Automate Excel Tasks with Python: A Hands-On Tutorial [2023]


In the world of data manipulation and analysis, Microsoft Excel has long been a popular tool. It offers a wide range of functions and capabilities, making it indispensable for professionals in various fields. However, when it comes to automating repetitive tasks or working with large datasets, Python can be a game-changer. In this hands-on tutorial, we’ll explore how to automate Excel tasks using Python, providing you with the skills to streamline your workflow and save valuable time.

Automate Excel With Python

Table of Contents

Why Automate Excel with Python?

Before we dive into the practical aspects, let’s understand why automating Excel tasks with Python is a smart choice:

  1. Efficiency: Python allows you to automate repetitive tasks, reducing manual errors and saving time.
  2. Scalability: Python can handle large datasets that Excel might struggle with.
  3. Customization: You can create tailored solutions to meet your specific needs.
  4. Integration: Python seamlessly integrates with various data sources and APIs.
  5. Reproducibility: Automated tasks can be easily repeated and shared.


To follow this tutorial, you should have Python installed on your system. Additionally, we’ll use the openpyxl library, which is not included in Python’s standard library. You can install it using pip:

pip install openpyxl

Automating Excel Tasks with Python

Step 1: Loading an Excel File

We’ll start by loading an existing Excel file using the openpyxl library. This library allows us to interact with Excel workbooks, sheets, and cells.

import openpyxl

# Load the Excel file
workbook = openpyxl.load_workbook('sample.xlsx')

# Select a specific sheet
sheet = workbook['Sheet1']

Step 2: Reading and Modifying Data

You can read data from Excel cells and make modifications as needed. Let’s read a cell and update its value.

# Read a cell
cell_value = sheet['A1'].value

# Update a cell
sheet['B1'] = 'New Value'

Step 3: Writing Data

You can also write data to Excel. For example, let’s add a new row to the sheet.

# Create a new row
new_data = ['John', 'Doe', 30]

Step 4: Saving Changes

After making all necessary modifications, save the changes back to the Excel file.

# Save the workbook'updated_sample.xlsx')

Step 5: Automating Complex Operations

Python can automate more complex tasks as well. For example, you can filter, sort, or perform calculations on data within the Excel sheet.

# Filtering data
for row in sheet.iter_rows(min_row=2, max_row=sheet.max_row):
    if row[2].value < 25:

# Sorting data
sheet.auto_filter.ref = sheet.dimensions

# Perform calculations
for row in sheet.iter_rows(min_row=2, max_row=sheet.max_row, min_col=3, max_col=3):
    row[0].value = row[0].value * 2

In step 5, “Automating Complex Operations,” you’ll dive into more advanced Excel automation. Here, you can start automating tasks that involve more complex data manipulations, calculations, or operations. This is where Python’s power really shines.

For beginners, this step may seem a bit challenging, but it’s where you can perform tasks that are difficult or time-consuming to do manually. It might include:

  1. Analyzing large datasets and generating reports.
  2. Automating the extraction and transformation of data.
  3. Handling conditional operations, like filtering or sorting data based on specific criteria.
  4. Creating dynamic Excel dashboards and charts that update automatically.

By using Python, you can streamline these complex operations, save time, and ensure accuracy in your Excel tasks. It might involve a deeper understanding of Python libraries like pandas and openpyxl, but the possibilities for data automation become more extensive and powerful.

Step 6: Advanced Automation

Python can also integrate with other libraries, databases, or web services to perform more advanced tasks.


Automating Excel tasks with Python can significantly enhance your productivity and data handling capabilities. This tutorial provides a foundation for you to explore further and build custom solutions tailored to your specific needs. Whether you’re in finance, data analysis, or any field that relies on Excel, Python can be a powerful ally in simplifying and accelerating your workflow. Start automating, and experience the benefits firsthand.