xlwings.Plot() allows for an easy integration of Matplotlib with Excel. The plot is pasted into Excel as picture.

Getting started

The easiest sample boils down to:

>>> import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
>>> import xlwings as xw

>>> fig = plt.figure()
>>> plt.plot([1, 2, 3])

>>> wb = xw.Workbook()
>>> xw.Plot(fig).show('MyPlot')


You can now resize and position the plot on Excel: subsequent calls to show with the same name ('MyPlot') will update the picture without changing its position or size.

Full integration with Excel

Calling the above code with RunPython and binding it e.g. to a button is straightforward and works cross-platform.

However, on Windows you can make things feel even more integrated by setting up a UDF along the following lines:

def myplot(n):
    wb = xw.Workbook.caller()
    fig = plt.figure()
    return 'Plotted with n={}'.format(n)

If you import this function and call it from cell B2, then the plot gets automatically updated when cell B1 changes:



Size, position and other properties can either be set as arguments within show, see, or by manipulating the picture object as returned by show, see xlwings.Picture().

For example:

>>> xw.Plot(fig).show('MyPlot', left=xw.Range('B5').left, top=xw.Range('B5').top)


>>> plot = xw.Plot(fig).show('MyPlot')
>>> plot.height /= 2
>>> plot.width /= 2


Once the picture is shown in Excel, you can only change it’s properties via the picture object and not within the show method.

Getting a matplotlib figure

Here are a few examples of how you get a matplotlib figure object:

  • via PyPlot interface:

    import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
    fig = plt.figure()
    plt.plot([1, 2, 3, 4, 5])


    import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
    plt.plot([1, 2, 3, 4, 5])
    fig = plt.gcf()
  • via object oriented interface:

    from matplotlib.figure import Figure
    fig = Figure(figsize=(8, 6))
    ax = fig.add_subplot(111)
    ax.plot([1, 2, 3, 4, 5])
  • via Pandas:

    import pandas as pd
    import numpy as np
    df = pd.DataFrame(np.random.rand(10, 4), columns=['a', 'b', 'c', 'd'])
    ax = df.plot(kind='bar')
    fig = ax.get_figure()

Then show it in Excel as picture as seen above:

plot = Plot(fig)'Plot1')