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The fpSpreadsheet library offers a convenient way to generate and read spreadsheet documents in various formats. The library is written in a very flexible manner, capable of being extended to support any number of formats easily.

Screenshot of spready demo program provided with fpspreadsheet showing an XLS file:




This wiki page covers the latest development/trunk version of FPSpreadsheet available via subversion. Please see section Stable releases for documentation on the stable version that you can download.

API Documentation

API Reference

A help file in CHM format can be found in the FPSpreadsheet installation folder docs. If you did not yet install the package follow http://lazarus-ccr.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/lazarus-ccr/components/fpspreadsheet/docs/fpspreadsheet-api.chm to fpspreadsheet-api.chm.

The second CHM file available in the folder docs, fpspreadsheet-wiki.chm, is a snapshot of the FPSpreadsheet-related wiki pages bundled into a single help file.


The smallest entities in a spreadsheet are the cells which contain the data. Cells can hold various data types, like strings, numbers, dates, times, boolean values, or formulas. In addition, cells can contain information on formatting, i.e. font style, background color, text alignment etc.

The cells are arranged in a grid-like structure, called worksheet, or spreadsheet, consisting of rows and columns. Each cell has a unique address given by the row and column index.

Worksheets are bound together to form a workbook which represents the document of the spreadsheet application. The workbook also stores information that is needed from all worksheets, i.e. font list, cell and number format lists, etc.

FPSpreadsheet follows this same structure - there is a TCell, a TsWorksheet, and a TsWorkbook.


The class TsWorkbook is the main class visible to the user. It provides methods for reading data from and writing to files. The versatile structure of the library provides access to various popular file formats, like Excel .xls or .xlsx, or OpenOffice/LibreOffice .ods.

The file format is specified by the type TsSpreadsheetFormat defined in the unit fpstypes

  TsSpreadsheetFormat = (sfExcel2, sfExcel5, sfExcel8, sfExcelXML, sfOOXML, 
    sfOpenDocument, sfCSV, sfHTML, sfWikiTable_Pipes, sfWikiTable_WikiMedia, sfUser);


  • sfExcel2, sfExcel5, sfExcel8 stands for versions of the binary xls format used by Excel ("BIFF" = "Binary Interchange File Format") with sfExcel8 being the most modern one.
  • sfOOXML corresponds to the newer xlsx format introduced by Excel2007
  • sfExcelXML is the xml format which was introduced by Microsoft for Office XP and 2003. Not very popular.
  • sfOpenDocument is the spreadsheet format used by OpenOffice/LibreOffice
  • sfCSV refers to comma-delimited text files; they can be understood by any text editor and all spreadsheet programs, but do not contain formatting information.
  • sfHTML denotes the standard HTML format as used in web browsers.
  • sfWikiTable_Pipes and sfWikiTable_WikiMedia is the format used by tables in wiki websites.
  • sfUser is needed to register a user-defined format. There are no plans to implement "ancient" file formats like Excel3.0/4.0 or Lotus. It is possible, however, to provide your own reading and writing classes to extend the functionality of FPSpreadsheet - see the section below on Adding new file formats

When applying fpspreadsheet the first task is to create an instance of the workbook:

  MyWorkbook: TsWorkbook;
  MyWorkbook := TsWorkbook.Create;

Reading of spreadsheet files is accomplished (among others) by the workbook methods

  • procedure ReadFromFile(AFileName: string):
    Reads the file with the given name and automatically determines the correct file format.
  • procedure ReadFromFile(AFileName: string; AFormat: TsSpreadsheetFormat):
    Reads the file, but assumes that the file format is as specified by AFormat.

The following workbook methods can be used for saving to file:

  • procedure WriteToFile(const AFileName: string; const AFormat: TsSpreadsheetFormat; const AOverwriteExisting: Boolean = False):
    Writes the workbook to the given file using the given spreadsheet format. If the file already exists it is automatically overwritten if AOverwriteExisting is true:
  • procedure WriteToFile(const AFileName: String; const AOverwriteExisting: Boolean = False):
    dto., but the file format is determined from the file extension provided (in case of Excel's xls the most recent version, sfExcel8, is used).

After calling these methods it is advantageous to look at the workbook's property ErrorMsg in which messages due to errors or warnings are collected that might have occured during reading/writing. This property returns a multi-lined string which is displayed best in a memo component; if everything was fine it is an empty string.

Note: FPSpreadsheets provides specialized units for reading from and writing to each file format. These units are not available automatically, you have to add them to the uses clause explicitly. FPSpreadsheet will complain about "unsupported file format" if the requested reader/writer is not found. Here is a list of the unit names:

  • xlsbiff2, xlsbiff5 and xlsbiff8 for the binary xls file formats sfExcel2, sfExcel5 and sfExcel8, respectively,
  • xlsOOXML for the xlsx file format sfOOXML of Excel 2007 and later,
  • xlsXML for the xml format of Excel XP and 2003,
  • fpsopendocument for the file format sfOpenDocument of OpenOffice/LibreOffice,
  • fpsCSV for text files with comma-separated values (csv),
  • fpsHTML for HTML files,
  • wikitables for sfWikiTable_Pipes and sfWikiTable_WikiMedia,
  • or, simply add fpsallformats to get read/write support for all file formats supported.


The workbook contains a list of TsWorksheet instances. They correspond to the tabs that you see in Excel or Open/LibreOffice. When reading a spreadsheet file the worksheets are created automatically according to the file contents. When a spreadsheet is created manually to be stored on file a worksheet has to be created by adding it to the workbook:

  MyWorkbook: TsWorkbook;
  MyWorksheet: TsWorksheet;
  MyWorkbook := TsWorkbook.Create;
  MyWorksheet := MyWorkbook.AddWorksheet('My_Table');  
    // 'My_Table' is the "name" of the worksheet

Already existing worksheets can be accessed by using the TsWorkbook methods

  • function GetFirstWorksheet: TsWorksheet: retrieves the first worksheet of the workbook.
  • function GetWorksheetByIndex(AIndex: Cardinal): TsWorksheet: returns the worksheet with the given index (starting at 0).
  • function GetWorksheetByName(AName: String): TsWorksheet: returns the worksheet with the given name which was used when the worksheet was added.

The count of already existing worksheets can be queried by calling GetWorksheetCount.


The worksheet, finally, gives access to the cells. A newly created worksheet, as in above example, is empty and does not contain any cells. Cells are added by assigning data or attributes to them by one of the WriteXXXX methods of the worksheet. As already mentioned, a cell is addressed by the index of the row and column to which it belongs. As usual, row and column indexes start at 0. Therefore, cell "A1" belongs to row 0 and column 0. It should be noted that row and column index are always specified in this order, this is different from the convention of TStringGrid. The following example creates a cell at address A1 and puts the number 1.0 in it.

  MyWorkbook: TsWorkbook;
  MyWorksheet: TsWorksheet;
  MyWorkbook := TsWorkbook.Create;
  MyWorksheet := MyWorkbook.AddWorksheet('My_Table');
  MyWorksheet.WriteNumber(0, 0, 1.0);  // "A1" has row=0 and col=0

It is also possible to access cells directly by means of the methods FindCell(ARow, ACol) or GetCell(ARow, ACol) of the workbook. Both funtions exist also in an overloaded version to which the cell address can be passed in Excel notation: FindCell(ACellStr: String) or GetCell(ACellStr: String). Please be aware that these functions return a pointer to the cell data (type PCell). Don't forget to dereference the pointers! The difference between FindCell and GetCell is that the former one returns nil, if a cell does not yet exist, while the latter one creates an empty cell in this case.

if MyWorksheet.FindCell('A1') = nil then
  WriteLn('Cell A1 does not exist.');

This is the declaration of the cell's data type:

  TCell = record
    { Location of the cell }
    Worksheet: TsWorksheet;
    Col: Cardinal; // zero-based
    Row: Cardinal; // zero-based
    { Index of format record }
    FormatIndex: Integer;
    { Status flags }
    Flags: TsCellFlags;        // (cfHasComment, cfMerged, cfHyperlink, ...)
    { Cell content }
    UTF8StringValue: String;   // strings cannot be part of a variant record
    FormulaValue: String;
    case ContentType: TCellContentType of  // must be at the end of the declaration
      cctEmpty      : ();      // has no data at all
      cctFormula    : ();      // UTF8StringValue is outside the variant record
      cctNumber     : (Numbervalue: Double);
      cctUTF8String : ();      // FormulaValue is outside the variant record
      cctDateTime   : (DateTimevalue: TDateTime);
      cctBool       : (BoolValue: boolean);
      cctError      : (ErrorValue: TsErrorValue);
  PCell = ^TCell;

The field ContentType indicates which data type is stored in the cell:

  TCellContentType = (cctEmpty, cctFormula, cctNumber, cctUTF8String, cctDateTime, cctBool, cctError);

According to this field the corresponding data can be found in the fields

  • FormulaValue (for ContentType=cctFormula),
  • NumberValue (for ContentType=cctNumber), or
  • UTF8StringValue (for ContentType=cctUTF8String), or
  • DateTimeValue (for ContentType=cctDateTime), or
  • BoolValue (for ContentType=cctBool), i.e. TRUE or FALSE, or
  • ErrorValue (for ContentType=cctError).

Due to usage of a variant record most of these values are overlapping, i.e. modification of NumberValue affects also the other values. Therefore, always respect the ContentType when accessing the TCell record directly (the worksheet methods discussed below consider this automatically).


Note: After calculation of a formula or after reading of a file, the ContentType of the formula cell is converted to that of the result. Then the presence of a formula can only be detetected from the FormulaValue string (or call HasFormula(cell) of unit fpsUtils).

Adding values to a cell is most easily accompished by using one of the WriteXXXX methods of the worksheet. The most important ones are:

  TsWorksheet = class
    { Writing of currency values }
    function WriteCurrency(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: Double;
      ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat = nfCurrency; ADecimals: Integer = 2;
      ACurrencySymbol: String = '?'; APosCurrFormat: Integer = -1;
      ANegCurrFormat: Integer = -1): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteCurrency(ACell: PCell; AValue: Double;
      ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat = nfCurrency; ADecimals: Integer = -1;
      ACurrencySymbol: String = '?'; APosCurrFormat: Integer = -1;
      ANegCurrFormat: Integer = -1); overload;
    function WriteCurrency(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: Double;
      ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat; ANumFormatString: String): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteCurrency(ACell: PCell; AValue: Double;
      ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat; ANumFormatString: String); overload;
    { Writing of date/time values }
    function WriteDateTime(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: TDateTime): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteDateTime(ACell: PCell; AValue: TDateTime); overload;
    function WriteDateTime(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: TDateTime;
      ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat; ANumFormatStr: String = ''): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteDateTime(ACell: PCell; AValue: TDateTime;
      ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat; ANumFormatStr: String = ''); overload;
    function WriteDateTime(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: TDateTime;
      ANumFormatStr: String): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteDateTime(ACell: PCell; AValue: TDateTime;
      ANumFormatStr: String); overload;
    { Writing of number values } 
    function WriteNumber(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ANumber: double): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteNumber(ACell: PCell; ANumber: Double); overload;
    function WriteNumber(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ANumber: double;
      ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat; ADecimals: Byte = 2): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteNumber(ACell: PCell; ANumber: Double;
      ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat; ADecimals: Byte = 2); overload;
    function WriteNumber(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ANumber: double;
      ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat; ANumFormatString: String): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteNumber(ACell: PCell; ANumber: Double;
      ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat; ANumFormatString: String); overload;
    { Writing of string values }
    function WriteText(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AText: ansistring;
      ARichTextParams: TsRichTextParams = nil): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteText(ACell: PCell; AText: String;
      ARichTextparams: TsRichTextParams = nil); overload;
    // the old string methods "WriteUTF8Text" are deprecated now

Some of these methods exist in overloaded versions in which cell formatting parameters can be added together with the cell value. Correspondingly to writing, there is also a number of worksheet methods for reading the cell values:

  TsWorksheet = class
    { Reading cell content as a string }
    function  ReadAsText(ARow, ACol: Cardinal): string; overload;
    function  ReadAsText(ACell: PCell): string; overload;
    function  ReadAsText(ACell: PCell; AFormatSettings: TFormatSettings): string; overload;
    { Reading cell content as a number }
    function  ReadAsNumber(ARow, ACol: Cardinal): Double; overload;
    function  ReadAsNumber(ACell: PCell): Double; overload;
    function  ReadNumericValue(ACell: PCell; out AValue: Double): Boolean;
    { Reading cell content as a date/time value }
    function  ReadAsDateTime(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; out AResult: TDateTime): Boolean; overload;
    function  ReadAsDateTime(ACell: PCell; out AResult: TDateTime): Boolean; overload;

FormatIndex is the index of the cell format record. It describes the formatting attributes of a cell. These records are collected by an internal list of the workbook and are defined like this:

  TsCellFormat = record
    FontIndex: Integer;
    TextRotation: TsTextRotation;
    HorAlignment: TsHorAlignment;
    VertAlignment: TsVertAlignment;
    Border: TsCellBorders;
    BorderStyles: TsCellBorderStyles;
    Background: TsFillPattern;
    NumberFormatIndex: Integer;
    NumberFormat: TsNumberFormat;
    NumberFormatStr: String;
    BiDiMode: TsBiDiMode;           // bdDefault, bdLTR {left-to-right}, bdRTL {right-to-left)
    Protection: TsCellProtection;   // cpLockCell, cpHideFormulas
    UsedFormattingFields: TsUsedFormattingFields;
      //uffTextRotation, uffFont, uffBold, uffBorder, uffBackground, uffNumberFormat, uffWordWrap, uffHorAlign, uffVertAlign, uffBiDi
  • FontIndex: text font by specifying the index in the workbook's font list
  • TextRotation: specifies whether the cell text is written horizontally or vertically
  • HorAlignment: left-aligned, horizontally centered, or right-aligned text
  • VertAlignment: top, bottom or vertically centered text
  • Border: a set of flags indicating that - if set - a border line is drawn at the left, top, right, or bottom cell edge. The lines are drawn according to the BorderStyles which define the linestyle and color of the border.
  • Background: a record defining the background fill of a cell (pattern style, pattern color, and background color - see chapter on cell background below).
  • NumberFormat and NumberFormatStr specify how number or date/time values are formatted (e.g., number of decimal places, long or short date format, etc.).
  • Only those format attributes for which a flag is set in the UsedFormattingFields are considered when formatting a cell. If a flag is not included then the corresponding attribute is ignored and replaced by its default value.

For specifying a format for a given cell call the corresponding the worksheet method WriteXXXX, for retrieving a format call ReadXXXX. These methods usually get a pointer to the cell as a parameter, but there are also overloaded versions which accept the row and column index. Moreover, formatting styles can also be applied directly to the cell by using a record helper implemented in unit fpsCell.

See cell formatting below for a more detailed description.

Columns and rows

Column and row records are added for each column and row having a non-default size:

  TCol = record
    Col: Cardinal;
    Width: Single;
    ColWidthType: TsColWidthType;     // = (cwtDefault, cwtCustom)
    FormatIndex: Integer;
  PCol = ^TCol;
  TRow = record
    Row: Cardinal;
    Height: Single;
    RowHeightType: TsRowHeightType;   // = (rhtDefault, rhtCustom, rhtAuto)
    FormatIndex: Integer;
  PRow = ^TRow;

Column widths and row heights can be specified in a variety of units defined by the type TsSizeUnits = (suChars, suLines, suMillimeters, suCentimeters, suPoints, suInches). suChars refers to the count of 0 characters fitting into the column width - this is the way how Excel defines column widths. suLines is the number of lines fitting into the row height. Both units are based on the character size of the workbook's default font. The other units are conventional physical length units (1 cm = 10 mm, 1 inch = 25.4 mm = 72 pt). Fractional values are accepted. The workbook and worksheets store lengths internally in millimeters (MyWorkbook.Units).

The Office applications usually adjust the row heights automatically according to the font or text rotation of the cell content. This case is identified by RowHeightType having the value rhtAuto. Since the worksheet cannot calculate text size very accurately automatic row heights are not written by FPSpreadsheet; they are replaced by the default row height. The default row height is also used if a row is empty, i.e. does not contain any data cells. Its value can be changed by calling the worksheet's WriteDefaultRowHeight() or by using the worksheet property DefaultRowHeight. In WriteDefaultRowHeight, the units must be specified while in DefaultRowHeight they are assumed to be lines. Similarly, the default column width can be specified by WriteDefaultColWidth() or the property DefaultColWidth (in characters).

In order to overrun automatic and default row heights call the worksheet method WriteRowHeight(). These row records are identified by RowHeightType having the value rhtCustom. In the same way the width of columns can be set to a specific value by calling WriteColWidth(). ColWidthType of these columns is cwtCustom.

The height/width of a particular row/column can be retrieved by means of the methods GetRowHeight or GetColHeight. Note that these methods return the default row heights/column widths if there are no TRow/TCol records.

type TsWorksheet = class
  { Set row height }
  procedure WriteRowHeight(ARowIndex: Cardinal; AHeight: Single; AUnits: TsSizeUnits);
  { Set column width }
  procedure WriteColWidth(AColIndex: Cardinal; AWidth: Single; AUnits: TsSizeUnits);
  { Set default row height }
  procedure WriteDefaultRowHeight(AHeight: Single; AUnits: TsSizeUnits);
  {Set default cokumn width }
  procedure WriteDefaultColWidth(AWidth: Single; AUnits: TsSizeUnits);
  { Return row height }
  function GetRowHeight(ARowIndex: Cardinal; AUnits: TsSizeUnits): Single;
  { Return column width }
  function GetColWidth(AColIndex: Cardinal; AUnits: TsSizeUnits): Single;
  { Return default row height }
  function ReadDefaultRowHeight(AUnits: TsSizeUnits): Single;
  { Return default column width }
  function ReadDefaultColWidth(AUnits: TsSizeUnits): Single;
  property DefaultRowHeight: Single;  // in lines
  property DefaultColWidht: Single;   // in characters

There are also overloaded versions of these methods which do not require the AUnits parameter. In this case, row heights are defined in terms of line count, and column widths are defined in terms of character count. Note that these variants are from previos versions and are deprecated now.

The FormatIndex element of the row and column records format applied to the entire row or column. Like with cells, these formats are stored as TsCellFormat records in an internal workbook list. Row and column formats are primarily applied to empty cells, but if a new cell is added it will automatically get the format of the row or column. (If both row and column have different formats then the row format will be used).


Two kinds of formulas are supported by FPSpreadsheet:

  • String formulas: These are written in strings just like in the office applications, for example "=ROUND(A1+B1,0)". They are used internally in the files of Open/LibreOffice and Excel .xlsx.
  • RPN formulas are used internally by the binary .xls Excel files. They are written in Reverse Polish Notation (RPN), for example: A1, B1, Add, 0, ROUND.

The current trunk version of FPSpreadsheet can convert between string and rpn formulas. Formulas in both types can be calculated. The cell record stores the string formula in the field FormulaValue. If a spreadsheet containing formulas is to be saved in a binary Excel format, the RPN formulas required are generated automatically.

FPSpreadsheet supports the majority of the formulas provided by the common spreadsheet applications. However, when reading a file created by these applications, there is always a chance that an unsupported formula is contained. To avoid crashing of fpspreadsheet, reading of formulas is disabled by default; the cell displays only the result of the formula written by the Office application. To activate reading of formulas add the element boReadformulas to the workbook's Options before opening the file.

Calculation of formulas is normally not needed when a file is written by FPSpreadsheet for opening in an Office application because that automatically calculates the formula results. If the same file, however, is openend by an application based on FPSpreadsheet the calculated cells would be empty because the formulas are not automatically calculated by default. To activate calculation of formulas before writing a spreadsheet to file you have to add the option boCalcBeforeSaving to the workbook's Options.

If FPSpreadshet is used in an interactive application (such as the spready demo found in the examples folder of the FPSpreadsheet installation) it is desirable to calculate formulas automatically whenever formula strings or cell values are changed by the user. This can be achieved by the option boAutoCalc in the workbook's Options.

The most general setting regarding formulas, therefore, is

  MyWorkbook.Options := MyWorkbook.Options + [boReadFormulas, boCalcBeforeSaving, boAutoCalc];

String formulas

String formulas are written in the same way as in the Office applications. The worksheet method for creating a string formula is WriteFormula:

  MyWorksheet: TsWorksheet;
  MyWorksheet.WriteFormula(0, 1, '=ROUND(A1+B2+1.215,0)');
  // By default, use dot as decimal and comma as list separator!

A few notes on syntax:

  • The leading = character which identifies formulas in the Office applications is not absolutely necessary here and can be dropped. The formula is stored in the cell record without it.
  • The case of the formula name is ignored.
  • Spaces can be added for better readability, but they will be lost when saving.
  • Strings must be enclosed in double quotes.
  • Normally, floating point numbers must be entered with a dot as decimal separator, and a comma must be used to separate function arguments.
  • Setting the optional parameter ALocalized of the worksheet methods WriteFormula to TRUE, however, allows to use localized decimal and list separators taken from the workbook's FormatSettings - see spready demo.
  MyWorksheet: TsWorksheet;
  MyWorksheet.WriteFormula(0, 1, '=ROUND(A1+B2+1,215;0)', true);
  // Because of the "true" the formula parser accepts the comma as decimal and the
  // semicolon as list separator if the workbook's FormatSettings are set up like this.

RPN formulas

At application level, string formulas are mainly used, and RPN formulas are of little practical importance. Therefore, documentation of RPN formulas has been removed from this main FPSpreadsheet wiki and can be found in the article "RPN Formulas in FPSpreadsheet".

Shared formulas and array formulas

  • Shared formulas are only supported for reading (from Excel files).
  • Array formulas are not supported, currently.

List of built-in formulas

FPSpreadsheet supports more than 80 built-in formulas. In order not to blow up this wiki page too much documentation of these formulas has been moved to the separate document "List of formulas".

To learn more about the functions available, look at file testcases_calcrpnformula.inc in the tests folder of the FPSpreadsheet installation where every function is included with at least one sample.

Extending FPSpreadsheet by user-defined formulas

Although the built-in formulas cover most of the applications there may be a need to access a formula which is available in the Office application, but not in FPSpreadsheet. For this reason, the library supports a registration mechanism which allows to add user-defined functions to the spreadsheets. This can be done by calling the procedure RegisterFunction from the unit fpsExprParser:

procedure RegisterFunction(const AName: ShortString; const AResultType: Char;
  const AParamTypes: String; const AExcelCode: Integer; ACallBack: TsExprFunctionCallBack); overload;
procedure RegisterFunction(const AName: ShortString; const AResultType: Char;
  const AParamTypes: String; const AExcelCode: Integer; ACallBack: TsExprEventCallBack); overload;
  • AName specifies the name under which the function will be called in the spreadsheet. It must match the name of the formula in the Office application.
  • AResultType is a character which identifies the data type of the function result:
    • 'F' - floating point number
    • 'I' - integer
    • 'D' - date/time
    • 'B' - boolean
    • 'S' - string
  • AParamTypes is a string in which each character identifies the data type of the corresponding argument. In addition to the list shown above the following symbols can be used:
    • '?' - any type
    • '+' - must be the last character. It means that the preceding character is repeated indefinitely. This allows for an arbitrary argument count. Please note, however, that Excel supports only up to 30 arguments.
    • lowercase 'f', 'i', 'd', 'b', 's' indicate optional parameters of the type explained above. Of course, uppercase symbols cannot follow lower-case symbols.
  • AExcelCode is the identifier of the function in xls files. See "OpenOffice Documentation of the Microsoft Excel File Format", section 3.11, for a list.
  • ACallback identifies which function is called by FPSpreadsheet for calculation of the formula. It can either be a procedure or an event handler.
  TsExprFunctionCallBack = procedure (var Result: TsExpressionResult; const Args: TsExprParameterArray);
  TsExprFunctionEvent = procedure (var Result: TsExpressionResult; const Args: TsExprParameterArray) of object;

The TsExpressionResult is a variant record containing result or argument data of several types:

  TsResultType = (rtEmpty, rtBoolean, rtInteger, rtFloat, rtDateTime, rtString,
    rtCell, rtCellRange, rtError, rtAny);
  TsExpressionResult = record
    Worksheet       : TsWorksheet;
    ResString       : String;
    case ResultType : TsResultType of
      rtEmpty       : ();
      rtError       : (ResError       : TsErrorValue);
      rtBoolean     : (ResBoolean     : Boolean);
      rtInteger     : (ResInteger     : Int64);
      rtFloat       : (ResFloat       : TsExprFloat);
      rtDateTime    : (ResDateTime    : TDatetime);
      rtCell        : (ResRow, ResCol : Cardinal);
      rtCellRange   : (ResCellRange   : TsCellRange);
      rtString      : ();
  TsExprParameterArray = array of TsExpressionResult;

As an example we show here the code for the CONCATENATE() formula which joins two or more strings:

procedure fpsCONCATENATE(var Result: TsExpressionResult; const Args: TsExprParameterArray);
// CONCATENATE( text1, text2, ... text_n )
  s: String;
  i: Integer;
  s := '';
  for i:=0 to Length(Args)-1 do
    if Args[i].ResultType = rtError then
      Result := ErrorResult(Args[i].ResError);
    s := s + ArgToString(Args[i]);
    // "ArgToString" simplifies getting the string from a TsExpressionResult as 
    // a string may be contained in the ResString and in the ResCell fields.
    // There is such a function for each basic data type.
  Result := StringResult(s);
  // "StringResult" stores the string s in the ResString field of the
  // TsExpressionResult and sets the ResultType to rtString.
  // There is such a function for each basic data type.

There is a worked-out example (demo_formula_func.pas) in the folder examples/other of the FPSpreadsheet installation. In this demo, four financial functions (FV(), PV(), PMT(), RATE()) are added to FPSpreadsheet.

Cell formatting

Number and date/time formats

Numbers and date/time values can be displayed in a variety of formats. In FPSpreadsheet this can be achieved in two ways:

  • using built-in number formats by specifiying a value for the NumberFormat of the cell
  • using a custom format string.

Number formats can be specified by these worksheet methods:

  TsWorksheet = class
    // Set number formats alone
    function WriteNumberFormat(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ANumberFormat: TsNumberFormat;
      const AFormatString: String = ''): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteNumberFormat(ACell: PCell; ANumberFormat: TsNumberFormat;
      const AFormatString: String = ''); overload;  
    function WriteNumberFormat(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat;
      ADecimals: Integer; ACurrencySymbol: String = ''; APosCurrFormat: Integer = -1;
      ANegCurrFormat: Integer = -1): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteNumberFormat(ACell: PCell; ANumFormat: TsNumberFormat;
      ADecimals: Integer; ACurrencySymbol: String = '';
      APosCurrFormat: Integer = -1; ANegCurrFormat: Integer = -1); overload;
    function WriteFractionFormat(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AMixedFraction: Boolean;
      ANumeratorDigits, ADenominatorDigits: Integer): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteFractionFormat(ACell: PCell; AMixedFraction: Boolean;
      ANumeratorDigits, ADenominatorDigits: Integer); overload;
    // Set date/time formats alone  
    function WriteDateTimeFormat(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ANumberFormat: TsNumberFormat;
      const AFormatString: String = ''): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteDateTimeFormat(ACell: PCell; ANumberFormat: TsNumberFormat;
      const AFormatString: String = ''); overload;
    // Set cell values and number formats in one call
    // number values
    function WriteNumber(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ANumber: double;
      AFormat: TsNumberFormat = nfGeneral; ADecimals: Byte = 2;
      ACurrencySymbol: String = ''): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteNumber(ACell: PCell; ANumber: Double; AFormat: TsNumberFormat = nfGeneral;
      ADecimals: Byte = 2; ACurrencySymbol: String = ''); overload;
    function WriteNumber(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ANumber: double;
      AFormat: TsNumberFormat; AFormatString: String): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteNumber(ACell: PCell; ANumber: Double;
      AFormat: TsNumberFormat; AFormatString: String); overload;   
    // date/time values
    function WriteDateTime(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: TDateTime;
      AFormat: TsNumberFormat = nfShortDateTime; AFormatStr: String = ''): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteDateTime(ACell: PCell; AValue: TDateTime;
      AFormat: TsNumberFormat = nfShortDateTime; AFormatStr: String = ''); overload;
    function WriteDateTime(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: TDateTime;
      AFormatStr: String): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteDateTime(ACell: PCell; AValue: TDateTime;
      AFormatStr: String); overload;  
    // currency values
    function WriteCurrency(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: Double;
      AFormat: TsNumberFormat = nfCurrency; ADecimals: Integer = 2;
      ACurrencySymbol: String = '?'; APosCurrFormat: Integer = -1;
      ANegCurrFormat: Integer = -1): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteCurrency(ACell: PCell; AValue: Double;
      AFormat: TsNumberFormat = nfCurrency; ADecimals: Integer = -1;
      ACurrencySymbol: String = '?'; APosCurrFormat: Integer = -1;
      ANegCurrFormat: Integer = -1); overload;
    function WriteCurrency(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: Double;
      AFormat: TsNumberFormat; AFormatString: String): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteCurrency(ACell: PCell; AValue: Double;
      AFormat: TsNumberFormat; AFormatString: String); overload;     
Built-in number formats

The built-in formats are defined by the enumeration TsNumberFormat. In spite of its name, the elements cover both number and date/time values:

  TsNumberFormat = (
    // general-purpose for all numbers
    // numbers
    nfFixed, nfFixedTh, nfExp, nfPercentage, nfFraction,
    // currency
    nfCurrency, nfCurrencyRed, 
    // dates and times
    nfShortDateTime, nfShortDate, nfLongDate, nfShortTime, nfLongTime,
    nfShortTimeAM, nfLongTimeAM, nfDayMonth, nfMonthYear, nfTimeInterval,
    // other (using format string)
  • nfGeneral corresponds to the default formatting showing as many decimals as possible (the number 3.141592654 would be unchanged.)
  • nfFixed limits the decimals. The number of decimal places has to be specified in the call to WriteNumber. Example: with 2 decimals, the number 3.141592654 becomes 3.14.
  • nfFixedTh: similar to nfFixed, but adds a thousand separator when the number is displayed as a string: The number 3.141592654 would remain like in the previous example because it is too small to show thousand separators. But the number 314159.2654 would become 314,159.26, for 2 decimals.
  • nfExp selects exponential presentation, i.e. splits off the exponent. The parameter ADecimals in WriteNumber determines how many decimal places are used. (The number 3.141592654 becomes 3.14E+00 in case of two decimals).
  • nfPercentage displays the number as a percentage. This means that the value is multiplied by 100, and a percent sign is added. Again, specify in ADecimals how many decimal places are to be shown. (The number 3.141592654 is displayed as 314.92%, in case of 2 decimals).
  • nfFraction presents a number as a fraction. Details (mixed fraction?, maximum digit count for numerator or denominator) for can be specified in the worksheet method WriteFractionFormat.
  • nfCurrency displays the number together with a currency symbol, and there are special rules how to display negative values (in brackets, or minus sign before or after the number). The FormatSettings of the workbook are used to define the currency sign and the way numbers are displayed (FormatSettings.CurrencyString for the currency symbol, FormatSettings.CurrencyFormat for positive, FormatSettings.NegCurrFormat for negative values). These settings can be overridden by specifying them in the call to WriteCurrency directly.
  • nfCurrendyRed like nfCurrency, in addition negative values are displayed in red.
  • nfShortDateTime presents the DateTimeValue of the cell in "short date/time format", i.e. days + two digit months + two digit year + hours + minutes, no seconds. The order of the date parts is taken from the workbook's FormatSettings. This applies also to the other date/time formats.
  • nfShortDate creates a date string showing day + two-digit month + two-digit year
  • nfShortTime creates a time string showing hours + minutes.
  • nfLongTime, similar, but includes seconds as well
  • nfShortTimeAM, similar to nfShortTime, but uses the AM/PM time format, i.e. hours go up to 12, and AM or PM is added to specify morning or evening/afternoon.
  • nfLongTimeAM, like nfShortTimeAM, but includes seconds
  • nfTimeInterval, like nfLongTime, but there can be more than 24 hours. The interval can also be expressed in minutes or seconds, if the format strings [n]:ss, or [s], respectively, are used.
  • nfCustom allows to specify a dedicated formatting string.

As already noted the workbook has a property FormatSettings which provides additional information to control the resulting formatting. This is essentially a copy of the DefaultFormatSettings declared in the sysutils unit (the elements LongDateFormat and ShortDateFormat are slightly modified to better match the default settings in the main spreadsheet applications). The main purpose of the FormatSettings is to add a simple way of localization to the number formats.

Number format strings

In addition to these pre-defined formats, more specialized formatting can be achieved by using the format constant nfCustom along with a dedicated format string. The format string is constructed according to Excel syntax which is close to the syntax of fpc's FormatFloat and FormatDateTime commands (accepted as well, see the online-help for these functions).

Here is a basic list of the symbols used:

Symbol Meaning Format string: Number --> Output string
General Displays all decimal places of the number 'General':
1.2345678 --> '1.2345678'
0 Displays insignificant zeros if a number has less digits than there are zeros in the format. If used for decimal places then the number is rounded to as many decimal places as 0s are found. '000': 1 --> '001'
'0.0': 1 --> '1.0'
'0.0': 1.2345678 --> '1.2'
* Like "0" above, but does not display insignificant zeros. '0.*': 1 --> '1.'
'0.*': 1.2345678 --> '1.2'
? Like "0" above, but insignificant zeros are replaced by space characters. Good for aligning decimal points and fractions

'??0': 1 --> ' 1'
'0.0??': 1 --> '1.0 '

. Decimal separator; will be replaced by the value used in the DecimalSeparator of the workbook's FormatSettings '0.00': 8.9 --> '8.90'
, Thousand separator; will be replaced by the value used in the ThousandSeparator of the workbook's FormatSettings. If at the end of a number formatting sequence the displayed value is divided by 1000. '#,##0.00': 1200 --> '1,200.00'
'0.00,': 1200 --> '1.20'
E+, e+ Displays a number in exponential format. The digits used for the exponent are defined by the number of zeros added the this symbol. The sign of the exponent is shown for positive and negative exponents. '0.00E+00': 1200 --> 1.20E+03
E-, e- Displays a number in exponential format. The digits used for the exponent are defined by the number of zeros added the this symbol. The sign of the exponent is shown only for negative exponents. '0.00e-000': 1200 --> 1.20e003
% Displays the number as a "percentage", i.e. the number is multiplied by 100 and a % sign is added. '0.0%': 0.75 --> 75.0%
/ This symbol has two meanings: if the cell represents a "number" then the slash indicates formatting as fraction, place holders for numerator and denominator must follow. If the cell represents a "date/time" then the slash indicates the date separator which will be replaced by the DateSeparator of the workbook's FormatSettings '#/#': 1.5 --> '3/2'
'# #/#': 1.5 --> '1 1/2'
'# #/16': 1.5 --> '1 8/16'
also: see date/time examples below
: Separator between hours, minutes and seconds of a date/time value. Will be replaced by the TimeSeparator of the workbook's FormatSettings. see examples below
yyyy Place holder for the year of a date/time value. The year is displayed as a four-digit number. 'yyyy/mm/dd':
Jan 3, 2012 --> '2012-01-03'
In this example, the DateSeparator is a dash character (-).
yy Place holder for the year of a date/time value. The year is displayed as a two-digit number. 'yy/mm/dd':
Jan 3, 2012 --> '12-01-03'
m Place holder for the month of a date/time value. The month is shown as a number without extra digits.
Please note that the m code can also be interpreted as the "minutes" of a time value (see below).
Jan 3, 2012 --> '2012-1-03'
mm Place holder for the month of a date/time value. The month is shown as a two-digit number, i.e. a leading zero is added for January to September.
Please note that the mm code can also be interpreted as the "minutes" of a time value (see below).
Jan 3, 2012 --> '2012-01-03'
mmm Place holder for the month of a date/time value. The month is displayed by its abbreviated name. 'yyyy/mmm/dd':
Jan 3, 2012 --> '2012-Jan-03'
mmmm Place holder for the month of a date/time value. The month is displayed by its full name.
Jan 3, 2012 --> '2012-January-03'
d Place holder for the day of a date/time value to be displayed as a number. The day is displayed as a simple number, without adding a leading zero. 'yyyy/mm/d':
Jan 3, 2012 --> '2012-01-3'
dd Place holder for the day of a date/time value to be displayed as a number. dd adds a leading zero to single-digit day numbers. 'yyyy/mm/dd':
Jan 3, 2012 --> '2012-01-03'
ddd Place holder for the day of a date/time value. The day is displayed as its abbreviated name. 'dddd, yyyy/mm/ddd':
Jan 03, 2012 --> 'Tue 2012-01-03'
dddd Place holder for the day of a date/time value. The day is displayed as its full name. 'dddd, yyyy/mmmm/dd':
Jan 03, 2012 --> 'Tuesday 2012-01-03'
h Place holder of the hour part of a date/time value. The hour is displayed as a simple number, without adding a leading zero. 'h:mm':
0.25 --> '6:00'
hh Place holder of the hour part of a date/time value. The hour is displayed with a leading zero if the hour is less than 10. 'hh:mm':
0.25 --> '06:00'
[hh], or [h] Displays elapsed time such that the hour part can become greater than 23 '[h]:mm':
1.25 --> '30:00'
m Place holder of the minutes part of a date/time value. The minutes are shown as a simple number without adding a leading zero. Note that if the m codes are surrounded by date symbols (y, d) then they are interpreted as "month". 'h:m':
0.25 --> '6:0'
mm Place holder of the minutes part of a date/time value. Single-digit minutes are displayed with a leading zero. Note that if the mm code is surrounded by date symbols (y, d) then it is interpreted as "month". 'h:mm':
0.25 --> '6:00'
[mm], or [m] Displays elapsed time such that the minute part can become greater than 59 '[mm]:ss':
1.25 --> '1800:00'
s Place holder of the seconds part of a date/time value. The seconds are displayed as a simple number, without adding a leading zero. 'hh:mm:s':
0.25 --> '06:00:0'
ss Place holder of the seconds part of a date/time value. Single-digit seconds are displayed with a leading zero. 'hh:mm:ss':
0.25 --> '06:00:00'
[ss], or [s] Displays elapsed time such that the seconds part can become greater than 59 '[ss]':
1.25 --> '108000'
AM/PM, am/pm, A/P, or a/p Displays the time in the 12-hour format. 'hh:mm:ss AM/PM':
0.25 --> '6:00:00 AM'
" The text enclosed by quotation marks is inserted into the formatted strings literally. 'yyyy"/"mm"/"dd':
Jan 3, 2012 --> '2012/01/03' (i.e. the / is not replaced by the DateSeparator of the workbook).
\ The next character of the format string appears in the result string literally. The \ itself does not show up.

Jan 3, 2012 --> '2012/01/03'

; A format string can contain up to three sections separated by the semicolon. The first section is used for positive numbers, the second section for negative numbers, and the third section for zero numbers. If the third section is missing then a zero value is formatted as specified in the first section. If the second section is missing as well then all values are formatted according to the first section. '"#,##0"$"';-#,##0"$";"-"':
1200 --> '1,200$'
-1200 --> '1,200$'
0 --> '-'
(, and ) Sometimes used for currency values to indicate negative numbers, instead of minus sign '#,##0"$";(#,##0)"$"':
-1200 --> '(1200)$'
[red] The formatted string is displayed in the specified color. Instead of [red], you can use accordingly [black], [white], [green], [blue], [magenta], [yellow], or [cyan]. Often used to highlight negative currency values. '"$" #,##0.00;[red]("$" #,##0.00)':
-1200 --> '($ 1200.00)'


FPSpreadsheet supports colors for text, cell background, and cell borders. The basic EGA colors are declared in unit fpstypes as constants:

Predefined colors
  TsColor = DWORD;
  scBlack = $00000000;
  scWhite = $00FFFFFF;
  scRed = $000000FF;
  scGreen = $0000FF00;
  scBlue = $00FF0000;
  scYellow = $0000FFFF;
  scMagenta = $00FF00FF;
  scCyan = $00FFFF00;
  scDarkRed = $00000080;
  scDarkGreen = $00008000;
  scDarkBlue = $00800000;
  scOlive = $00008080;
  scPurple = $00800080;
  scTeal = $00808000;
  scSilver = $00C0C0C0;
  scGray = $00808080;
  scGrey = scGray;       // redefine to allow different spelling
  // Identifier for undefined color 
  scNotDefined = $40000000;
  // Identifier for transparent color 
  scTransparent = $20000000;

The TsColor represents the rgb value of a color, a single byte being used for the red, green, and blue components. The resulting number is in little endian notation, i.e. the red value comes first in memory: $00BBGGRR. (This is directly compatible with the color values as defined in the graphics unit.)

The high order byte is usually zero but is used internally to identify special color values, such as for undefined or transparent colors.


Note: In older versions of the library colors were defined as indexes into a color palette. THIS IS NO LONGER WORKING.

Unit fpsutils contains some useful functions for modification of colors:

  • function GetColorName(AColor: TsColor): String;
    returns the name of the colors defined above, or a string showing the rgb components for other colors.
  • function HighContrastColor(AColor: TsColor): TsColor;
    returns scBlack for a "bright", scWhite for a "dark" input color.
  • function TintedColor(AColor: TsColor; tint: Double): TsColor;
    brightens or darkens a color by applying a factor tint = -1..+1, where -1 means "100% darken", +1 means "100% brighten", and 0 means "no change". The hue of the color is preserved.

Cell background

The cell background can be filled by predefined patterns which are identified by the record TsFillPattern:

  TsFillPattern = record
    Style: TsFillStyle;   // fill style pattern as defined below
    FgColor: TsColor;     // forground color of the fill pattern
    BgColor: TsColor;     // background color of the fill pattern
  TsFillStyle = (fsNoFill, fsSolidFill, fsGray75, fsGray50, fsGray25, fsGray12, fsGray6,
    fsStripeHor, fsStripeVert, fsStripeDiagUp, fsStripeDiagDown,
    fsThinStripeHor, fsThinStripeVert, fsThinStripeDiagUp, fsThinStripeDiagDown,
    fsHatchDiag, fsThinHatchDiag, fsThickHatchDiag, fsThinHatchHor);
  • Use the worksheet method WriteBackground to assign a fill pattern to a specific cell. Besides the cell address, this method requires the type of the fill pattern (TsFillStyle), and the foreground and background colors as specified by their TsColor values.
  • The fill pattern of a particular cell can be retrieved by calling the workbook method ReadBackground.
  • The simplified method WriteBackgroundColor can be used to achieve a uniform background color.
  • Limitations:
    • OpenDocument files support only uniform fills. The background color is a mixture of the foreground and background rgb components in a ratio defined by the fill pattern.
    • BIFF2 files support only a 12.5% black-and-white shaded pattern.
  TsWorksheet = class
    function WriteBackground(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AStyle: TsFillStyle; APatternColor, ABackgroundColor: TsColor): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteBackground(ACell: PCell; AStyle: TsFillStyle; APatternColor, ABackgroundColor: TsColor); overload;
    function WriteBackgroundColor(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AColor: TsColor): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteBackgroundColor(ACell: PCell; AColor: TsColor); overload;
    function ReadBackground(ACell: PCell): TsFillPattern;
    function ReadBackgroundColor(ACell: PCell): TsColor; overload;
    // ...
  cell: PCell;
  // Example 1: Assign a pattern of thin, horizontal, yellow stripes on a blue background to empty cell A1 (row 0, column 0)
  MyWorksheet.WriteBackground(0, 0, fsThinStripeHor, scYellow, scBlue);
  // Example 2: Uniform gray background color of cell B1 (row 0, column 1) containing the number 3.14
  cell := MyWorksheet.WriteNumber(0, 1, 3.14);
  MyWorksheet.WriteBackgroundColor(cell, clSilver);

Cell borders

Cells can be emphasized by drawing border lines along their edges or diagonal lines. There are four borders plus two diagonals enumerated in the data type TsCellBorder:

  TsCellBorder = (cbNorth, cbWest, cbEast, cbSouth, dbDiagUp, dbDiagDown);
  TsCellBorders = set of TsCellBorder;

In order to show a border line add the corresponding border to the cell's set Borders (type TsCellBorders, see above). In this way, each cell edge can be handled separately. Use the worksheet method WriteBorders for this purpose. This example adds top and bottom borders to the edges A1 and B1:

  MyWorksheet.WriteBorders(0, 0, [cbNorth, cbSouth]);  // A1: row 0, column 0
  MyWorksheet.WriteBorders(0, 1, [cbNorth, cbSourth]); // B1: row 0, column 1

Lines usually are drawn as thin, solid, black lines. But it is possible to modify line style and color of each line. For this purpose, the cell provides an array of TsCellBorderStyle records:

  TsLineStyle = (lsThin, lsMedium, lsDashed, lsDotted, lsThick, lsDouble, lsHair,
    lsMediumDash, lsDashDot, lsMediumDashDot, lsDashDotDot, lsMediumDashDotDot, lsSlantDashDot); 
  TsCellBorderStyle = record
    LineStyle: TsLineStyle;   
    Color: TsColor;
  TsCellBorderStyles = array[TsCellBorder] of TsCellBorderStyle;   
  TsWorksheet = class
    function WriteBorderStyle(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ABorder: TsCellBorder; AStyle: TsCellBorderStyle): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteBorderStyle(ACell: PCell; ABorder: TsCellBorder; AStyle: TsCellBorderStyle); overload;
    function WriteBorderStyle(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ABorder: TsCellBorder; ALineStyle: TsLineStyle; AColor: TsColor): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteBorderStyle(ACell: PCell; ABorder: TsCellBorder; ALineStyle: TsLineStyle; AColor: TsColor); overload;
    function WriteBorderColor(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ABorder: TsCellBorder; AColor: TsColor): PCell; overload;
    proceure WriteBorderColor(ACell: PCell; ABorder: TsCellBorder; AColor: TsColor): PCell; overload;
    function WriteBorderLineStyle(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ABorder: TsCellBorder; ALineStyle: TsLineStyle): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteBorderLineStyle(ACell: PCell; ABorder: TsCellBorder; ALineStyle: TsLineStyle): PCell; overload;
    function WriteBorderStyles(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; const AStyles: TsCellBorderStyles): PCell; overload;      
    procedure WriteBorderStyles(ACell: PCell; const AStyles: TsCellBorderStyles); overload;
    function WriteBorders(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ABorders: TsCellBorders): PCell; overload
    procedure WriteBorders(ACell: PCell; ABorders: TsCellBorders); overload
    function ReadCellBorders(ACell: PCell): TsCellBorders;
    function ReadCellBorderStyle(ACell: PCell; ABorder: TsCellBorder): TsCellBorderStyle;
    function ReadCellBorderStyles(ACell: PCell): TsCellBorderStyles;

The style of a given cell border can be specified by the following methods provided by the worksheet:

  • WriteBorderStyle assigns a cell border style record to one border of the cell. There are two overloaded versions of this method: one takes an entire TsCellBorderStyle record, the other one takes the individual record elements.
  • WriteBorderColor changes the color of a given border without affecting the line style of this border.
  • WriteBorderLineStyle sets the line style of the border only, but leaves the color unchanged.
  • WriteBorderStyles sets the border style of all borders of a given cell at once. Useful for copying border styles from one cell to other cells.

This example adds a thin black border to the top, and a thick blue border to the bottom of cells A1 and B1:

  cellA1, cellB1: PCell;
  cellA1 := MyWorksheet.WriteBorders(0, 0, [cbNorth, cbSouth]);    // cell A1: row 0, column 0
  MyWorksheet.WriteBorderStyle(cellA1, cbNorth, lsThin, scBlack);  
  MyWorksheet.WriteBorderStyle(cellA1, cbSouth, lsThick, scBlue);
  cellB1 := MyWorksheet.WriteBorders(0, 1, [cbNorth, cbSouth]);    // cell B1: row 0, column 1
  MyWorksheet.WriteBorderStyles(cellB1, cellA1^.BorderStyles);     // copy all border styles from cell A1 to B1

Note: Diagonal lines are not supported by sfExcel2 and sfExcel5 - they are just omitted. sfExcel8 and sfOOXML use the same linestyle and color for both diagonals; when writing the border style of the diagonal-up line is assumed to be valid also for the diagonal-down line. Some writers do not support all the line styles of the TsLineStyle enumeration. In this case, appropriate replacement line styles are used.


The cell text can displayed in various fonts. For this purpose, the workbook provides a list of TsFont items:

  TsFont = class
    FontName: String;
    Size: Single;   
    Style: TsFontStyles;
    Color: TsColor;
    Position: TsFontPosition;
  • The FontName corresponds to the name of the font as used by the operational system. In Windows, an example would be "Times New Roman".
  • The FontSize is given in "points", i.e. units 1/72 inch which are commonly used in Office applications.
  • The FontStyle is a set of the items fssBold, fssItalic, fssStrikeout, and fssUnderline which form the enumeration type TsFontStyle. The "normal" font corresponds to an empty set.
  • The Color determines the foreground color of the text characters given in rgb presentation as discussed above.
  • The Position is either fpNormal, fpSuperscript, or fpSubscript and indicates whether the font size should be decreased by about 1/3 and the characters should be displaced up (superscript) or down (subscript).

Every cell is provided with an index into the font list.

In order to assign a particular font to a cell, use one of the following methods of TsSpreadsheet:

  TsSpreadsheet = class
    function  WriteFont(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; const AFontName: String;
      AFontSize: Single; AFontStyle: TsFontStyles; AFontColor: TsColor): Integer; overload;
    procedure WriteFont(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AFontIndex: Integer); overload;
    function WriteFontColor(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AFontColor: TsColor): Integer;
    function WriteFontSize(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ASize: Integer): Integer;
    function WriteFontStyle(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AStyle: TsFontStyles): Integer; 
    // plus: overloaded versions accepting a pointer to a cell record instead of the row and column index as parameter
    // ...
  • WriteFont assigns a font to the cell. If the font does not yet exist in the font list a new entry is created. The function returns the index of the font in the font list. In addition, there is an overloaded version which only takes the font index as a parameter.
  • WriteFontColor replaces the color of the font that is currently assigned to the cell by a new one. Again, a new font list item is created if the font with the new color does not yet exist. The function returns the index of the font in the list.
  • WriteFontSize replaces the size of the currently used font of the cell.
  • WriteFontStyle replaces the style (normal, bold, italic, etc.) of the currently used cell font.

The workbook's font list contains at least one item which is the default font for cells with unmodified fonts. By default, this is 10-point "Arial". Use the workbook method SetDefaultFont to assign a different font to the first list item.

The font at a given index of the font list can be looked up by calling the workbook function GetFont. The count of available fonts is returned by GetFontCount.

Here is an example which decreases the size of all 10-point "Arial" fonts to 9-point:

  i: Integer;
  font: TsFont;
  for i := 0 to MyWorkbook.GetFontCount-1 do
    font := MyWorkbook.GetFont(i);
    if (font.FontName = 'Arial') and (font.Size = 10.0) then
      font.Size := 9.0;

Rich-text formatting

In addition to using a specific font for each cell it is also possible to specify particular font attributes for individual characters or groups of characters in each cell text. Following the Excel notation, we call this feature Rich-text formatting (although is has nothing in common with the "rich-text" file format).

For this purpose, unit fpstypes declares the type TsRichTextParams which is an array of TsRichTextParam records:

  TsRichTextParam = record
    FontIndex: Integer;
    FirstIndex: Integer;
  TsRichTextParams = array of TsRichTextParam;

FontIndex refers to the index of the font in the workbook's FontList to be used for formatting of the characters beginning at the index FirstIndex. Being a string character index the FirstIndex is 1-based.

There are two ways to add "rich-text" formatting to a cell text:

  • Embed corresponding HTML format codes into the cell text. This can be done using the method WriteTextAsHTML of the worksheet. In order to add the text "Area (m2)" to cell A1, pass the following HTML-coded string to this function
  MyWorksheet.WriteTextAsHTML(0, 0, 'Area (m<sup>2</sup>');
  • Alternatively, the standard text writing method, WriteText can be called with an additional parameter specifiying the rich-text formatting parameters to be used directly:
  richTextParams: TsRichTextParams;
  fnt: TsFont;
  SetLength(rtp, 2);
  fnt := MyWorksheet.ReadCellFont(0, 0);
  richTextParams[0].FirstIndex := 8; // The superscript groups begins with "2" which is the (1-based) character #8 of the cell text.
  richTextParams[0].FontIndex := MyWorkbook.AddFont(fnt.FontName, fnt.Size, fnt.Style, fnt.Color, fpSuperscript);
  richTextParams[1].FirstIndex := 9; // Normal font again beginning with character #9.
  richTextParams[1].FontIndex := MyWorksheet.ReadCellFontIndex(0, 0);
  MyWorksheet.WriteUTF8Text(0, 0, 'Area (m2)', richTextParams);

Use the worksheet method DeleteRichTextParams to remove rich-text formatting from a previously formatted cell.


Note: If the cell is supposed to have a font different from the worksheet's default font then this font must be written to the cell before writing the rich-text formatted text. Otherwise the font in the unformatted regions will not be up-to-date.

Text rotation

Usually text is displayed in the cells horizontally. However, it is also possible to rotate it by 90 degrees in clockwise or counterclockwise directions. In addition, there is also an option to stack horizontal characters vertically above each other.

If you need this feature use the worksheet method WriteTextRotation and specify the text direction by an element of the enumeration type TsTextRotation:

  TsTextRotation = (trHorizontal, rt90DegreeClockwiseRotation,
    rt90DegreeCounterClockwiseRotation, rtStacked);
  TsWorksheet = class
    function WriteTextRotation(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ARotation: TsTextRotation): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteTextRotation(ACell: PCell; ARotation: TsTextRotation); overload;
    function ReadTextRotation(ACell: PCell): TsTextRotation;
    // ...
  // example for counter-clockwise rotated text in cell A1:
  WriteTextRotation(0, 0, rt90DegreeCounterClockwizeRotation);

Warning: Finer degrees of rotation which may be supported by some spreadsheet file formats are ignored.

Text alignment

By default, cell texts are aligned to the left and bottom edges of the cell, except for numbers which are right-aligned. This behavior can be changed by using the worksheet methods WriteHorAlignment and WriteVertAlignment:

  TsHorAlignment = (haDefault, haLeft, haCenter, haRight);
  TsVertAlignment = (vaDefault, vaTop, vaCenter, vaBottom);    
  TsWorkbook = class
    function WriteHorAlignment(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: TsHorAlignment): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteHorAlignment(ACell: PCell; AValue: TsHorAlignment); overload;
    function ReadHorAlignment(ACell: PCell): TsHorAlignment;
    function WriteVertAlignment(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: TsVertAlignment): PCell; overload; 
    procedure WriteVertAlignment(ACell: PCell; AValue: TsVertAlignment); overload;
    function ReadVertAlignment(ACell: PCell): TsVertAlignment;
    // ...
  // Example: Center the text in cell A1 both horizontally and vertically
  MyWorkbook.WriteHorAlignment(0, 0, haCenter);
  MyWorkbook.WriteVertAlignment(0, 0, vaCenter);

Word wrap

Text which is longer than the width of a cell can wrap into several lines by calling the method WriteWordwrap of the spreadsheet:

  TsWorksheet = class
    function WriteWordwrap(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: Boolean): PCell; overload;
    procedure WriteWordwrap(ACell: PCell; AValue: Boolean); overload;
    function ReadWordwrap(ACell: PCell): Boolean;
  // Example: activate wordwrap in cell A1
  MyWorksheet.WriteWordwrap(0, 0, true);

Merged cells

Like the Office applications, FPSpreadsheet supports also to feature of merging cells to a single large cell which is often used as a common header above simlar columns. Simply call MergeCells and pass a parameter to specify the cell range to be merged, either an Excel range string (such as A1:D5), or the first and last rows and columns:

  // or: MyWorksheet.MergeCells(0, 0, 4, 3);  // first row, first column, last row, last column

The content and format displayed for a merged range is taken from the upper left corner of the range, cell A1 in above example. This cell is called the MergeBase in the library. Except for this corner cell, there must not be any other cells in the range. If there are their contents and format will be hidden.

In order to break up a merged range back up into individual cells, use the command Unmerge and pass any cell that is within the merged range:

  // or: MyWorksheet.UnmergeCells(0, 1);   // row, column of any cell within the range

Merged cells can be read from/written to all file formats except for sfCSV, sfExcel2 and sfExcel5 which do not support this feature natively.

The information which cells are merged is stored in an internal list. Unlike in earlier versions it is no longer possible to access the MergeBase from the cell directly. Use the following functions to extract information on merged cells:

  cell, base: PCell;
  r1,c1,r2,c2: Cardinal;
  cell := MyWorksheet.FindCell('B1');
  if MyWorksheet.IsMerged(cell) then
    WriteLn('Cell B1 is merged.');
    MyWorksheet.FindMergedRange(cell, r1, c1, r2, c2);
    WriteLn('The merged range is ' + GetCellRangeString(r1, c1, r2, c2));
    base := MyWorksheet.FindMergeBase(cell);
    WriteLn('The merge base is cell ' + GetCellString(base^.Row, base^.Col));

Cell protection

This is described in a separate section below.

Additional data

Cell comments

Comments can be attached to any cell by calling

  MyWorksheet.WriteComment(0, 0, 'This is a comment for cell A1');

They are stored in an internal list of the worksheet. Use the corresponding worksheet methods to access comments:

  • If you want to know whether a particular cell contains a comment call the worksheet method HasComment(cell).
  • For retrieving a cell comment use the method ReadComment(cell), or its overloaded companion ReadComment(ARow, ACol).
  • The total number of comments can be retrieved from worksheet.Comments.Count.


Hyperlinks can be attached to cells in order to link cells to other documents or other cells in the same workbook. The general syntax for creating hyperlinks is

  procedure TWorksheet.WriteHyperlink(ARow, ACol: Cardinal; ATarget: String; ATooltip: String = '');
  • The hyperlink target, passed as parameter ATarget, must be a fully qualified URI (Uniform resource identifier) consisting of a protocol phrase (e.g., http://, file:///, mailto:, etc.) followed by specific information such as web URL, filename, or e-mail address and an optional bookmark identification separated by the character '#'. An exception are internal hyperlinks which enable to jump to a cell in the current workbook; they consist of the optional worksheet name and the cell address separated by the character '!'.
  • The optional Tooltip parameter is evaluated by Excel to display it in a hint window if the mouse if above the hyperlink.

Note: Hyperlinks can be added to empty cells or to cells with content. In the latter case, the displayed content is not changed by the hyperlink; in the former case the cell is converted to a label cell showing the hyperlink target. Be aware that OpenOffice/LibreOffice only does accept hyperlinks with non-text cells.


  // Open the web site www.google.com
  MyWorksheet.WriteText(0, 0, 'Open google');
  MyWorksheet.WriteHyperlink(0, 0, 'http://www.google.com');
  // Open the local file with the absolute path "C:\readme.txt" (assuming Windows)
  MyWorksheet.WriteHyperlink(1, 0, 'file:///c:\readme.txt');
  // Open the mail client to send a mail
  MyWorksheet.WriteText('Send mail');
  MyWorksheet.WriteHyperlink(3, 0, 'mailto:somebody@gmail.com?subject=Test');
  // Jump to a particular cell 
  MyWorksheet.WriteText(5, 0, 'Jump to cell A10 on sheet2');
  MyWorksheet.WriteHyperlink(5, 0, '#Sheet2!A10');
  // Jump to cell A10 on the current sheet and display a popup hint
  MyWorksheet.WriteHyperlink(5, 0, '#A10', 'Go to cell A10');

Note: FPSpreadsheet does not "follow" the links, it only provides a mechanism to get access to the link data. TsWorksheetGrid from the laz_fpspreadsheet_visual package, however, fires the event OnClickHyperlink if a cell with an external hyperlink is clicked for fractions of a second. In the corresponding event handler, you can, for example, load a target spreadsheet, or open a web browser to display the linked web site. If the link is an internal link to another cell within the same workbook then the grid jumps to the related cell.


FPSpreadsheet supports embedding of images in worksheets. Use one of the worksheet methods WriteImage() to add an image to the worksheet:

  MyWorksheet.WriteImage(row, col, filename, offsetX, offsetY, scaleX, scaleY);
  MyWorksheet.WriteImage(row, col, stream, offsetX, offsetY, scaleX, scaleY);
  MyWorksheet.WriteImage(row, col, imageindex, offsetX, offsetY, scaleX, scaleY);

The upper/left corner of the image is placed at the upper/left corner of the cell in the specified row and column. The floating point parameters offsetX, offsetY, scaleX and scaleY are optional: they define an offset of this image anchor point from the cell corner and a magnification factor. The path to the image file is given as parameter filename. Alternatively, overloaded versions can be used which accept a stream in place of the file name or an image index in the workbook's EmbeddedObj list - use MyWorkbook.FindEmbeddedObj(filename) to get this index for a previously loaded image file.

Note that FPSpreadsheet needs to know the image type for successfull picture import. Currently, the types png, jpg, tiff, bmp, gif, svg, wmf, emf, and pcx are supported (Excel2007 cannot read imported svg and pcx images). Other formats can be registered by writing a function which determines the image size and pixel density, and by registering the new format using the procedure RegisterImageType - see unit fpsImages for examples:

  TsImageType = integer;
  TGetImageSizeFunc = function (AStream: TStream; out AWidth, AHeight: DWord; out dpiX, dpiY: Double): Boolean;
function RegisterImageType(AMimeType, AExtension: String; AGetImageSize: TGetImageSizeFunc): TsImageType;

Due to differences in row height and column width calculation between FPSpreadsheet and Office applications it is not possible to position images correctly. If exact image positions are important you should follow these rules:

  • Predefine the widths of all columns at least up to the one containing the right edge of the image.
  • Predefine the heights of all rows at least up to the one containing the lower edge of the image.
  • If the workbook is to be saved in OpenDocument format add the image after changing column widths and row heights because ods anchors the image to the sheet, not to the cell (like Excel and FPSpreadsheet).
  • If the exact size of the image is important make sure that it fits into a single cell.


Cells in a worksheet can be sorted for a variety of criteria by calling the Sort method of the worksheet. This method takes a TsSortParams record and the edges of the cell rectangle to be sorted as parameters; in an overloaded version, the cell rectangle can also be specified by means of an Excel-type range string (e.g. 'A1:G10'):

  TsWorksheet = class
    // ...
    procedure Sort(const ASortParams: TsSortParams;
      ARowFrom, AColFrom, ARowTo, AColTo: Cardinal); overload;
    procedure Sort(ASortParams: TsSortParams; ARange: String); overload;
    // ...

The sorting criteria are defined by a record of type TsSortParams:

  TsSortParams = record
    SortByCols: Boolean;
    Priority: TsSortPriority;  // spNumAlpha ("Numbers first"), or spAlphaNum ("Text first")
    Keys: TsSortKeys;
  TsSortKey = record
    ColRowIndex: Integer;
    Options: TsSortOptions;    // set of [spDescending, spCaseInsensitive]
  • The boolean value SortByCols determines wether sorting occurs along columns (true) or rows (false). The ColRowIndex specified in the sorting keys, accordingly, corresponds to a column or row index, respectively (see below).
  • Priority determines in mixed content cell ranges whether an ascending sort puts numerical values in front of text values or not. Empty cells are always moved to the end of the sorted column or row. In Excel, the priority is "numbers first" (spNumAlpha).
  • The array Keys specifies multiple sorting parameters. They consist of the index of the column or row to be sorted (ColRowIndex) and a set of Options for sorting direction (spoDescending) and character case (spCaseInsensitive). If Options is empty, cell comparison is case-sensitive, and cells are arranged in ascending order. If two cells are found to be "equal" on the basis of the first key (sortParams.Keys[0]) comparison proceeds with the next conditions in the Keys array until a difference is found or all conditions are used up.

InitSortParams is a handy utility to initialize the sorting parameters:

function InitSortParams(ASortByCols: Boolean = true; ANumSortKeys: Integer = 1;
  ASortPriority: TsSortPriority = spNumAlpha): TsSortParams;

The next code fragment shows a typical sorting call:

  sortParams: TsSortParams;
  sortParams := InitSortParams(true, 2);  // sorting along columns, 2 sorting keys
  // primary sorting key: column 3, ascending, case-insensitive
  sortParams.Keys[0].ColRowIndex := 3;
  sortParams.Keys[0].Options := [ssoCaseInsensitive];
  // secondary sorting key: colum 1, descending
  sortParams.Keys[1].ColRowIndex := 1;
  sortParams.Keys[1].Options := [ssoDescending];
  // The sorted block extends between cells A1 (row=0, col=0) and F10 (row=9, col=5)
  MyWorksheet.Sort(sortParams, 0, 0, 9, 5);
  // or: MyWorksheet.Sort(sortParams, 'A1:F10');

Searching and replacing

Unit fpsSearch implements a search engine which can be used to look for specific cell content within a workbook, or to replace the found cell content by some other string.


  MyWorkbook: TsWorkbook;
  MyWorksheet: TsWorksheet;
  MyRow, MyCol: Cardinal;
  MySearchParams: TsSearchParams;
  MyWorkbook := TsWorkbook.Create;
    // Specify search criteria
    MySearchParams.SearchText := 'Hallo';
    MySearchParams.Options := [soEntireDocument];
    // Create search engine and execute search
    with TSearchEngine.Create(MyWorkbook) do begin
      if FindFirst(MySearchParams, MyWorksheet, MyRow, MyCol) then begin
        WriteLn('First "', MySearchparams.SearchText, '" found in cell ', GetCellString(MyRow, MyCol));
        while FindNext(MySeachParams, MyWorksheet, myRow, MyCol) do
          WriteLn('Next "', MySearchParams.SearchText, '" found in cell ', GetCellString(MyRow, MyCol));

The search engine provides two methods for searching: FindFirst and FindNext. They are very similar, they only differ in where the search begins. In case of FindFirst, the starting cell is determined from the Options described below. In case of FindNext the search begins at the cell adjacent to the previously found cell. Both methods return the worksheet and row and column indexes of the cell in which the search text is found. If the search is not successful then the function result is FALSE.

The record TsSearchParams specifies the criteria used for searching:

  TsSearchParams = record
    SearchText: String;
    Options: TsSearchOptions;
    Within: TsSearchWithin;

Besides the text to be searched (SearchText) it provides a set of options to narrow the search:

  • soCompareEntireCell: Compares the SearchText with the entire cell content. If not contained in the Options then the cell text is compared only partially.
  • soMatchCase: Perform a case-sensitive search
  • soRegularExpr: The SearchText is considered as a regular expression
  • soAlongRows: The search engine proceeds first along the rows. If not contained in the Options then the search proceeds along the columns.
  • soBackward: The search begins at the end of the document, or runs backward from the active cell. If not contained in the Options then the search starts at the beginning of the document, or runs forward from the active cell.
  • soWrapDocument: If a search has reached the end of the document the search is resumed at its beginning (or vice versa, if soBackward is used).
  • soEntireDocument: Search begins at the first cell (or last cell if soBackward is used). If not contained in the Options then the search begins at the active cell of the worksheet. Ignored by FindNext.

The record field Within identifies the part of the spreadsheet to be searched:

  • swWorkbook: The entire workbook is searched. If the search phrase is not found on the first worksheet (or last worksheet if soBackward is used) then the search continues with the next (previous) sheet.
  • swWorksheet: The search is limited to the currently active worksheet
  • swColumn: Search is restricted to the column of the active cell
  • swRow: Search is restricted to the row of the active cell.

In addition to searching the search engine can also be used for replacing the found text by another string. Call the functions ReplaceFirst or ReplaceNext for this purpose. They act like their FindXXXX counterparts, therefore, they require a TsSearchParams record to specify the search criteria. But in addition to searching, these functions also perform the text replacement according to the specification in a TsReplaceParams record:

  TsReplaceParams = record
    ReplaceText: String;
    Options: TsReplaceOptions;

The ReplaceText identifies the string which will replace the found text pattern. The Options define a set of criteria how the replacement is done:

  • roReplaceEntirecell: Replaces the entire cell text by the ReplaceText. If not contained in the Options then only the part matching the SearchText is replaced.
  • roReplaceAll: Performs the replacement in all found cells (i.e., simply call ReplaceFirst to replace all automatically).
  • roConfirm: Calls an event handler for the OnConfirmReplacement event in which the user must specify whether the replacement is to be performed or not. Note that this event handler is mandatory if roConfirm is set.

Column and row operations

The worksheet provides these methods for inserting and deleting columns a row:

  TsWorksheet = class
    procedure DeleteCol(ACol: Cardinal);
    procedure DeleteRow(ARow: Cardinal);
    procedure InsertCol(ACol: Cardinal);
    procedure InsertRow(ARow: Cardinal);
    procedure RemoveCol(ACol: Cardinal);
    procedure RemoveRow(ARow: Cardinal);
    procedure RemoveAllCols;
    procedure RemoveAllRows
  • When a column or row is deleted by DeleteCol</t> or <tt>DeleteRow, any data assigned to this column or row are removed, i., cells, comments, hyperlinks, TCol or TRow records. Data at the right of or below the deleted column/row move to the left or up.
  • RemoveCol and RemoveRow, in contract, remove only the column or row record, i.e. reset column width and row height to their default values. Cell, comment, and hyperlink data are not affected.
  • RemoveAllCols removes all column records, i.e. resets all column widths; RemoveAllRows does the same with the row records and row heights.
  • A column or row is inserted before the index specified as parameter of the InsertXXX method.

Page layout


So far, FPSpreadsheet does not support printing of worksheets, but the Office applications do, and they provide a section of information in their files for this purpose. In FPSpreadsheets this information is available in the TsPageLayout class which belongs to the TsWorksheet data structure. Its properties and methods combine the most important features from the Excel and OpenDocument worlds.

  TsPageOrientation = (spoPortrait, spoLandscape);
  TsPrintOption = (poPrintGridLines, poPrintHeaders, poPrintPagesByRows,
    poMonochrome, poDraftQuality, poPrintCellComments, poDefaultOrientation,
    poUseStartPageNumber, poCommentsAtEnd, poHorCentered, poVertCentered,
    poDifferentOddEven, poDifferentFirst, poFitPages);
  TsPrintOptions = set of TsPrintOption;  
  TsHeaderFooterSectionIndex = (hfsLeft, hfsCenter, hfsRight);
  TsCellRange = record
    Row1, Col1, Row2, Col2: Cardinal;
  TsPageLayout = class
    { Methods }
    // embedded header/footer images
    procedure AddHeaderImage(AHeaderIndex: Integer;
      ASection: TsHeaderFooterSectionIndex; const AFilename: String);
    procedure AddFooterImage(AFooterIndex: Integer;
      ASection: TsHeaderFooterSectionIndex; const AFilename: String);
    procedure GetImageSections(out AHeaderTags, AFooterTags: String);
    function HasHeaderFooterImages: Boolean;
    // Repeated rows and columns 
    function HasRepeatedCols: Boolean;
    function HasRepeatedRows: Boolean;
    procedure SetRepeatedCols(AFirstCol, ALastCol: Cardinal);
    procedure SetRepeatedRows(AFirstRow, ALastRow: Cardinal);
    // print ranges 
    function AddPrintRange(ARow1, ACol1, ARow2, ACol2: Cardinal): Integer; overload;
    function AddPrintRange(const ARange: TsCellRange): Integer; overload;
    function GetPrintRange(AIndex: Integer): TsCellRange;
    function NumPrintRanges: Integer;
    procedure RemovePrintRange(AIndex: Integer);
    { Properties }
    property Orientation: TsPageOrientation read FOrientation write FOrientation;
    property PageWidth: Double read FPageWidth write FPageWidth;
    property PageHeight: Double read FPageHeight write FPageHeight;
    property LeftMargin: Double read FLeftMargin write FLeftMargin;
    property RightMargin: Double read FRightMargin write FRightMargin;
    property TopMargin: Double read FTopMargin write FTopMargin;
    property BottomMargin: Double read FBottomMargin write FBottomMargin;
    property HeaderMargin: Double read FHeaderMargin write FHeaderMargin;
    property FooterMargin: Double read FFooterMargin write FFooterMargin;
    property StartPageNumber: Integer read FStartPageNumber write SetStartPageNumber;
    property ScalingFactor: Integer read FScalingFactor write SetScalingFactor;
    property FitHeightToPages: Integer read FFitHeightToPages write SetFitHeightToPages;
    property FitWidthToPages: Integer read FFitWidthToPages write SetFitWidthToPages;
    property Copies: Integer read FCopies write FCopies;
    property Options: TsPrintOptions read FOptions write FOptions;
    property Headers[AIndex: Integer]: String read GetHeaders write SetHeaders;
    property Footers[AIndex: Integer]: String read GetFooters write SetFooters;
    property RepeatedCols: TsRowColRange read FRepeatedCols;
    property RepeatedRows: TsRowColRange read FRepeatedRows;
    property PrintRange[AIndex: Integer]: TsCellRange read GetPrintRange;
    property FooterImages[ASection: TsHeaderFooterSectionIndex]: TsHeaderFooterImage read GetFooterImages;
    property HeaderImages[ASection: TsHeaderFooterSectionIndex]: TsHeaderFooterImage read GetHeaderImages;
  TsWorksheet = class
    property PageLayout: TsPageLayout;

Note: The fact that the PageLayout belongs to the worksheet indicates that there can be several page layouts in the same workbook, one for each worksheet.

  • Orientation defines the orientation of the printed paper, either portrait or landscape.
  • Page width and page height refer to the standard orientation of the paper, usually portrait orientation.
  • Left, top, right and bottom margins are self-explanatory and are given in millimeters.
  • HeaderMargin is understood - like in Excel - as the distance between the paper top edge and the top of the header, and TopMargin correspondingly is the distance between the top paper edge and the top of the first table row, i.e. if the header contains several line breaks it can reach into the the table part of the print-out. This is different from OpenDocument files where the header can grow accordingly.
  • StartPageNumber should be altered if the print-out should not begin with page 1. This setting requires to add the option poUseStartPageNumber to the PageLayout's Options - but this is normally done automatically.
  • The ScalingFactor is given in percent and can be used to reduce the number of printed pages. Modifying this property clear the option poFitToPages from the PageLayout's Options.
  • Alternatively to ScalingFactor, you can also use FitHeightToPages or FitWidthToPages. The option poFitToPages must be active in order to override the ScalingFactorsetting. FitHeightToPages specifies the number of pages onto which the entire height of the printed worksheet should fit. Accordingly, FitWidthToPages can be used to define the number of pages on which the entire width of the worksheet has to fit. The value 0 has the special meaning of "use as many pages as needed". In this way, the setting "Fit all columns on one page" of Excel, for example, can be achieved by this code:
  MyWorksheet.PageLayout.Options := MyWorksheet.PageLayout.Options + [poFitPages];
  MyWorksheet.PageLayout.FitWidthToPages := 1;     // all columns on one page width
  MyWorksheet.PageLayout.FitHeightToPages := 0;    // use as many pages as needed
  • Header rows and columns repeated on every printed page can be defined by the RepeatedCols and RepeatedRows records; their elements FirstIndex and LastIndex refer to the indexes of the first and last column or row, respectively, to be repeated. Use the methods SetRepeatedCols and SetRepeatedRows to define these numbers. Note that the second parameter for the last index can be omitted to use only a single header row or column.
  • Print ranges or print areas (using Excel terminology) can be used to restrict printing only to a range of cells. Use the methods AddPrintRange to define a cell range for printing: specify the indexes of the left column, top row, right column and bottom row of the range to be printed. A worksheet can contain several print ranges.
  • Copies specifies how often the worksheet will be printed.
  • The Options define further printing properties, their names are self-explaining. They were defined according to Excel files, some of them do not exist in ODS files and are ignored there.

Headers and footers

Header and footer texts can be composed of left-aligned, centered and right-aligned strings. Add the symbol &L to indicate that the following string is to be printed as the left-aligned part; use &C accordingly for the centered and &R for the right-aligned parts. There are other symbols which will be replaced by their counterparts during printing:

  • &L: begins the left-aligned section of a header or a footer text definition
  • &C: begins the centered section of a header or a footer text definition
  • &R: begins the right-aligned section of a header or a footer text definition
  • &P: page number
  • &N: page count
  • &D: current date of printing
  • &T: current time of printing
  • &A: worksheet name
  • &F: file name without path
  • &P: file path without file name
  • &G: embedded image - use the methods AddHeaderImage or AddFooterImage to specify the image file; this also appends the &G to the other codes of the current header/footer section. Note that not all image types known by the Office application may be accepted. Currently the image can be jpeg, png, gif, bmp, tiff, pcx, svg, wmf or emf.
  • &B: bold on/off
  • &I: italic on/off
  • &U: underlining on/off
  • &E: double-underlining on/off
  • &S: strike-out on/off
  • &H: shadow on/off
  • &O: outline on/off
  • &X: superscript on/off
  • &Y: subscript on/off
  • &"font": begin using of the font with the specified name, e.g. &"Arial"
  • &number: begin using of the specified font size (in points), e.g. &16
  • &Krrggbb: switch to the font color specified to the binary value of the specified color, e.g. use &KFF0000 for red.

The arrays Headers[]/Footers[] provide space for usage of three different headers or footers:

  • Headers[0] refers to the header used on the first page only, similarly for Footers[0]. Instead of index 0 you can use the constant HEADER_FOOTER_INDEX_FIRST. Leave this string empty if there is no special first-page header/footer.
  • Headers[1] refers to the header on pages with odd page numbers, similarly for Footers[1]. Instead of index 1 you may want to use the constant HEADER_FOOTER_INDEX_ODD.
  • Headers[2] refers to the header on lages with even page nubmers, similarly for Footers[2]. Instead of index 2 you may want to use the constant HEADER_FOOTER_INDEX_EVEN.

Leave the strings at index 0 and 2 empty if the print-out should always have the same header/footer. You can use the constant HEADER_FOOTER_INDEX_ALL for better clarity. Example:

  MyWorksheet.PageLayout.Headers[HEADER_FOOTER_INDEX_ALL] := '&C&D &T';           // centered "date time" on all pages as header
  MyWorksheet.PageLayout.Footers[HEADER_FOOTER_INDEX_ODD] := '&RPage &P of &N';   // right-aligned "Page .. of ..." on odd pages as footer
  MyWorksheet.PageLayout.Footers[HEADER_FOOTER_INDEX_EVEN] := '&LPage &P of &N';  // dto, but left-aligned on even pages


In the Office applications, workbooks can be protected from unintentional changes by the user. fpspreadsheet is able to read and write the data structures related to protection, but does not enforce them. This means, for example, that cells can be modified by the user although the worksheet is specified as being locked.

Protection is handled at three levels: workbook protection, worksheet protection and cell protection.

Workbook protection

TsWorkbook contains a set of workbook or document protection options:

  • bpLockRevision: specifies that the workbook is locked for revisions
  • bpLockStructure: if this option is set then worksheets in the workbook cannot be moved, deleted, hidden, unhidden, or renamed, and new worksheets cannot be inserted.
  • bpLockWindows: indicates that the workbook windows in the Office application are locked. Windows are the same size and position each time the workbook is opened by the Office application.

In relation to workbook protection is the worksheet option soPanesProtection which prevents the panes of a worksheet from being modified if the workbook is protected.

Depending on the file format, only some of these options might be supported. In these cases, the non-supported options are commonly accepted default values.

Worksheet protection

TsWorksheet houses a similar set of protection options. Whenever an option is included in the set Protection of the workbook the corresponding action is not allowed and locked:

  • spCells: the cells in the sheet are protected. It depends on the level of cell protection whether a particular cell can be changed or not. By default, no cell can be changed.
  • spDeleteColumns: deleting of columns is not be allowed
  • spDeleteRows: it is not possible to delete rows
  • spFormatCells: formatting of cells is not allowed
  • spFormatColumns: columns cannot be formatted.
  • spFormatRows: rows cannot be formatted
  • spInsertColumns: it is not allowed to insert columns
  • spInsertRows: rows cannot be inserted
  • spInsertHyperlinks: it is not possible to insert new hyperlinks
  • spSort: the worksheet is not allowed to be sorted.
  • spSelectLockedCells: Cells which are locked cannot be selected any more.
  • spSelectUnlockedCells: Even cells which are unlocked cannot be selected. Together with spSelectLockedCells this means that the selection in the worksheet is frozen.

These levels of protection become active if the option soProtected is added to the worksheet's Options, or by calling the worksheet method Protect(true).

Cell protection

Cell protection becomes active when the worksheet protection is enabled. It is controlled by a set of TsCellProtection elements which belong to the cell format record:

  • cpLockCell: This option determines whether cell content can be modified by the user. Since it is on by default cells of a protected worksheet normally cannot be edited. In order to unlock some cells for user input the option cpLockCell must be removed from the protection of these cells.
  • cpHideFormulas: prevents formulas from being shown in the Office application.

Cell protection can be changed by calling the worksheet method WriteCellProtection. Conversely, ReadCellProtection can be used to retrieve the protection state of a particular cell:

// query and modifiy the protection state of cell A1 (row=0, col=0)
  cell: PCell;
  cellprot: TsCellProtections;
  // Find the cell
  cell := worksheet.FindCell(0, 0);
  // query cell protection
  cellprot := worksheet.ReadCellProtection(cell);
  // Unlock the cell for editing, don't change the visibility of formulas
  worksheet.WriteCellProtection(cell, cellprot - [cpLockCell]);
  // Hide formula of the cell and unlock the cell.
  worksheet.WriteCellProtection(cell, [cpHideFormulas]);


Workbook and worksheet protection can be secured by passwords. Note that these passwords do not encrypt the file (except for workbook protection in Excel 2007). In the Office applications the user must enter this password to turn off protection or to change protection items. The encrypted password is stored in the CryptoInfo record of the wordbook and the worksheets, respectively:

  TsCryptoInfo = record
    PasswordHash: String;
    Algorithm: TsCryptoAlgorithm;  // caExcel, caSHA1, caSHA256, etc.
    SaltValue: String;
    SpinCount: Integer;

Warning: FPSpreadsheet does not perform any hashing calculations, the CryptoInfo record is just passed through from reading to writing. This causes problems when different file formats are involved in reading and writing. It is attempted to detect incompatible combinations. In these cases, the password protection is removed, and an error is logged by the workbook.

Loading and saving

Adding new file formats

FPSpreadsheet is open to any spreadsheet file format. In addition to the built-in file formats which are specified by one of the sfXXXX declarations, it is possible to provide dedicated reader and writer units to get access to special file formats.

  • Write a unit implementing a reader and a writer for the new file format. They must inherit from the basic TsCustomSpreadReader and TsCustomWriter, respectively, - both are implemented in unit fpsReaderWriter -, or from one of the more advanced ones belonging to the built-in file formats.
  • Register the new reader/writer by calling the function RegisterSpreadFileFormat in the initialization section of this unit (implemented in unit fpsRegFileFormats):
function RegisterSpreadFormat(AFormat: TsSpreadsheetFormat; AReaderClass: TsSpreadReaderClass; AWriterClass: TsSpreadWriterClass;
  AFormatName, ATechnicalName: String; const AFileExtensions: array of String): TsSpreadFormatID;
  • AFormat must have the value sfUser to register an external file format.
  • AReaderClass is the class of the reader (or nil, if reading functionality is not implemented).
  • AWriterClass is the class of the writer (or nil, if writing functionality is not implemented).
  • AFormatName defines the name of the format as used for example in the filter list of file-open dialogs.
  • ATechnicalName defines a shorter format name.
  • AFileExtensions is an array of file extensions used in the files. The first array element denotes the default extension. The extensions must begin with a period as in .xls.
  • The registration function returns a numerical value (TsSpreadFormatID) which can be used as format identifier in the workbook reading and writing functions which exist in overloaded version accepting a numerical value for the format specifier. In contract to the built-in formats the FormatID is negative.
  • Finally, in your application, add the new unit to the uses clause. This will call the registrations function when the unit is loaded and make the new file format available to FPSpreadsheet.

Stream selection

Workbooks are loaded and saved by means of the ReadFromFile and WriteToFile methods, respectively (or by their stream counterparts, ReadFromStream and WriteToStream).

By default, the data files are accessed by means of memory streams which yields the fastest access to the files. In case of very large files (e.g. tens of thousands of rows), however, the system may run out of memory. There are two methods to defer the memory overflow by some extent.

  • Add the element boBufStream to the workbook's Options. In this case, a "buffered" stream is used for accessing the data. This kind of stream holds a memory buffer of a given size and swaps data to file if the buffer becomes too small.
  • Add the element boFileStream to the workbook's Options. This option avoids memory streams altogether and creates temporary files if needed. This is, however, the slowest method of data access.
  • If both options are set then boBufStream is ignored.
  • In practice, however, the effect of the selected streams is not very large if memory is to be saved.

Virtual mode

Beyond the transient memory usage during reading/writing the main memory consumptions originates in the internal structure of FPSpreadsheet which holds all data in memory. To overcome this limitation, a "virtual mode" has been introduced. In this mode, data are received from a data source (such as a database table) and are passed through to the writer without being collected in the worksheet. It is clear that data loaded in virtual mode cannot be displayed in the visual controls. Virtual mode is good for conversion between different data formats.

These are the steps required to use this mode:

  • Activate virtual mode by adding the option boVirtualMode to the Options of the workbook.
  • Tell the spreadsheet writer how many rows and columns are to be written. The corresponding worksheet properties are VirtualRowCount and VirtualColCount.
  • Write an event handler for the event OnWriteCellData of the worksheet. This handler gets the index of row and column of the cell currently being saved. You have to return the value which will be saved in this cell. You can also specify a template cell that physically exists in the workbook from which the formatting style is copied to the destination cell. Please be aware that when exporting a database, you are responsible for advancing the dataset pointer to the next database record when writing of a row is complete.
  • Call the WriteToFile method of the workbook.

Virtual mode also works for reading spreadsheet files.

The folder example/other contains a worked out sample project demonstrating virtual mode using random data. More realistic database examples are in example/db_import_export and in the chapter on converting a large database table using virtual mode.

Dataset export

FPC contains a set of units that allow you to export datasets to various formats (XML, SQL statements, DBF files,...). There is a master package that allows you to choose an export format at design time or run time (Lazarus package lazdbexport).

FPSpreadsheet has TFPSExport which plugs into this system. It allows you to export the contents of a dataset to a new spreadsheet (.xls, .xlsx, .ods, wikitable format) file into a table on the first sheet by default. In addition, if MultipleSheets is set to TRUE it is possible to combine several sheets into individual worksheets in the same file. You can optionally include the field names as header cells on the first row using the HeaderRow properties in the export settings. The export component tries to find the number format of the cells according to the dataset field types.

For more complicated exports, you need to manually code a solution (see examples below) but for simple data transfer/dynamic exports at user request, this unit will probably be sufficient.

A simple example of how this works:

  Exp: TFPSExport;
  ExpSettings: TFPSExportFormatSettings;
  TheDate: TDateTime;
  FDataset.First; //assume we have a dataset called FDataset
  Exp := TFPSExport.Create(nil);
  ExpSettings := TFPSExportFormatSettings.Create(true);
    ExpSettings.ExportFormat := efXLS; // choose file format
    ExpSettings.HeaderRow := true; // include header row with field names
    Exp.FormatSettings := ExpSettings; // apply settings to export object
    Exp.Dataset:=FDataset; // specify source
    Exp.FileName := 'c:\temp\datadump.xls';
    Exp.Execute; // run the export

Visual controls for FPSpreadsheet

The package laz_fpspreadsheet_visual implements a series of controls which simiplify creation of visual GUI applications:

  • TsWorkwookSource links the controls to a workbook and notifies the controls of changes in the workbook.
  • TsWorksheetGrid implements a grid control with editing and formatting capabilities; it can be applied in a similar way to TStringGrid.
  • TsWorkbookTabControl provides a tab sheet for each worksheet of the workbook. It is the ideal container for a TsWorksheetGrid.
  • TsCellEdit corresponds to the editing line in Excel or Open/LibreOffice. Direct editing in the grid, however, is possible as well.
  • TsCellIndicator displays the name of the currently selected cell; it can be used for navigation purposes by entering a cell address string.
  • TsCellCombobox offers to pick cell properties for a selection of formatting attributes: font name, font size, font color, background color.
  • TsSpreadsheetInspector is a tool mainly for debugging; it displays various properties of workbook, worksheet, cell value and cell formatting, similar to the ObjectInspector of Lazarus. It is read-only, though.
  • Various standard actions are provided in the unit fpsActions. Applied to menu or toolbar, they simplify typical formatting and editing tasks without having to write a line of code.
  • TsWorkbookChartSource interfaces a workbook with the TAChart library. It defines the cell ranges from which a Chart series can get its data. There is also an older component, TsWorksheetChartSource, which requires all cells to be from the same worksheet. For this reason, it has not been fully integrated into the environment of FPSpreadsheet controls and will be removed from the library in the future.

See the FPSpreadsheet tutorial: Writing a mini spreadsheet application for more information and a tutorial, and see demo projects for examples of the application of these components.


To create a project which uses the fpspreadsheet library, add the fpspreadsheet_pkg package to it's Lazarus project, or add the base directory of fpspreadsheet to you compiler options if using another IDE.


The entire FPSpreadsheet package consists of several units. A spreadsheet application typically "uses" the following units:

  • fpspreadsheet: implements TsWorkbook and TsWorksheet and the basic file reading/writing methods
  • fpstypes: declares most of the data types and constants used throughout the package. Note: in older versions these declarations were contained in fpspreadsheet.pas.
  • the unit(s) implementing the reader/writer for a given file format, e.g. xlsbiff8 for binary Excel files. If the application will be able to handle all formats "use" the unit fpsallformats.

The next units are required only occasionally:

  • fpsutils: a collection of utility functions that are occasionally needed (e.g. conversion of col/row indexes to Excel-like cell address string).
  • fpscell: this unit is required if you use direct cell formatting (e.g. cell^.BackgroundColor := scYellow) instead of calling the corresponding worksheet method (MyWorksheet.WriteBackgroundColor(cell, scYellow), in this example).
  • fpsnumformat: collects all utility functions related to number formats.

All other units are probably not needed at the application level. In case of the visual spreadsheet controls, the needed units usually are inserted at design-time automatically.

Excel 5 example

Note: at least with fpspreadsheet from trunk (development version), this example requires (at least) Lazarus avglvltree.pas, lazutf8.pas, asiancodepagefunctions.inc, asiancodepages.inc and lconvencoding.pas (in the $(LazarusDir)\components\lazutils\ directory)

Demonstrates how to write an Excel 5.x file using the fpspreadsheet library
You can change the output format by changing the OUTPUT_FORMAT constant
AUTHORS: Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho
program excel5demo;
{$mode delphi}{$H+}
  Classes, SysUtils, fpstypes, fpspreadsheet, fpsallformats, laz_fpspreadsheet;
  OUTPUT_FORMAT = sfExcel5;
  MyWorkbook: TsWorkbook;
  MyWorksheet: TsWorksheet;
  MyFormula: TsRPNFormula;
  MyDir: string;
  // Initialization
  MyDir := ExtractFilePath(ParamStr(0));
  // Create the spreadsheet
  MyWorkbook := TsWorkbook.Create;
    MyWorksheet := MyWorkbook.AddWorksheet('My Worksheet');
    // Write some number cells
    MyWorksheet.WriteNumber(0, 0, 1.0);
    MyWorksheet.WriteNumber(0, 1, 2.0);
    MyWorksheet.WriteNumber(0, 2, 3.0);
    MyWorksheet.WriteNumber(0, 3, 4.0);
    // Write the formula E1 = A1 + B1
    MyWorksheet.WriteFormula(0, 4, 'A1+B1');
    // Creates a new worksheet
    MyWorksheet := MyWorkbook.AddWorksheet('My Worksheet 2');
    // Write some string cells
    MyWorksheet.WriteText(0, 0, 'First');
    MyWorksheet.WriteText(0, 1, 'Second');
    MyWorksheet.WriteText(0, 2, 'Third');
    MyWorksheet.WriteText(0, 3, 'Fourth');
    // Save the spreadsheet to a file
    MyWorkbook.WriteToFile(MyDir + 'test' + STR_EXCEL_EXTENSION, OUTPUT_FORMAT);

Opening an existing spreadsheet

To open a spreadsheet while specifying a particular format to use use ReadFromFile with two parameters:

MyWorkbook.ReadFromFile(AFileName, sfExcel5);

It is also possible to call ReadFromFile with only one parameter, the filename. Then the workbook will use the extension to auto-detect the file format. In case of the ambiguous extension .xls (Excel 2-8) it will simply try various possibilities until one works. Although typical fingerprint byte patterns are checked now it is still possible that an exception will be raised for each incorrect format if run from the IDE at designtime; this does not occur at runtime.


Writing a spreadsheet to file based on extension

Similar to the ReadFromFile routine, there is also a WriteToFile procedure to determine the spreadsheet's type based on the filename suffix. It uses the GetFormatFromFileName routine in the previous section's code, so the actual code is simple. However, it will always write files with a given extension using the latest format that uses that extension (e.g. Excel .xls files will be written as sfExcel8), so if you want to write them in an earlier format, you have to use the base routine.

As above, this code patches the fpspreadsheet.pas unit.

procedure TsWorkbook.WriteToFile(const AFileName: string; const AOverwriteExisting: Boolean = False); overload;
var SheetType: TsSpreadsheetFormat;
  if getFormatFromFileName(AFileName, SheetType) then
    WriteToFile(AFileName, SheetType, AOverwriteExisting)
  else raise Exception.Create(Format(
    '[TsWorkbook.WriteToFile] Attempted to save a spreadsheet by extension, but the extension %s is invalid.', [ExtractFileExt(AFileName)]));

Iterating through all Worksheets

  MyWorkbook: TsWorkbook;
  MyWorksheet: TsWorksheet;
  i: Integer;
  // Here load MyWorkbook from a file or build it
  for i := 0 to MyWorkbook.GetWorksheetCount() - 1 do
    MyWorksheet := MyWorkbook.GetWorksheetByIndex(i);
    // Do something with MyWorksheet

Iteration through cells

The first idea is to use a simple for-to loop:

  MyWorksheet: TsWorksheet;
  col, row: Cardinal;
  cell: PCell;
  for row:=0 to MyWorksheet.GetLastRowIndex do
    for col := 0 to MyWorksheet.GetLastColIndex do
      cell := MyWorksheet.FindCell(row, col);

FindCell initiates a search for a cell independently of the previously found cell. Cells, however, are are organized interally in a sorted tree structure, and each cell "knows" its previous and next neighbors. Moreover, FindCell wastes time on searching for non-existing cells in case of sparsely-occupied worksheets. In general, it is more efficient to use the for-in syntax which takes advantage of the internal tree structure by means of special enumerators. Note that there are also dedicated enumerators for searching along rows, columns or in cell ranges:

  MyWorksheet: TsWorksheet;
  cell: PCell;
  // Search in all cells
  for cell in Myworksheet.Cells do
  // Search in column 0 only
  for cell in MyWorksheet.Cells.GetColEnumerator(0) do
  // Search in row 2 only
  for cell in MyWorksheet.Cells.GetRowEnumerator(2) do
  // Search in range A1:C2 only (rows 0..1, columns 0..2)
  for cell in MyWorksheet.Cells.GetRangeEnumerator(0, 0, 1, 2) do

Converting a database to a spreadsheet

The easiest solution is to use the DatasetExport component.

If you need to have more control over the process, use something like:

program db5xls;
{$mode delphi}{$H+}
  Classes, SysUtils, 
  // add database units
  fpstypes, fpspreadsheet, fpsallformats;
const OUTPUT_FORMAT = sfExcel5;
  MyWorkbook: TsWorkbook;
  MyWorksheet: TsWorksheet;
  MyDatabase: TSdfDataset;
  MyDir: string;
  i, j: Integer;
  // Initialization
  MyDir := ExtractFilePath(ParamStr(0));
  // Open the database
  MyDatabase := TSdfDataset.Create;
  MyDatabase.Filename := 'test.dat';
  // Add table description here
  MyDatabase.Active := True;
  // Create the spreadsheet
  MyWorkbook := TsWorkbook.Create;
  MyWorksheet := MyWorkbook.AddWorksheet('My Worksheet');
  // Write the field names
  for i := 0 to MyDatabase.Fields.Count - 1 do
    MyWorksheet.WriteText(0, i, MyDatabase.Fields[i].FieldName);
  // Write all cells to the worksheet
  j := 0;
  while not MyDatabase.EOF do
    for i := 0 to MyDatabase.Fields.Count - 1 do
      MyWorksheet.WriteText(j + 1, i, MyDatabase.Fields[i].AsString);
  // Close the database
  MyDatabase.Active := False;
  // Save the spreadsheet to a file
  MyWorkbook.WriteToFile(MyDir + 'test' + STR_EXCEL_EXTENSION, OUTPUT_FORMAT);

Converting a large database table to a spreadsheet using virtual mode


Note: The example program in examples\db_import_export shows a demonstration of using virtual mode to export datasets to spreadsheet files.

We want to write a large database table to a spreadsheet file. The first row of the spreadsheet is to show the field names in bold type face and with a gray background.

Normally, FPSpreadsheet would load the entire representation of the spreadsheet into memory, so we'll use virtual mode to minimize memory usage.

  TDataProvider = class;
  MyWorkbook: TsWorkbook;
  MyWorksheet: TsWorksheet;
  MyDatabase: TSdfDataset;
  MyDir: string;
  MyHeaderTemplateCell: PCell;
  DataProvider: TDataProvider;
// Implement TDataProvider here - see below...
  // Initialization
  MyDir := ExtractFilePath(ParamStr(0));
  // Open the database
  MyDatabase := TSdfDataset.Create;
    MyDatabase.Filename := 'test.dat';
    // Add table description here
    MyDatabase.Active := True;
    // Create the spreadsheet
    MyWorkbook := TsWorkbook.Create;
      MyWorksheet := MyWorkbook.AddWorksheet('My Worksheet');
      // Create the template cell for the header line, we want the 
      // header in bold type-face and gray background color
      // The template cell can be anywhere in the workbook, let's just select cell A1.
      MyWorksheet.WriteFontStyle(0, 0, [fssBold]);
      MyWorksheet.WriteBackgroundColor(0, 0, scGray);
      // We'll need this cell again and again, so let's save the pointer to it in a variable
      MyHeaderTemplateCell := MyWorksheet.Find(0, 0);
      // Enter virtual mode
      MyWorkbook.Options := MyWorkbook.Options + [boVirtualMode];
      // Define number of columns - we want a column for each field
      MyWorksheet.VirtualColCount := MyDatabase.FieldCount;
      // Define number of rows - we want every record, plus 1 row for the title row
      MyWorksheet.VirtualRowCount := MyDatabase.RecordCount + 1;
      // Link the event handler which passes data from database to spreadsheet writer
      MyWorksheet.OnWriteCellData := @DataProvider.WriteCellData;
      // Write all cells to an Excel8 file
      // The data to be written are specified in the OnWriteCellData event handler.
      MyWorkbook.WriteToFile(MyDir + 'test.xls', sfExcel8);
      // Clean-up
    // Close the database & clean-up
    MyDatabase.Active := False;

What is left is to write the event handler for OnWriteCellData. For the command-line program above we setup a particular data provider class (in a gui program the event handler can also be a method of any form):

  TDataProvider = class
    procedure WriteCellData(Sender: TsWorksheet; ARow, ACol: Cardinal; var AValue: variant; var AStyleCell: PCell);
procedure TDataProvider.WriteCellData(Sender: TsWorksheet; ARow, ACol: Cardinal; AValue: variant; var: AStyleCell: PCell);
  // Let's handle the header row first:
  if ARow = 0 then begin
    // The value to be written to the spreadsheet is the field name.
    AValue := MyDatabase.Fields[ACol].FieldName;
    // Formatting is defined in the HeaderTemplateCell.
    AStyleCell := MyHeaderTemplateCell;
    // Move to first record
  end else begin
    // The value to be written to the spreadsheet is the record value in the field corresponding to the column.
    // No special requirements on formatting --> leave AStyleCell at its default (nil).
    AValue := MyDatabase.Fields[ACol].AsVariant;
    // Advance database cursor if last field of record has been written
    if ACol = MyDatabase.FieldCount-1 then MyDatabase.Next;

Converting between two spreadsheet formats

program ods2xls;
{$mode delphi}{$H+}
  Classes, SysUtils, 
  fpstypes, fpspreadsheet, fpsallformats, fpspreadsheet_pkg;
  INPUT_FORMAT = sfOpenDocument;
  OUTPUT_FORMAT = sfExcel8;
  MyWorkbook: TsWorkbook;
  MyDir: string;
  // Initialization
  MyDir := ExtractFilePath(ParamStr(0));
  // Convert the spreadsheet
  MyWorkbook := TsWorkbook.Create;
    MyWorkbook.ReadFromFile(MyDir + 'test.ods', INPUT_FORMAT);
    MyWorkbook.WriteToFile(MyDir + 'test.xls', OUTPUT_FORMAT);

Reading and writing of CSV files

CSV files (CSV = comma-separated values) are plain text files without metadata. Therefore, additional information for correct reading of writing from/to a worksheet is required. The global record CSVParams makes available fundamental settings for this purpose:

  CSVParams: TsCSVParams = record    // W = writing, R = reading, RW = reading/writing
    SheetIndex: Integer;             // W: Index of the sheet to be written
    LineEnding: TsCSVLineEnding;     // W: Specification for line ending to be written
    Delimiter: Char;                 // RW: Column delimiter
    QuoteChar: Char;                 // RW: Character for quoting texts
    Encoding: String;                // RW: Encoding of file
    DetectContentType: Boolean;      // R: try to convert strings to content types
    NumberFormat: String;            // W: if empty write numbers like in sheet, otherwise use this format
    AutoDetectNumberFormat: Boolean; // R: automatically detects decimal/thousand separator used in numbers
    TrueText: String;                // RW: String for boolean TRUE
    FalseText: String;               // RW: String for boolean FALSE
    FormatSettings: TFormatSettings; // RW: add'l parameters for conversion

This record contains fields which are evaluated for reading only, writing only, or for both - see the attached comments.

A common situation is to read a file using a number decimal separator which is different from the system's decimal separator: Suppose you are on a European system in which the decimal separator is a comma, but the csv file to be read originates from a machine which uses a decimal point. And suppose also, that the file contains tab characters as column separator instead of the default comma. In this case, simply set the CSVParams.FormatSettings.DecimalSeparator to '.', and the CSVParams.Delimiter to #9 (TAB character) before reading the file:

  fpstypes, fpspreadsheet, fpscsv;
  MyWorkbook: TsWorkbook;
  CSVParams.FormatSettings.DecimalSeparator := '.';
  CSVParams.Delimiter := #9;
  MyWorkbook := TsWorkbook.Create;
    MyWorkbook.ReadFromFile('machine-data.csv', sfCSV);

Note: If you want to give the user the possibility to interactively modify the CSVParams record have a look at the unit scsvparamsform.pas of the spready demo which provides a ready-to-use dialog.

Sample projects in the fpspreadsheet installation folder

A bunch of sample projects accompanies the FPSpreadsheet installation. They can be found in the folder "examples". Here is a brief description of these sample projects

  • db_import_export is an example showing how to export a large database table to a spreadsheet file using virtual mode or TFPSExport. It also shows importing the spreadsheet into a database using virtual mode.
  • fpsspeedtest compares the effect of file format and various reading/writing parameters on the speed of writing and reading very large spreadsheet files. Again, please run the write test first which create the test files used for the read test.
  • Folder read_write:
    • excel2demo contains command-line programs for writing and reading Excel 2.x xls files. Please run the write demo before the read demo so the required spreadsheet file is generated.
    • excel5demo, like excel2demo, but for Excel 5 xls files.
    • excel8demo, like excel2demo, but for Excel 97-2003 xls files.
    • csvdemo, like excel2demo, but for CSV files.
    • htmldemo, like excel2demo, but for HTML file (currently writing only).
    • ooxmldemo, like excel2demo, but for the new Excel xlsx files.
    • opendocdemo, like excel2demo, but for OpenOffice/LibreOffice ods files
    • wikitabledemo, like excel2demo, but for wiki table files. Note that the write example currently writes a format that the read example cannot understand.
  • other: simple commandline programs showing various aspects of the fpspreadsheet package. Have a look at readme.txt for more details.
  • Folder visual:
    • fpschart shows the application of the TsWorksheetChartSource and TsWorkbookChartSource and the interaction with the TAChart plotting package.
    • fpsctrls and fpsctrls_no_install create a GUI spreadsheet application with a minimum amount of written code; the latter demo is good for testing because it does not require installation of the FPSpreadsheet packages. Step-by-step instructions on how fpsctrls is made can be found in the FSpreadsheet tutorial.
    • fpsgrid and fpsgrid_no_install show the basic application of the TsWorksheetGrid without using the TsWorkbookSource component; the latter demo does not require installation of any FPSpreadsheet package.
    • wikitablemaker is a small application for creation of code to be used for tables on wiki pages. Type the data into a TsWorksheetGrid (or load an existing spreadsheet file), go to page "Code" to see the generated wiki code, click "Copy to clipboard" and paste the code into the wiki page.
  • spready is an extended application of the the entire library showing spreadsheet files with formatting, editing of cells, etc. Since it is a stand-alone application it has been moved to the folder applications/spready' of the Lazarus Components and Code Library.



You can download FPSpreadsheet using the subversion software and the following command line:

svn checkout svn://svn.code.sf.net/p/lazarus-ccr/svn/components/fpspreadsheet fpspreadsheet

SVN change log

  • Workbook, worksheet and cell protection (read/write in BIFF2/BIFF5/BIFF8/OOXML/ODS, write in ExcelXML)
  • TsWorksheetGrid can display embedded images.

Incompatible changes

Stable releases

You can find all releases of FPSpreadsheet on sourceforge.

Version 1.8

This is the latest stable release.

Change log (with respect to v1.6x)
  • "Rich-text" formatting of label cells, i.e. assignment different fonts to groups of characters within the cell text. For this purpose, HTML codes (such as <B>...</B>) can be embedded in the cell text to identify the parts with different font (--> TsWorksheet.WriteTextAsHTML).
  • Searching for cells with specified content in worksheet or workbook.
  • Support for reading and writing of HTML format
  • Support for writing of the ExcelXML format (Excel XP and 2003)
  • Ability to use user-provided file reader/writer classes to extend FPSpreadsheet to new file formats.
  • Readers and writers now support all the line styles of Excel8 and OOXML.
  • xls, xlsx and ods readers/writers now support the active worksheet and selected cell.
  • Ability to write to/read from the system's clipboard for copy & paste using the visual controls.
  • Support for print ranges and repeated header rows and columns in the Office applications.
  • Support for embedded images (currently only writing to xlsx and ods, no reading).
  • Improved compatibility of TsWorksheetGrid with TStringGrid (Cells[Col,Row] property). Standalone application as an advanced StringGrid replacement.
  • Support for Right-to-left mode in TsWorksheetGrid. In addition to the system-wide RTL mode, there are also parameters BiDiMode in the Worksheet and cells allowing to controls text direction at worksheet and cell level individually, like in Excel or LibreOffice Calc.
  • Support of several units for specification of column widths and row heights.
  • The library now supports localization using po files. Translations are welcome.
  • Zoom factor read and written by the worksheet, and applied by the TsWorksheetGrid.
  • Support of column and row formats
  • Support of hidden worksheets
Incompatible changes
  • VirtualMode was changed in order to be able to treat worksheets of the same workbook differently. VirtualRowCount and VirtualColCount are now properties of the worksheet, and similarly, the event handler OnWriteCellData. In older versions, these properties had belonged to the workbook.
  • The worksheet methods ReadAsUTF8Text and WriteUTF8Text have been renamed to ReadAsText and WriteText, respectively. The old ones are still available and marked as deprecated; they will be removed in later versions.
  • The public properties of TsWorksheetGrid using a TRect as parameter were modified to use the Left, Top, Right, Bottom values separately.
  • The PageLayout is a class now, no longer a record. As a consequence, some array properties cannot be set directly any more, use the corresponding methods instead.
  • Most of the predefined color constants were marked as deprecated; only the basic EGA colors will remain.
  • Unit fpsNumFormatParser is integrated in fpsNumFormat. Old code which "uses" fpsNumFormatParser must "use" fpsNumFormat now.
  • The source files of the laz_fpspreadsheet, laz_fpspreadsheet_visual and laz_fpspreadsheetexport_visual packages have been moved to separate folders in order to resolve some occasional compilation issues. Projects which do not use the packages but the path to the sources must adapt the paths.

Version 1.6

Change log (with respect to v1.4.x)
  • TsWorkbookChartSource is a new component which facilitates creation of charts from non-contiguous spreadsheet data in various worksheets. It interfaces to a workbook via tha WorkbookSource component. In the long run, it will replace the older TsWorksheetChartSource which required contiguous x/y data blocks in the same worksheet.
  • Major reconstruction of the cell record resulting in strong reduction of memory consumption per cell (from about 160 bytes per cell down to about 50)
  • Implementation of a record helper for the TCell which simplifies cell formatting (no need to set a bit in UsedFormattingFields any more, automatic notification of visual controls)
  • Comments in cells
  • Background fill patterns
  • Hyperlinks
  • Enumerators for worksheet's internal AVLTrees for faster iteration using a for-in loop.
  • Formatting of numbers as fractions.
  • Improved number format parser for better recognition of Excel-like number formats.
  • Page layout (page margins, headers, footer, used for only when printing in the Office applications - no direct print support in fpspreadsheet!)
  • Improved color management: no more palettes, but direct rgb colors. More pre-defined colors.
  • A snapshot of the wiki documentation is added to the library as chm help file.
Incompatible changes
  • All type declarations and constants are moved from fpspreadsheet.pas to the new unit fpstypes.pas. Therefore, most probably, this unit has to be added to the uses clause.
  • Because fpspreadsheet supports now background fill patterns the cell property BackgroundColor has been replaced by Background. Similarly, the UsedFormattingFields flag uffBackgroundColor is called uffBackground now.
  • Another UsedFormattingFields flag has been dropped: uffBold. It is from the early days of fpspreadsheet and has become obsolete since the introduction of full font support. For achieving a bold type-face, now call MyWorksheet.WriteFont(row, col, BOLD_FONTINDEX), or Myworksheet.WriteFontStyle(row, col, [fssBold]).
  • Iteration through cells using the worksheet methods GetFirstCell and GetNextCell has been removed - it failed if another iteration of this kind was called within the loop. Use the new for-in syntax instead.
  • Support for shared formulas has been reduced. The field SharedFormulaBase has been deleted from the TCell record, and methods related to shared formulas have been removed from TsWorksheet. Files containing shared formulas can still be read, the shared formulas are converted to multiple normal formulas.
  • The color palettes of previous versions have been abandoned. TsColor is now a DWord representing the rgb components of a color (just like TColor does in the graphics unit), it is not an index into a color palette any more. The values of pre-defined colors, therefore, have changed, their names, however, are still existing. The workbook functions for palette access have become obsolete and were removed.

Version 1.4

Change log (with respect to v1.2.x)
  • Full support for string formulas; calculation of RPN and string formulas for all built-in formulas either directly or by means of registration mechanism. Calculation occurs when a workbook is saved (activate workbook option boCalcBeforeSaving) or when cell content changes (active workbook option boAutoCalc).
  • Shared formulas (reading for sfExcel5, sfExcel8, sfOOXML; writing for sfExcel2, sfExcel5, sfExcel8).
  • Significant speed-up of writing of large spreadsheets for the xml-based formats (ods and xlsx), speed up for biff2; speedtest demo program
  • VirtualMode allowing to read and write very large spreadsheet files without loading entire document representation into memory. Formatting of cells in VirtualMode.
  • Demo program for database export using virtual mode and TFPSExport.
  • Added db export unit allowing programmatic exporting datasets using TFPSExport. Similar export units are e.g. fpdbfexport, fpXMLXSDExport.
  • Reader for xlsx files, now fully supporting the same features as the other readers.
  • Reader/writer for CSV files based on CsvDocument.
  • Wikitables writer supports now most of the fpspreadsheet formatting options (background color, font style, font color, text alignment, cell borders/line styles/line colors, merged cells, column widths, row heights); new "wikitablemaker" demo
  • Insertion and deletion of rows and columns into a worksheet containing data.
  • Implementation of sorting of a worksheet.
  • Support of diagonal "border" lines
  • Logging of non-fatal error messages during reading/writing (TsWorksheet.ErrorMsg)
  • Merged cells
  • Registration of currency strings for automatic conversion of strings to currency values
  • A set of visual controls (TsWorkbookSource, TsWorkbookTabControl, TsSpreadsheetInspector, TsCellEdit, TsCellIndicator, TsCellCombobox, in addition to the already-existing TsWorksheetGrid) and pre-defined standard actions to facilitate creation of GUI applications.
  • Overflow cells in TsWorksheetGrid: label cells with text longer than the cell width extend into the neighboring cell(s).
Incompatible changes
  • The option soCalcBeforeSaving now belongs to the workbook, no longer to the worksheet, and has been renamed to boCalcBeforeSaving (it controls automatic calculation of formulas when a workbook is saved).
  • The workbook property ReadFormulas is replaced by the option flag boReadFormulas. This means that you have to add this flag to the workbook's Options in order to activate reading of formulas.
  • With full support of string formulas some features related to RPN formulas were removed:
    • The field RPNFormulaResult of TCell was dropped, as well as the element cctRPNFormula in the TsContentType set.
    • Sheet function identifiers were removed from the TsFormulaElement set, which was truncated after fekParen.
    • To identify a sheet function, its name must be passed to the function RPNFunc (instead of using the now removed fekXXXX token). In the array notation of the RPN formula, a sheet function is identified by the new token fekFunc.
    • The calling convention for registering user-defined functions was modified. It now also requires the Excel ID of the function (see "OpenOffice Documentation of Microsoft Excel Files", section 3.11, or unit xlsconst containing all token up to ID 200 and some above).
    • Code related to RPN formulas was moved to a separate unit, fpsRPN. Add this unit to the uses clause if you need RPN features.

Wiki documentation of old releases

This wiki page is work in progress and updated whenever a new feature is added; therefore, its state corresponds to the svn trunk version of the package. If you work with an older stable version please use these "historic" wiki versions:


  • If you only need non-GUI components: in Lazarus: Package/Open Package File, select laz_fpspreadsheet.lpk, click Compile. Now the package is known to Lazarus (and should e.g. show up in Package/Package Links). Now you can add a dependency on laz_fpspreadsheet in your project options and fpspreadsheet to the uses clause of the project units that need to use it.
  • If you also want GUI components (TsWorksheetGrid and TsWorksheetChartSource): Package/Open Package File, select laz_fpspreadsheet_visual.lpk, click Compile, then click Use, Install and follow the prompts to rebuild Lazarus with the new package. Drop needed grid/chart components on your forms as usual.
  • If you want to have a GUI component for dataset export: Package/Open Package File, select laz_fpspreadsheetexport_visual.lpk, click Compile, then click, Use, Install and follow the prompts to rebuild Lazarus with the new package. Drop needed export components from the Data Export tab on your forms as usual.
  • FPSpreadsheet is developed with the latest stable fpc version (currently fpc 3.0.2). We only occasionally check older versions.
  • The basic spreadsheet functionality works with Lazarus versions back to version 1.0. Some visual controls or demo programs, however, require newer versions. Please update your Lazarus if you have an older version and experience problems.

Compiler options

Here is a list of conditional defines which can be activated in order to tweak some operating modes of the packages and/or make it compilable with older Lazarus/FPC versions:

  • FPS_DONT_USE_CLOCALE: In Unix systems, the unit clocale is automatically added to the uses clause of fpspreadsheet.pas. This unit sets up localization settings needed for locale-dependent number and date/time formats. However, this adds a dependence on the C library to the package [1]. If this is not wanted, define FPS_DONT_USE_CLOCALE.
  • FPS_VARISBOOL: fpspreadsheet requires the function VarIsBool which was introduced by fpc 2.6.4. If an older FPC versions is used define FPS_VARISBOOL. Keep undefined for the current FPC version.
  • FPS_LAZUTF8: fpspreadsheet requires some functions from the unit LazUTF8 which were introduced by Lazarus 1.2. If an older Lazarus version is used define FPS_LAZUTF8. Keep undefined for the current Lazarus version.

All these defines are collected in the include file fps.inc.

Support and Bug Reporting

The recommended place to discuss FPSpreadsheet and obtain support is asking in the Lazarus Forum.

Bug reports should be sent to the Lazarus/Free Pascal Bug Tracker; please specify the "Lazarus-CCR" project.

Current Progress

Progress by supported cell content

Format Multiple
Unicode Reader
Text Number String
Date/Time Comments Hyperlinks Images +++ Protection
CSV files No Yes + Working ++ Working ++ Working ++ Working ++ N/A N/A Working ++ N/A N/A N/A N/A
Excel 2.x No No * Working ** Working Working Working Working Working *** Working **** Working N/A N/A Working
Excel 5.0 (Excel 5.0 and 95) Yes No * Working ** Working Working Working Working Working *** Working **** Working N/A N/A Working
Excel 8.0 (Excel 97- 2003) Yes Yes Working ** Working Working Working Working Working *** Working **** Reading only Working Not working Working
Microsoft OOXML Yes Yes Working ** Working Working Working Working *** Working Working **** Working Working Writing only Working
OpenDocument Yes Yes Working ** Working Working Working Working *** Working Working **** Working Working Working Working
HTML No Yes Working ++ Working ++ Working ++ Working ++ N/A N/A Working ++ N/A Working Not working N/A
Wikitable files (Mediawiki) No Yes planned Working ++ Working ++ Working ++ N/A N/A Working ++ N/A N/A Not working N/A

(+) Depends on file.
(++) No "true" number format support because the file does not containg number formatting information. But the number format currently used in the spreadsheet understood.
(+++) Only very basic image support: no transformations, no cropping, no image manipulation.
(*) In formats which don't support Unicode the data is stored by default as ISO 8859-1 (Latin 1). You can change the encoding in TsWorkbook.Encoding. Note that FPSpreadsheet offers UTF-8 read and write routines, but the data might be converted to ISO when reading or writing to the disk. Be careful that characters which don't fit selected encoding will be lost in those operations. The remarks here are only valid for formats which don't support Unicode.
(**) Some cell could be returned blank due to missing or non ready implemented number and text formats.
(***) This is the format in which the formulas are written to file (determined by design of the file format).
(****) Writing of all formats is supported. Some rare custom formats, however, may not be recognized correctly. BIFF2 supports only built-in formats by design.

Progress of the formatting options

Quite some formatting options are available:

Format Text
    Font     Rich
  Border   Color
CSV files N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Excel 2.x Working * N/A Working N/A Working Working Working** N/A Working Working N/A Working N/A N/A Working
Excel 5.0 (Excel 5.0 and 95) Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working N/A Working Working N/A Working
Excel 8.0 (Excel 97 - XP) Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Not working Working
Microsoft OOXML (xlsx) Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Writing only Working
OpenDocument Working Working Working Working Working Working Working*** Working Working Working Working Working Working Working Working
HTML (+) Working bugs Working Working bugs Working Working **** Writing only Writing only N/A Working N/A N/A Not working Writing only
Wikitable (Mediawiki) Writing only N/A Writing only Not working Writing only Writing only Writing only Writing only N/A Writing only N/A N/A Not working Writing only

(N/A) Feature is not available for this format intrinsically.
(*) BIFF2 supports only horizontal text alignment, vertical alignment is ignored.
(**) BIFF2 does not support a background color; a dotted black&white background is used instead.
(***) OpenDocument supports only uniform backgrounds; a fill color interpolated between foreground and background colors is written instead.
(****) Only uniform background color, no fill styles.
(+) HTML reader does not support styles. Since the writer does use styles these files are not read back correctly.

Progress of workbook/worksheet user-interface options

Some additional options were added to interface the file contents with the TsWorksheetGrid:

Format Hide grid lines Hide headers Frozen Panes Active sheet/cell Zooming BiDi mode
Excel 2.x Working Working not working N/A N/A N/A
Excel 5.0 (Excel 5.0 and 95) Working Working Working Working Working N/A
Excel 8.0 (Excel 97 - XP) Working Working Working Working Working Working
Microsoft OOXML Working Working Working Working Working Working
OpenDocument Working Working Working Working Working Working
HTML Writing only Writing only N/A N/A N/A not working

To do list

Note: this list is provisional, maintained by developers and can change without notice. If you are interested in contributing, please feel free to get in touch and submit a patch - thanks!

  • Find out why BIFF2 files are corrupt when saved with frozen rows/cols activated.
  • Find out how to write more than 21 number formats to a BIFF2 file (Office 97 can do this).
  • Add row and column formats
  • Add reading support for wikitable (Mediawiki) files
  • xls reader crashes for some incorrectly written xls files (which Excel can read), see http://forum.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php/topic,25624.0.html.
  • Improve color support: due to palette support colors may change from file to file currently.
  • Add embedded images.
  • Fix writing of cell comments to BIFF8 files.


  • Provide a more common user interface to fpspreadsheet (setter/getter and properties instead of Read*/Write* methods, MyWorksheet.Cells[ARow, ACol]), make TCell a class, avoid the pointers PCell.
  • Store formatting in a format list of the workbook, not in the cell, to reduce memory usage.
  • Use BIFF8 file-wide string storage instead of storing strings in cells (should reduce memory usage in case of many duplicate strings)
  • Redo ooxml and ods readers based upon SAX/TXmlReader instead of DOM to reduce memory usage of large files.
  • Add an fpspreadsheetexport unit and component on "Data Export" tab similar to fpdbfexport FPSpreadsheetexport demo preferably with all export formats component. Find a way to register export format to all formats (look into how lazreport pdf export performs a similar procedure).


Changes in the development version that have not yet been released are already documented on this page.

  • 2 March 2017:
    Version 1.8, based on svn revision 5781.
  • 13 April 2016:
    Version 1.6.2 released, based on svn revision 4619. Fixes integer overflow in formulas (Issue #29999).
  • 28 June 2015:
    Version 1.6 released, based on svn release 4106. Improved memory consumption, comments, hyperlinks, background fill patterns, cell enumerator, fraction number format, page layout, modified color management, offline wiki version included.
  • 13 March 2015:
    Version 1.4.3 released. Fixes formula calculation in worksheet grid.
  • 31 January 2015:
    Version 1.4.2 released. Fixes incomplete reading of ods files with repeated cells (Issue #0027389)
  • 26 January 2015:
    Version 1.4.1 released. A bugfix release for 1.4 that fixes incorrect streaming of TsWorksheetGrid and reading errors of biff5 and biff8 readers.
  • 31 December 2014:
    Version 1.4 released (based on subversion revision 3856 with full formula support, xlsx reader, csv reader and writer, wikitables writer, speed enhancement, virtual mode, db export component, row and column insertion/deletion, sorting, merged cells, visual controls in addition to (improved) fpspreadsheet grid.
  • 3 September 2014:
    Version 1.2.1 released. This is a bugfix release for 1.2 that fixes a bug in spreadsheetGrid (Issue #26521)
  • 26 June 2014:
    Version 1.2 released (based on subversion revision 3241) with fpsgrid improvements, date/time cell support for .xls, .ods, vastly improved cell formatting support, improved formula support, unit tests.
  • Jan 2013:
    Version 1.1 released with all improvements up to revision 2621
  • Nov 2011:
    Released version 1.0, which includes OO XML generation support with bold formatting supported and also a lot of improvements from the last years
  • Jan 2009:
    Implemented a cross-platform support for OLE file. Now Excel 5.0 files can be created in any operating system. Adds read support for Excel 2.1
  • Feb 2008:
    Initial commit to lazarus-ccr with write support for Excel 2.1, Excel 5.0 (Windows only) and experimental OOXML and OpenDocument


LGPL with static linking exception. This is the same license as is used in the Lazarus Component Library.


Wiki links

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