convertxls2csv man page

xls2csv — A script that recodes a spreadsheet's charset and saves as CSV.


This script will recode a spreadsheet into a different character set and output the recoded data as a csv file.

The script came about after many headaches from dealing with Excel spreadsheets from clients that were being received in various character sets.


        -x     : filename of the source spreadsheet
        -b     : the character set the source spreadsheet is in (before)
        -c     : the filename to save the generated csv file as
        -a     : the character set the csv file should be converted to (after)
        -q     : quiet mode
        -s     : print a list of supported character sets
        -h     : print help message
        -v     : get version information
        -W     : list worksheets in the spreadsheet specified by -x
        -w     : specify the worksheet name to convert (defaults to the first worksheet)
        -n     : specify the worksheet number to convert (you cannot use this option with -w)
        -f     : force the worsheet to be fully parsed. This disables the feature that skips rows when the first cell is blank

Example Usage

The following example will convert a spreadsheet that is in the WINDOWS-1252 character set (WinLatin1) and save it as a csv file in the UTF-8 character set.

        xls2csv -x "1252spreadsheet.xls" -b WINDOWS-1252 -c "ut8csvfile.csv" -a UTF-8

This example with convert the worksheet named "Users" in the given spreadsheet.

        xls2csv -x "multi_worksheet_spreadsheet.xls" -w "Users" -c "users.csv"


The spreadsheet's charset (-b) will default to UTF-8 if not set.

If the csv's charset (-a) is not set, the CSV file will be created using the same charset as the spreadsheet.

Required Modules

This script requires the following modules:

        Spreadsheet::ParseExcel::FmtUnicode (should be included with Spreadsheet::ParseExcel)


It probably will not work work with spreadsheets that use formulas.

A line in the spreadsheet is assumed to be blank if there is nothing in the first column.

Some users have reported problems trying to convert a spreadsheet while it was opened in a different application. You should probably make sure that no other programs are working with the spreadsheet while you are converting it.


Ken Prows (


2012-01-22 perl v5.24.1 User Contributed Perl Documentation