Command Line Client

xlwings comes with a command line client that makes it easy to set up workbooks and install the add-in. On Windows, type the commands into a Command Prompt, on Mac, type them into a Terminal.


  • xlwings quickstart myproject

This command is by far the fastest way to get off the ground: It creates a new folder myproject with an Excel workbook that already has the reference to the xlwings addin and a Python file, ready to be used right away:


If you want to use xlwings via VBA module instead of addin, use the --standalone or -s flag:

xlwings quickstart myproject --standalone


The addin command makes it easy on Windows to install/remove the addin. On Mac, you need to install it manually, but xlwings addin install will show you how to do it.


Excel needs to be closed before installing/updating the add-in via command line. If you’re still getting an error, start the Task Manager and make sure there are no EXCEL.EXE processes left.

  • xlwings addin install: Copies the xlwings add-in to the XLSTART folder
  • xlwings addin update: Replaces the current add-in with the latest one
  • xlwings addin remove: Removes the add-in from the XLSTART folder
  • xlwings addin status: Shows if the add-in is installed together with the installation path

After installing the add-in, it will be available as xlwings tab on the Excel Ribbon.

New in version 0.6.0.


Only required if you are on Mac, are using Excel 2016 and have xlwings installed via conda or as part of Anaconda. To enable the RunPython calls in VBA, run this one time:

xlwings runpython install

Alternatively, install xlwings with pip.

New in version 0.7.0.