone Excel to csv conversion?

Joao S. O. Bueno gwidion at
Wed Apr 27 12:38:18 UTC 2022


I am currently working part time in "turicas/rows" which
have some of the same functionality.

If you give it a try, and find it lacking in the features you are in need,
just drop a message.

On Wed, Apr 27, 2022 at 9:30 AM EML <sa212+lo at> wrote:

> Background: I've spent several years converting xls[x] to csv using
> 'in2csv', which is a Python app. This has always been problematical, but
> does give correct output if you're careful with the input. However, the
> current version (1.0.6) has broken some functionality, so it's probably
> no longer usable. This seems to be a generic problem with Python
> solutions which use 'xlrd'.
> The requirement is actually pretty trivial: the input spreadsheets
> contain only ASCII text and times, which are formatted as either
> [m]:ss.0, or [m]:ss.00. The csv output should therefore look like
> "5:10.52" for 310.52 seconds, and so on. The old in2csv frequently
> produced floating-point output instead, but this is Ok, since it's
> easily convertible to seconds.
> I've been looking for C/C++ alternatives, but the libraries I've found
> don't appear to be well-supported or tested, and may well have other
> problems.
> However, this *does* work when using LibreOffice ( for
> one-off conversions. I can read an xls or xlsx, save-as csv, and get the
> correct result.
> Question: how realistic is it to hack Calc to extract a stand-alone
> Excel-to-csv converter? I can do the development as long as I can get
> usable results in a few days, and I don't have to write anything that's
> not C++. However, this is a non-starter if there are any Java
> dependencies (the code has to run on a webapp which is a minimal Ubuntu
> server install); I need something which can either link into a C++ app,
> or be run directly with minimal dependencies.
> I'd appreciate some feedback on how realistic this is before downloading
> any sources and looking at them. Thanks.
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