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Subject: Re: General XML Parsing... Part 2
From: "Robert C. Lyons" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Tue, 12 Sep 2000 21:35:56 -0400

text/plain (61 lines)

Sanjeev wrote:
>    My problem is, I am looking for a way to convert a portion
> of XML file into an excel sheet.

You can use an XSLT stylesheet to transform the XML into
one of the following data formats, all of which can be
imported into an Excel spreadsheet:

1) Tab delimited data - This works well if you know that
   none of the cell values will contain tab characters
   or end of line characters. However, the tab delimited
   data won't contain any information about fonts, colors,
   borders, formulas, etc. (In other words, the spreadsheets
   will be quite dull.)

2) Comma Separated Values (CSV) - This works well even if
   some cell values contain commas and/or end of line
   characters, since you can enclose each cell value in
   quotes. However, if a cell value contains a quote
   character, then you must escape the quote char with
   an additional quote char. This is doable in XSLT, but
   it's not easy. Also, the CSV file won't contain any information
   about fonts, colors, borders, formulas, etc.

3) HTML table - Excel 97+ can import (and export) an HTML
   table. Excel will honor the HTML attributes that control
   text size, color, etc. However, I believe that Excel will
   ignore any attributes that are defined in a CSS.
   The HTML can even contain some Microsoft-proprietary
   attributes that control number formatting. To learn more
   about importing HTML tables into Excel, you can export a
   variety of Excel spreadsheets to HTML and examine the
   resulting HTML.

4) SYLK (Symbolic Link) - If some of your users have spreadsheet
   software that can't import/open an HTML table but that can
   open a SYLK file, then you can transform the XML into SYLK.
   SYLK is a text-based interchange format for spreadsheets;
   it supports formulas, borders, fonts, point sizes, etc.
   SYLK is supported by Excel and other spreadsheet packages.
   SYLK is the RTF of spreadsheets. The problem with SYLK is
   that it is not well documented. You can find some links and
   references to some terse SYLK documents in section 14 of the
   comp.apps.spreadsheets FAQ at
   You can also learn SYLK by creating a variety of simple
   spreadsheets, exporting each of them to a SYLK file and
   analyzing the resulting SYLK.

I'd recommend option #3 if your users are using Excel 97+.

Best regards,


<sig name    = 'Bob Lyons'
     title   = 'E-Commerce Consultant'
     company = 'Unidex, Inc.'
     phone   = '+1-732-975-9877'
     email   = [log in to unmask]
     url     = ''
     product = 'XML Convert: transforms flat files to XML & vice versa' />

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