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Electron

The NodeJS Module can be imported from the main or the renderer thread.

Electron presents a fs module. The require('xlsx') call loads the CommonJS module, so XLSX.readFile and XLSX.writeFile work in the renderer thread.

This demo was tested on 2022 November 07 with Electron 21.2.2 on darwin-x64.

Complete Example (click to show)

This demo includes a drag-and-drop box as well as a file input box, mirroring the SheetJS Data Preview Live Demo

The core data in this demo is an editable HTML table. The readers build up the table using sheet_to_html (with editable:true option) and the writers scrape the table using table_to_book.

The demo project is wired for electron-forge to build the standalone binary.

1) Download the demo files:

caution

Right-click each link and select "Save Link As...". Left-clicking a link will try to load the page in your browser. The goal is to save the file contents.

2) Run npm install to install dependencies.

3) To verify the app works, run in the test environment:

npx -y electron .

The app will show and you should be able to verify reading and writing by using the relevant buttons to open files and clicking the export button.

4) To build a standalone app, run the builder:

npm run make

This will generate the standalone app in the out\sheetjs-electron-... folder. For a recent Intel Mac, the path will be out/sheetjs-electron-darwin-x64/

Writing Files

XLSX.writeFile writes workbooks to the file system. showSaveDialog shows a Save As dialog and returns the selected file name:

/* from the renderer thread */
const electron = require('@electron/remote');

/* this function will show the save dialog and try to write the workbook */
async function exportFile(workbook) {
/* show Save As dialog */
const result = await electron.dialog.showSaveDialog({
title: 'Save file as',
filters: [{
name: "Spreadsheets",
extensions: ["xlsx", "xls", "xlsb", /* ... other formats ... */]
}]
});
/* write file */
XLSX.writeFile(workbook, result.filePath);
}
note

In older versions of Electron, showSaveDialog returned the path directly:

var dialog = require('electron').remote.dialog;

function exportFile(workbook) {
var result = dialog.showSaveDialog();
XLSX.writeFile(workbook, result);
}

Reading Files

Electron offers 3 different ways to read files, two of which use Web APIs.

File Input Element

File input elements automatically map to standard Web APIs.

For example, assuming a file input element on the page:

<input type="file" name="xlfile" id="xlf" />

The event handler would process the event as if it were a web event:

async function handleFile(e) {
const file = e.target.files[0];
const data = await file.arrayBuffer();
/* data is an ArrayBuffer */
const workbook = XLSX.read(data);

/* DO SOMETHING WITH workbook HERE */
}
document.getElementById("xlf").addEventListener("change", handleFile, false);

Drag and Drop

The drag and drop snippet applies to DIV elements on the page.

For example, assuming a DIV on the page:

<div id="drop">Drop a spreadsheet file here to see sheet data</div>

The event handler would process the event as if it were a web event:

async function handleDrop(e) {
e.stopPropagation();
e.preventDefault();

const file = e.dataTransfer.files[0];
const data = await file.arrayBuffer();
/* data is an ArrayBuffer */
const workbook = XLSX.read(data);

/* DO SOMETHING WITH workbook HERE */
}
document.getElementById("drop").addEventListener("drop", handleDrop, false);

Electron API

XLSX.readFile reads workbooks from the file system. showOpenDialog shows a Save As dialog and returns the selected file name. Unlike the Web APIs, the showOpenDialog flow can be initiated by app code:

/* from the renderer thread */
const electron = require('@electron/remote');

/* this function will show the open dialog and try to parse the workbook */
async function importFile() {
/* show Save As dialog */
const result = await electron.dialog.showOpenDialog({
title: 'Select a file',
filters: [{
name: "Spreadsheets",
extensions: ["xlsx", "xls", "xlsb", /* ... other formats ... */]
}]
});
/* result.filePaths is an array of selected files */
if(result.filePaths.length == 0) throw new Error("No file was selected!");
return XLSX.readFile(result.filePaths[0]);
}
note

In older versions of Electron, showOpenDialog returned the path directly:

var dialog = require('electron').remote.dialog;

function importFile(workbook) {
var result = dialog.showOpenDialog({ properties: ['openFile'] });
return XLSX.readFile(result[0]);
}

Electron Breaking Changes

The first version of this demo used Electron 1.7.5. The current demo includes the required changes for Electron 19.2.2.

There are no Electron-specific workarounds in the library, but Electron broke backwards compatibility multiple times. A summary of changes is noted below.

caution

Electron 6.x changed the dialog API. Methods like showSaveDialog originally returned an array of strings, but now returns a Promise. This change was not documented.

Electron 9.0.0 and later require the preference nodeIntegration: true in order to require('xlsx') in the renderer process.

Electron 12.0.0 and later also require worldSafeExecuteJavascript: true and contextIsolation: true.

Electron 14+ must use @electron/remote instead of remote. An initialize call is required to enable Developer Tools in the window.