How do I import from Excel to a DataSet using Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel?


What I want to do

I'm trying to use the Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel namespace to open an Excel file (XSL or CSV, but sadly not XSLX) and import it into a DataSet. I don't have control over the worksheet or column names, so I need to allow for changes to them.

What I've tried

I've tried the OLEDB method of this in the past, and had a lot of problems with it (buggy, slow, and required prior knowledge of the Excel file's schema), so I want to avoid doing that again. What I'd like to do is use Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel to import the workbook directly to a DataSet, or loop through the worksheets and load each one into a DataTable.

Believe it or not, I've had trouble finding resources for this. A few searches on StackOverflow have found mostly people trying to do the reverse (DataSet => Excel), or the OLEDB technique. Google hasn't been much more helpful.

What I've got so far

    public void Load(string filename, Excel.XlFileFormat format = Excel.XlFileFormat.xlCSV)
        app = new Excel.Application();
        book = app.Workbooks.Open(Filename: filename, Format: format);

        DataSet ds = new DataSet();

        foreach (Excel.Worksheet sheet in book.Sheets)
            DataTable dt = new DataTable(sheet.Name);

            //??? Fill dt from sheet 

        this.Data = ds;

I'm fine with either importing the entire book at once, or looping through one sheet at a time. Can I do this with Interop.Excel?

This question is tagged with c# excel interop dataset excel-interop

~ Asked on 2011-08-30 14:38:03

The Best Answer is


What about using Excel Data Reader (previously hosted here) an open source project on codeplex? Its works really well for me to export data from excel sheets.

The sample code given on the link specified:

FileStream stream = File.Open(filePath, FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read);

//1. Reading from a binary Excel file ('97-2003 format; *.xls)
IExcelDataReader excelReader = ExcelReaderFactory.CreateBinaryReader(stream);
//2. Reading from a OpenXml Excel file (2007 format; *.xlsx)
IExcelDataReader excelReader = ExcelReaderFactory.CreateOpenXmlReader(stream);
//3. DataSet - The result of each spreadsheet will be created in the result.Tables
DataSet result = excelReader.AsDataSet();
//4. DataSet - Create column names from first row
excelReader.IsFirstRowAsColumnNames = true;
DataSet result = excelReader.AsDataSet();

//5. Data Reader methods
while (excelReader.Read())

//6. Free resources (IExcelDataReader is IDisposable)


After some search around, I came across this article: Faster MS Excel Reading using Office Interop Assemblies. The article only uses Office Interop Assemblies to read data from a given Excel Sheet. The source code is of the project is there too. I guess this article can be a starting point on what you trying to achieve. See if that helps


The code below takes an excel workbook and reads all values found, for each excel worksheet inside the excel workbook.

private static void TestExcel()
        ApplicationClass app = new ApplicationClass();
        Workbook book = null;
        Range range = null;

            app.Visible = false;
            app.ScreenUpdating = false;
            app.DisplayAlerts = false;

            string execPath = Path.GetDirectoryName(Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().CodeBase);

            book = app.Workbooks.Open(@"C:\data.xls", Missing.Value, Missing.Value, Missing.Value
                                              , Missing.Value, Missing.Value, Missing.Value, Missing.Value
                                             , Missing.Value, Missing.Value, Missing.Value, Missing.Value
                                            , Missing.Value, Missing.Value, Missing.Value);
            foreach (Worksheet sheet in book.Worksheets)

                Console.WriteLine(@"Values for Sheet "+sheet.Index);

                // get a range to work with
                range = sheet.get_Range("A1", Missing.Value);
                // get the end of values to the right (will stop at the first empty cell)
                range = range.get_End(XlDirection.xlToRight);
                // get the end of values toward the bottom, looking in the last column (will stop at first empty cell)
                range = range.get_End(XlDirection.xlDown);

                // get the address of the bottom, right cell
                string downAddress = range.get_Address(
                    false, false, XlReferenceStyle.xlA1,
                    Type.Missing, Type.Missing);

                // Get the range, then values from a1
                range = sheet.get_Range("A1", downAddress);
                object[,] values = (object[,]) range.Value2;

                // View the values
                for (int i = 1; i <= values.GetLength(0); i++)
                    for (int j = 1; j <= values.GetLength(1); j++)
                        Console.Write("{0}\t", values[i, j]);

        catch (Exception e)
            range = null;
            if (book != null)
                book.Close(false, Missing.Value, Missing.Value);
            book = null;
            if (app != null)
            app = null;

In the above code, values[i, j] is the value that you need to be added to the dataset. i denotes the row, whereas, j denotes the column.

~ Answered on 2011-08-30 14:54:10


Have you seen this one? From

public DataTable Import(String path)
    Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Application app = new Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Application();
    Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Workbook workBook = app.Workbooks.Open(path, 0, true, 5, "", "", true, Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.XlPlatform.xlWindows, "\t", false, false, 0, true, 1, 0);

    Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Worksheet workSheet = (Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Worksheet)workBook.ActiveSheet;

    int index = 0;
    object rowIndex = 2;

    DataTable dt = new DataTable();

    DataRow row;

    while (((Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Range)workSheet.Cells[rowIndex, 1]).Value2 != null)

        row = dt.NewRow();
        row[0] = Convert.ToString(((Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Range)workSheet.Cells[rowIndex, 1]).Value2);
        row[1] = Convert.ToString(((Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Range)workSheet.Cells[rowIndex, 2]).Value2);
        row[2] = Convert.ToString(((Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Range)workSheet.Cells[rowIndex, 3]).Value2);
        row[3] = Convert.ToString(((Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Range)workSheet.Cells[rowIndex, 4]).Value2);
        row[4] = Convert.ToString(((Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Range)workSheet.Cells[rowIndex, 5]).Value2);

        rowIndex = 2 + index;
    return dt;

~ Answered on 2011-08-30 17:16:18

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