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Local File Access

Reading and writing files require native platform support. XLSX.readFile and XLSX.writeFile include support for some APIs.

For other APIs, user code can pass data to or use data generated by XLSX.write directly. Both methods work with a number of common storage types.

This demo looks at various web APIs. More specific approaches for deployments like mobile apps are covered in their respective demos.


Some snippets are also available in the "Common Use Cases" section:


Not all web APIs are supported in all browsers. For example, Firefox does not support the "File System Access API".

Even when a browser technically supports a web API, it may be disabled in the client browser. Some APIs do not give any feedback.

Binary Data

Modern browser APIs typically use typed arrays or Blob or File structures.

Reading Binary Data supports Uint8Array and ArrayBuffer data. For Blob or File objects, the underlying data must be pulled into an ArrayBuffer.

The callback-based approach uses a FileReader:

// usage: file_to_wb(file, function(wb) { /* wb is a workbook object */ });
function file_to_wb(file, callback) {
var reader = new FileReader();
reader.onload = function(e) {
/* is an ArrayBuffer */
FileReaderSync in Web Workers (click to show)

FileReaderSync is only available in Web Workers:

// assuming main thread called worker.postMessage({ file: file_object })
self.addEventListener('message', (e) => {
/* get file object from message */
var file =;
/* Read file data */
const ab = new FileReaderSync().readAsArrayBuffer(file);
/* Parse file */
const wb =;

"User-Submitted File" example has a live demo.

IE10 Binary Strings (click to show) supports binary strings with type: "binary":

// usage: file_bs_to_wb(file, function(wb) { /* wb is a workbook object */ });
function file_bs_to_wb(file, callback) {
var reader = new FileReader();
reader.onload = function(e) {
/* is a binary string */
callback(, { type: "binary" }));

The Promise-based approach uses Blob#arrayBuffer:

// usage: const wb = await blob_to_wb(blob);
async function blob_to_wb(blob) {
return blob.arrayBuffer());

Writing Binary Data

XLSX.write can generate Uint8Array results by passing type: "buffer".

A Blob can be created by using the constructor:

const u8 = XLSX.write(workbook, { type: "buffer", bookType: "xlsx" });
const blob = new Blob([u8], { type: "application/" });

HTML5 Download Attribute

Writing Files

writeFile will attempt a download in the browser using the attribute.

XLSX.writeFile(wb, "SheetJS.xlsx");
Web Workers

XLSX.writeFile requires DOM access and will not work in a Web Worker!

The workaround is to generate the file data from the Worker (using XLSX.write) and send the data back to the main context for the actual download action.

"Creating a Local File" includes a live demo.

File API

Reading Files

In the change event of <input type="file">, target hold a list of files:

async function handleFileAsync(e) {
/* get first file */
const file =[0];
/* get raw data */
const data = await file.arrayBuffer();
/* data is an ArrayBuffer */
const workbook =;
/* do something with the workbook here */
input_dom_element.addEventListener("change", handleFileAsync, false);

HTML Drag and Drop API

Reading Files

The dataTransfer property of the drop event holds a list of files:

/* suppress default behavior for drag and drop events */
function suppress(e) { e.stopPropagation(); e.preventDefault(); }

/* handle data from drop event */
async function handleDropAsync(e) {
/* get first file */
const f = e.dataTransfer.files[0];
/* get raw data */
const data = await f.arrayBuffer();
/* data is an ArrayBuffer */
const wb =;
/* do something with the workbook here */

drop_dom_element.addEventListener("drop", handleDropAsync, false);
drop_dom_element.addEventListener("dragover", suppress, false);
drop_dom_element.addEventListener("dragenter", suppress, false);

File System Access API

Limited Browser Support

At the time of writing, browser support was fairly limited. Chrome introduced the feature in version 86. Safari did not support File System Access API.

Live Example (click to show)

This live example reads a file then tries to save as XLSX.

Live Editor

Reading Files

window.showOpenFilePicker shows a file picker and resolves to an array of file handles. When multiple: false is set, the array has one element.

The getFile method resolves to a File object whose data can be read with the arrayBuffer method:

/* Show picker and get data */
const [hFile] = await window.showOpenFilePicker({
types: [{
description: 'Spreadsheets',
accept: { 'application/': ['.xlsx', '.xls', '.xlsb', /*...*/] }
excludeAcceptAllOption: true,
multiple: false
const ab = await (await hFile.getFile()).arrayBuffer();

/* parse */
const wb =;

/* do something with the workbook */

Writing Files

window.showSaveFilePicker shows a file picker and resolves to a file handle. The createWritable method resolves to a FileSystemWritableFileStream, which readily accepts Uint8Array data from XLSX.write:

/* Show picker and get handle to file */
const hFile = await window.showSaveFilePicker({
suggestedName: "SheetJS.xlsx",
types: [
{ description: 'Excel 2007+ (XLSX)', accept: { 'application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet': ['.xlsx'] } },
{ description: 'Excel 97-2004 (XLS)', accept: { 'application/': ['.xls'] } },
{ description: 'Excel 2007+ Binary (XLSB)', accept: { 'application/': ['.xlsb'] } },
/* note that each MIME type must be unique! */
const wstream = await hFile.createWritable();

/* get extension */
const ext =".")+1)
/* write */
wstream.write(XLSX.write(wb, { bookType: ext, type: "buffer" }))
/* close stream to commit file */

File and Directory Entries API


In the web browser, the File and Directory Entries API has been deprecated and is not recommended for new applications.

cordova-plugin-file still uses the API patterns.

Writing Files

// Request File System Access
window.requestFileSystem(window.PERSISTENT, 0, (fs) => {
// Request a handle to "SheetJS.xlsx", making a new file if necessary
fs.root.getFile("SheetJS.xlsx", {create: true}, entry => {
// Request a FileWriter for writing data
entry.createWriter(writer => {
// The FileWriter API needs an actual Blob
const u8 = XLSX.write(wb, { type: "buffer", bookType: "xlsx" });
const data = new Blob([u8], { type: "application/" });
// `onwriteend` is called on success, `onerror` called on error
writer.onwriteend = () => {}; writer.onerror = () => {};
// write the data

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer offered proprietary APIs that were not adopted by Chromium.

Blob API

Writing Files

IE10 and IE11 support navigator.msSaveBlob. XLSX.writeFile will use this method if it is available.


Reading and Writing Files

Internet Explorer 6-9 with VBScript support Scripting.FileSystemObject. This is not supported in modern browsers.

This approach is implemented in the library readFile and writeFile methods. It requires the shim script to be loaded before the main library script:

<!-- load the shim script first -->
<script src="shim.min.js"></script>
<!-- then load the main script -->
<script src="xlsx.full.min.js"></script>

Other Platforms


fs.readFileSync and fs.writeFileSync allow for reading and writing files.

When using require, these are supported in readFile and writeFile:

var XLSX = require("xlsx");
var wb = XLSX.readFile("sheetjs.numbers");
XLSX.writeFile(wb, "sheetjs.xls");

Installation has a special note for use with NodeJS ECMAScript Modules:

import { readFile, writeFile, set_fs } from 'xlsx';
import * as fs from 'fs';

var wb = readFile("sheetjs.numbers");
writeFile(wb, "sheetjs.xlsx");


In Photoshop and other Adobe apps, readFile and writeFile use the File object under the hood:

#include "xlsx.extendscript.js"

var wb = XLSX.readFile("sheetjs.xlsx");
XLSX.writeFile(wb, "sheetjs.csv");


readFile uses Deno.readFileSync and writeFile uses Deno.writeFileSync:

// @deno-types=""
import * as XLSX from '';

const wb = XLSX.readFile("sheetjs.numbers");
XLSX.writeFile(wb, "sheetjs.xlsx");
Deno entitlements

Any Deno script using XLSX.readFile requires the --allow-read entitlement.

Any Deno script using XLSX.writeFile requires the --allow-write entitlement.


Bun requires the fs module:

import { readFile, writeFile, set_fs } from 'xlsx';
import * as fs from 'fs';

var wb = readFile("sheetjs.numbers");
writeFile(wb, "sheetjs.xlsx");


Desktop and mobile apps have their own specific APIs covered in separate demos: