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Spreadsheet::ParseExcel::Cell(3) User Contributed Perl Documentation Spreadsheet::ParseExcel::Cell(3)


Spreadsheet::ParseExcel::Cell - A class for Cell data and formatting.


See the documentation for Spreadsheet::ParseExcel.


This module is used in conjunction with Spreadsheet::ParseExcel. See the documentation for Spreadsheet::ParseExcel.


The following Cell methods are available:



The value() method returns the formatted value of the cell.

    my $value = $cell->value();

Formatted in this sense refers to the numeric format of the cell value. For example a number such as 40177 might be formatted as 40,117, 40117.000 or even as the date 2009/12/30.

If the cell doesn't contain a numeric format then the formatted and unformatted cell values are the same, see the unformatted() method below.

For a defined $cell the value() method will always return a value.

In the case of a cell with formatting but no numeric or string contents the method will return the empty string ''.


The unformatted() method returns the unformatted value of the cell.

    my $unformatted = $cell->unformatted();

Returns the cell value without a numeric format. See the value() method above.


The get_format() method returns the Spreadsheet::ParseExcel::Format object for the cell.

    my $format = $cell->get_format();

If a user defined format hasn't been applied to the cell then the default cell format is returned.


The type() method returns the type of cell such as Text, Numeric or Date. If the type was detected as Numeric, and the Cell Format matches "m{^[dmy][-\\/dmy]*$}i", it will be treated as a Date type.

    my $type = $cell->type();

See also "Dates and Time in Excel".


The encoding() method returns the character encoding of the cell.

    my $encoding = $cell->encoding();

This method is only of interest to developers. In general Spreadsheet::ParseExcel will return all character strings in UTF-8 regardless of the encoding used by Excel.

The encoding() method returns one of the following values:

  • 0: Unknown format. This shouldn't happen. In the default case the format should be 1.
  • 1: 8bit ASCII or single byte UTF-16. This indicates that the characters are encoded in a single byte. In Excel 95 and earlier This usually meant ASCII or an international variant. In Excel 97 it refers to a compressed UTF-16 character string where all of the high order bytes are 0 and are omitted to save space.
  • 2: UTF-16BE.
  • 3: Native encoding. In Excel 95 and earlier this encoding was used to represent multi-byte character encodings such as SJIS.


The is_merged() method returns true if the cell is merged.

    my $is_merged = $cell->is_merged();

Returns "undef" if the property isn't set.


The get_rich_text() method returns an array ref of font information about each string block in a "rich", i.e. multi-format, string.

    my $rich_text = $cell->get_rich_text();

The return value is an arrayref of arrayrefs in the form:

        [ $start_position, $font_object ],

Returns undef if the property isn't set.


If a cell contains a hyperlink, the get_hyperlink() method returns an array ref of information about it.

A cell can contain at most one hyperlink. If it does, it contains no other value.

Otherwise, it returns undef;

The array contains:

  • 0: Description (what's displayed); undef if not present
  • 1: Link, converted to an appropriate URL - Note: Relative links are based on the input file. %REL% is used if the input file is unknown (e.g. a file handle or scalar)
  • 2: Target - target frame (or undef if none)

Dates and Time in Excel

Dates and times in Excel are represented by real numbers, for example "Jan 1 2001 12:30 PM" is represented by the number 36892.521.

The integer part of the number stores the number of days since the epoch and the fractional part stores the percentage of the day.

A date or time in Excel is just like any other number. The way in which it is displayed is controlled by the number format:

    Number format               $cell->value()            $cell->unformatted()
    =============               ==============            ==============
    'dd/mm/yy'                  '28/02/08'                39506.5
    'mm/dd/yy'                  '02/28/08'                39506.5
    'd-m-yyyy'                  '28-2-2008'               39506.5
    'dd/mm/yy hh:mm'            '28/02/08 12:00'          39506.5
    'd mmm yyyy'                '28 Feb 2008'             39506.5
    'mmm d yyyy hh:mm AM/PM'    'Feb 28 2008 12:00 PM'    39506.5

The Spreadsheet::ParseExcel::Utility module contains a function called "ExcelLocaltime" which will convert between an unformatted Excel date/time number and a localtime() like array.

For date conversions using the CPAN "DateTime" framework see DateTime::Format::Excel


Current maintainer 0.60+: Douglas Wilson

Maintainer 0.40-0.59: John McNamara

Maintainer 0.27-0.33: Gabor Szabo

Original author: Kawai Takanori


Copyright (c) 2014 Douglas Wilson

Copyright (c) 2009-2013 John McNamara

Copyright (c) 2006-2008 Gabor Szabo

Copyright (c) 2000-2006 Kawai Takanori

All rights reserved.

You may distribute under the terms of either the GNU General Public License or the Artistic License, as specified in the Perl README file.

2024-03-08 perl v5.38.2