Read an existing Excel Spreadsheet

Create a new Java project "JavaExcelRead" and save it somewhere, e.g. "c:/temp/lars.xls".

Create an excel spreadsheet.

Create a package "reader" and the following class "ReadExcel".

I assume that the coding is pretty much self-explaining. I tried to add lots of comments to make it easier to understand.For more complex examples have a look at the excellent documentation of the Java Excel API which is also part of the distribution.

package reader;


import jxl.Cell;
import jxl.CellType;
import jxl.Sheet;
import jxl.Workbook;
import jxl.write.Label;
import jxl.write.Number;
import jxl.write.WriteException;

public class ReadExcel {

private String inputFile;

public void setInputFile(String inputFile) {
this.inputFile = inputFile;

public void read() throws IOException, WriteException {
File inputWorkbook = new File(inputFile);
Workbook w;
try {
w = Workbook.getWorkbook(inputWorkbook);
// Get the first sheet
Sheet sheet = w.getSheet(0);
// Loop over first 10 column and lines

for (int j = 0; j < sheet.getColumns(); j++) {
for (int i = 0; i < sheet.getRows(); i++) {
Cell cell = sheet.getCell(j, i);
CellType type = cell.getType();
if (cell.getType() == CellType.LABEL) {
System.out.println("I got a label "
+ cell.getContents());

if (cell.getType() == CellType.NUMBER) {
System.out.println("I got a number "
+ cell.getContents());

} catch (BiffException e) {

public static void main(String[] args) throws WriteException, IOException {
ReadExcel test = new ReadExcel();


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