Excel Cell Operation using Python

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will discover how to manipulate Excel cells using Python. By leveraging the openpyxl library, you’ll learn how to read, write, and modify cell values within Excel spreadsheets.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

Manipulating Excel cells programmatically is a common challenge that can be efficiently addressed through Python libraries like openpyxl. These libraries are specifically designed to interact with Excel files and provide functionalities to perform various operations on cell data. By understanding how to work with these tools, you can easily handle tasks such as reading, writing, and updating cell values within Excel spreadsheets.

To effectively solve this problem, it’s essential to grasp the process of interacting with Excel files using Python code. This involves loading existing Excel files, accessing specific sheets and cells within the files, manipulating cell values as required, and saving the updated data back to the Excel documents.


import openpyxl

workbook = openpyxl.load_workbook('example.xlsx')
sheet = workbook['Sheet1']
cell = sheet.cell(row=1, column=1)
cell_value = cell.value
new_value = 2 * int(cell_value)
cell.value = new_value

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  • Import the openpyxl library for working with Excel files.
  • Load an existing workbook using openpyxl.load_workbook().
  • Select a specific sheet within the workbook.
  • Access individual cells by specifying row and column indices.
  • Retrieve or update values in selected cells.
  • Save changes back to the original Excel file.


When dealing with Excel files in Python, utilizing libraries like openpyxl is crucial for efficient data manipulation. The provided code snippet demonstrates a basic interaction with an Excel file:

  1. Import Library: Begin by importing the openpyxl library tailored for handling Microsoft Excel files.

  2. Load Workbook: Load an existing spreadsheet named ‘example.xlsx’ using load_workbook() method.

  3. Select Sheet: Choose a specific sheet from the loaded workbook where operations will be performed.

  4. Access Cell: Access a particular cell by specifying its row and column indices (starting from 1).

  5. Get Cell Value: Retrieve the current value stored in the selected cell.

  6. Modify Value: Perform a sample operation on the cell value (doubling it in this case).

  7. Update Cell: Update the modified value back into the same cell.

  8. Save Changes: Save all modifications back into the original excel file using save() method.

  1. How do I install ‘openpyxl’ library?

  2. To install ‘openpyxl’, use pip:

  3. pip install openpyxl 
  4. # Copyright PHD
  5. Can I work with multiple sheets within one workbook?

  6. Yes! You can access different sheets by name or index once you load your excel document into memory.

  7. Is it possible to format cells or apply styles through openpyxll?

  8. Absolutely! You can customize fonts, colors etc., refer documentation for detailed options.

  9. How do I handle exceptions while working with excel files?

  10. It is recommended practice – Utilize try-except blocks around your critical IO operations when handling external resources like Files/Excel.

  11. Can I create brand new excel documents too? Or only edit existing ones?

  12. You can do both! Functions are available for creating entirely new documents or editing pre-existing ones.


Mastering Python skills along with libraries like openyxl empowers users to efficiently manage spreadsheet data through automation. Working programmatically with Excel files streamlines data processing tasks and facilitates seamless data analysis directly from spreadsheets without manual intervention.

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