Python Excel Tutorial – Complete Guide

If you’re exploring the world of coding and programming, chances are you’ve already heard about Python. Known for its simple syntax and readability, Python has emerged as a staple language in the ecosystem of coding that is particularly efficient when manipulating and analyzing data. But what happens when this powerful language meets another widely-used tool in data management and analysis – Excel? In this tutorial, we will explore the fruitful overlap that arises when working with Python and Excel together.

What is Python Excel?

Python Excel is a term representing the utilization of Python to manipulate and handle data within Excel. Complex Excel files can be managed effortlessly using Python’s robust packages like Pandas, xlrd/xlwt or openpyxl, converting spreadsheet hassles into a programmer’s playground.

Excel is a household name in data analysis, accounting, and administrative work. But, as you’ve likely experienced, working manually with Excel can be quite involving and tedious. Why not let Python do the heavy lifting?

By learning Python Excel, you bring together the analytical power of Python and the familiarity and widespread usage of Excel. This knowledge equips you to automate repetitive tasks, create interactive reports, build data models, and much more. Furthermore, these skills are in high demand in data science, business analysis, and finance sectors, just to name a few.

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Getting Started with Python Excel

Let’s kick things off with a basic example of reading an Excel file using the Pandas library in Python. First, ensure you have Pandas installed. If not, you can install it using the following command:

pip install pandas

Now, let’s proceed with reading an Excel file:

import pandas as pd

file = 'path_to_your_file.xlsx'
df = pd.read_excel(file)


The above code reads the Excel file and converts it to a DataFrame object, which is then printed to the console.

Writing to an Excel File using Python

Writing to an Excel file is as easy as reading from it. Let us create a DataFrame and write it to an Excel file:

import pandas as pd

data = {'Names': ['Anna', 'Bob', 'Charles'],
        'Age': [23, 34, 45],
        'Occupation': ['Engineer', 'Doctor', 'Artist']}

df = pd.DataFrame(data)

df.to_excel('output.xlsx', index=False)

In the above code, we create a DataFrame from a Python dictionary and write it to an ‘output.xlsx’ file, with ‘index=False’ to avoid writing row indices into the file.

Working with Multiple Sheets

Most times, you will be working with Excel files that contain multiple sheets. You can read them just as easily with Python:

import pandas as pd

file = 'path_to_your_file.xlsx'
xls = pd.ExcelFile(file)

df1 = pd.read_excel(xls, 'Sheet1')
df2 = pd.read_excel(xls, 'Sheet2')


First, we load the Excel file, then we read specific sheets by passing the sheet’s name as an argument.

Python allows us not only to read, but also to write DataFrame objects to multiple sheets within Excel:

import pandas as pd

with pd.ExcelWriter('output.xlsx') as writer:  
    df1.to_excel(writer, sheet_name='Sheet1')
    df2.to_excel(writer, sheet_name='Sheet2')

An ExcelWriter object is used as a context manager to write DataFrame objects into different sheets in the ‘output.xlsx’ file.

Manipulating Excel Data with Python

Python allows you to perform complex operations on Excel data. Let’s begin by navigating an Excel file:

import pandas as pd

file = 'path_to_your_file.xlsx'
df = pd.read_excel(file)

print(df.head())  # Prints the first 5 rows
print(df.tail())  # Prints the last 5 rows
print(df.columns)  # Prints all column names
print(df['Names'])  # Prints the 'Names' column
print(df.iloc[0])  # Prints the first row

This piece of code navigates the DataFrame object created from the Excel file, performing various operations like finding the first/last few rows, column names, specific columns, and specific rows.

Filtering Excel Data with Python

You might often need to filter data based on specific conditions. Fortunately, Python makes it easy:

import pandas as pd

file = 'path_to_your_file.xlsx'
df = pd.read_excel(file)

filtered_df = df[df['Age'] > 30]  # Filtering by 'Age'

This code filters the DataFrame based on the condition specified: ‘Age’ greater than 30.

Modifying Excel Data with Python

Python also allows you to modify Excel data easily. Let’s add a new column to our DataFrame:

import pandas as pd

file = 'path_to_your_file.xlsx'
df = pd.read_excel(file)

df['Salary'] = [50000, 60000, 70000]  # Adding a new column

The above code adds a new ‘Salary’ column to our DataFrame.

Python Excel Summary Statistics

Python’s data analysis capabilities extend to providing summary statistics. Let’s calculate some basic statistics for our data:

import pandas as pd

file = 'path_to_your_file.xlsx'
df = pd.read_excel(file)

print(df.describe())  # Prints out summary statistics

The ‘describe’ method gives you summary statistics of your DataFrame, including count, mean, minimum, maximum, and quartiles.

Cleaning Excel Data with Python

Lastly, Python can be used to clean up your Excel data. This includes handling missing values, removing duplicates, etc. Let’s see how you can remove duplicates:

import pandas as pd

file = 'path_to_your_file.xlsx'
df = pd.read_excel(file)

df = df.drop_duplicates()  # Removing duplicates

The above code uses the ‘drop_duplicates’ method to remove duplicate rows from the DataFrame.

Python’s ability to manipulate Excel data with simplicity and flexibility makes it a powerful tool to have in your programming arsenal. With a wide range of libraries and modules, Python Excel is more than just a blend of two powerful tools, but a gateway to efficient and effective data management and analysis.

Where to Go Next?

Now that we’ve laid a foundation for working with Python and Excel, it’s time to delve further into unlocking the full potential of these tools. The journey doesn’t stop here!

A great place to continue developing your Python skills is by embarking on our Python Mini-Degree at Zenva Academy. This comprehensive collection of courses will guide you through creating games, algorithms and real-world apps using Python.

The mini-degree covers coding basics, object-oriented programming, and even ventures into game and app development using libraries like Pygame, Tkinter, and Kivy. You don’t need to worry about your current skill level. Our courses cater to beginners just starting out, and also to those who have already dipped their toes into Python programming.

We pride ourselves on offering flexible learning options. So whether you’re a part-time learner or ready to dive in headfirst, we’ve got you covered. By completing the courses, you won’t only gain valuable skills for various industries, but you’ll also build a portfolio of Python projects that showcase your capabilities! The Python Mini-Degree is taught by experienced and certified instructors, offering interactive lessons and quizzes to ensure your learning experience is engaging and impactful.

If you’re looking to further broaden your Python knowledge, we recommend checking out our diverse collection of Python courses.


Mastering Python Excel is the first step towards a powerful synergistic approach combining the ease of spreadsheets with the robustness of programming. This will not only fast-track your data management and analysis tasks but also give you a competitive edge in various sectors, from finance and data science to business analysis, and more.

We, at Zenva, invite you to continue unleashing the power of Python and Excel and to take charge of your learning journey. Equip yourself with in-demand technical skills and join our community of future-ready learners today!

Did you come across any errors in this tutorial? Please let us know by completing this form and we’ll look into it!

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