Reading Excel Files

This brief guide demonstrates how to read a Microsoft Excel file from RhinoScript.


You would like to read a Microsoft Excel file from RhinoScript into an array that can be accessed in Rhino.


The following general purpose function will read an Excel worksheet into a two-dimensional array…

' Description:
'   Reads a Microsoft Excel file.
' Parameters:
'   strFile - [in] The name of the Excel file to read.
' Returns:
'   A two-dimension array of cell values, if successful.
'   Null on error
Option Explicit

Function ReadExcelFile(ByVal strFile)

  ' Local variable declarations
  Dim objExcel, objSheet, objCells
  Dim nUsedRows, nUsedCols, nTop, nLeft, nRow, nCol
  Dim arrSheet()

  ' Default return value
  ReadExcelFile = Null

  ' Create the Excel object
  On Error Resume Next
  Set objExcel = CreateObject("Excel.Application")
  If (Err.Number <> 0) Then
    Exit Function
  End If

  ' Don't display any alert messages
  objExcel.DisplayAlerts = 0  

  ' Open the document as read-only
  On Error Resume Next
  Call objExcel.Workbooks.Open(strFile, False, True)
  If (Err.Number <> 0) Then
    Exit Function
  End If

  ' If you wanted to read all sheets, you could call
  ' objExcel.Worksheets.Count to get the number of sheets
  ' and the loop through each one. But in this example, we
  ' will just read the first sheet.
  Set objSheet = objExcel.ActiveWorkbook.Worksheets(1)

  ' Get the number of used rows
  nUsedRows = objSheet.UsedRange.Rows.Count

  ' Get the number of used columns
  nUsedCols = objSheet.UsedRange.Columns.Count

  ' Get the topmost row that has data
  nTop = objSheet.UsedRange.Row

  ' Get leftmost column that has data
  nLeft = objSheet.UsedRange.Column

  ' Get the used cells
  Set objCells = objSheet.Cells

  ' Dimension the sheet array
  ReDim arrSheet(nUsedRows - 1, nUsedCols - 1)

  ' Loop through each row
  For nRow = 0 To (nUsedRows - 1)
    ' Loop through each column
    For nCol = 0 To (nUsedCols - 1)
  ' Add the cell value to the sheet array
  arrSheet(nRow, nCol) = objCells(nRow + nTop, nCol + nLeft).Value

  ' Close the workbook without saving
  Call objExcel.ActiveWorkbook.Close(False)

  ' Quit Excel

  ' Return the sheet data to the caller
  ReadExcelFile = arrSheet

End Function

You can use this function to dump the contents of a spreadsheet to Rhino’s command line:

Sub ExcelDumper()

  ' Local variable declarations
  Dim strFile, arrSheet, i, j, varCell, strFormat

  ' Prompt for the Excel file to read  
  strFile = Rhino.OpenFileName("Open", "Excel Files (*.xls)|*.xls|")
  If IsNull(strFile) Then Exit Sub

  ' Read the Excel file
  arrSheet = ReadExcelFile(strFile)
  If IsNull(arrSheet) Then Exit Sub

  ' Dump the worksheet to the command line
  For i = 0 To UBound(arrSheet, 1)
    For j = 0 To UBound(arrSheet, 2)
      strFormat = "Sheet(" & CStr(i) & "," & CStr(j) & ") = "      
      varCell = arrSheet(i, j)
      If IsEmpty(varCell) Then
        Rhino.Print strFormat & "<empty>"
        Rhino.Print strFormat & CStr(varCell)
      End If      

End Sub