Frequently Asked Questions about PyXLL

What are the benefits of PyXLL?

With PyXLL, everything you can do in Python, you can now do in Excel. Some of the benefits include:

  • Productivity: Python is a clean, powerful language with a large analytic library ecosystem that is particularly well-featured for scientific computing applications. With PyXLL you can leverage the full capabilities of all of the Python libraries within Excel, ranging from SciPy to Pandas and NumPy to matplotlib.
  • Automated external data integration: access data from real-time web databases, feeds, and more
  • Performance: it’s straightforward to access C++, Cython code and parallel processing from Python functions
  • Speed: build prototypes quickly, without the need to compile and restart on each iteration
  • Management: instead of embedded VBA models, organizations can manage their Python code centrally and load it on start up into each user’s local Excel platform, eliminating uncontrolled version proliferation
  • Reduced risk: code is stored in version control instead of embedded in Excel
  • Familiar platform: Excel becomes your GUI for live streaming dashboards and mathematical models, all within an interface familiar to end users
  • Is PyXLL available within / as a part of Enthought Canopy?

Do you have to have Enthought Canopy to use PyXLL?

No, PyXLL works with all Python distributions that use Python 2.3 to 3.6 (CPython that is).

Canopy has a PyXLL package that can be downloaded and installed through the Canopy package manager.

What versions of Excel does PyXLL work with?

All recent versions of Microsoft Excel for Windows are supported, including Excel 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and Excel 365.

Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Excel since 2010 are supported.

PyXLL is not available for Microsoft Excel for Mac.

What versions of Python does PyXLL work with?

PyXLL is designed to work with all versions of Python from 2.3 to 3.6.

The standard CPython interpreter ensures compatibility with compiled C Python modules such as SWIG, Boost and Cython, as well as 3rd party packages such as NumPy, Pandas and the rest of the SciPy stack.

Can PyXLL be used with OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Google Docs or other open source spreadsheet programs?

No, PyXLL can only be used with Microsoft Excel on Windows.

What versions of Windows are supported? Can I use PyXLL on a Mac or Linux OS?

PyXLL can be used on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, XP and Vista. PyXLL is not supported on the Mac OS or Linux.

For Mac or Linux users who wish to take advantage of PyXLL, you can use it in a Windows Virtual Machine such as VirtualBox or Fusion. Your single PyXLL and Canopy licenses are good on as many physical and virtual machines as you use.

If I want to share my work with others will they also need to have PyXLL and Python?

Yes, all users who wish to view and recalculate values using the embedded Python functionality in Excel will need to have PyXLL, Python, and Excel loaded on their machines.

We offer multi-user and site licenses at a significantly reduced cost to meet this need.

What happens if I send my spreadsheet to a user that does not have PyXLL or Python installed?

The results of the Excel computations, including those resulting from embedded PyXLL Python functions, are always stored in the Excel spreadsheet. If you disable auto-recalculation, you can share the spreadsheet in read-only mode.

See the File > Options menu, Workbook Calculation (under Formulas in recent versions of Excel) > and select the Manual option.

I can’t install PyXLL, what do I do?

Follow the instructions in the documentation. If you get any errors then try setting the environment variable ‘PYXLL_DEBUG_LOG’ to a filename on your local PC where you have write access, for example C:Temppyxll.log.

Now restart Excel and try again, and PyXLL will output more information about what it’s doing to that file. If you don’t understand what’s going wrong from there please contact us via the forum or email and we’ll be happy to help.

See this link if you’re not sure how to change an environment variable on Windows: http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000549.htm.

If Excel complains that the pyxll.xll file is the wrong file format or is an invalid addin then the most likely cause is that you’re trying to load the 64 bit addin into a 32 bit Excel, or vice versa. To solve this, download the correct version and try again. Please note that you will have to also have the same version of Python as Excel, as PyXLL runs in-process and 32 bit processes can’t load 64 bit addins.