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Excel Add-In in Perl?

by loris (Hermit)
on Nov 16, 2006 at 13:34 UTC ( #584457=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
loris has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Dear All,

I don't know much about Excel, but I wondered whether anyone was aware of a way of writing a an Add-In for Excel using Perl (VB seems to be the standard approach). Googling gave me this, but maybe one of you knows of something else.



"It took Loris ten minutes to eat a satsuma . . . twenty minutes to get from one end of his branch to the other . . . and an hour to scratch his bottom. But Slow Loris didn't care. He had a secret . . ."

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Re: Excel Add-In in Perl?
by Corion (Pope) on Nov 16, 2006 at 13:39 UTC

    I'm not aware of ways to write Excel Add-Ins using Perl directly, but I can think of some ways to accomplish that:

    • Write a VB add-in that calls your Perl program. Transferring the data between your Perl program and the VB program is tricky, I recommend using ODBC to stuff the data directly into Excel or into a (Access) database which the VB program then reads
    • Write an Excel macro that loads a resource via HTTP (the Open() command can open URLs too, as can some cell function) and provide your results via HTTP::Server::Simple. The best way is to encode the cell/column info in the HTTP query so you avoid encoding/decoding your results across the process barrier
    • Using some ActiveState development kit, write an OLE object in Perl and call it from a VB wrapper. This is the most convenient way but requires buying the ActiveState kit.
Re: Excel Add-In in Perl?
by Albannach (Prior) on Nov 16, 2006 at 15:54 UTC
    There is one other option Corion didn't cover, one which I tend to use because it is very simple, but then it's also fairly limited. I monitor the Windows clipboard using Win32::Clipboard and then I select and copy cells in Excel, munge them as needed in Perl, and past them back to the clipboard. From there I can paste the results in Excel anywhere I like. I have even used the first cell as a "command" to the perl script. This works well for data cleaning tasks at least, maybe it will be suitable for your needs.

    I'd like to be able to assign to an luser

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