Connect to Workbooks

First things first: to be able to do anything with xlwings, you need to establish a connection with an Excel Workbook.

Python to Excel

There are various ways to connect to an Excel workbook from Python. Create a connection with…

  • a new workbook: wb = Workbook()
  • the active workbook (works across all instances of Excel on Windows): wb =
  • an unsaved workbook: wb = Workbook('Book1')
  • a saved (open) workbook by name (incl. xlsx etc.): wb = Workbook('MyWorkbook.xlsx')
  • a saved (open or closed) workbook by path: wb = Workbook(r'C:\path\to\file.xlsx')

Note that when specifying file paths on Windows, you should either use raw strings by putting an r in front of the string or by using double back-slashes like so: C:\\path\\to\\file.xlsx.

Excel to Python

To make a connection from Excel, i.e. when calling a Python script with RunPython, use Workbook.caller(). Check out the section about Debugging to see how you can call a script from both sides, Python and Excel, without the need to constantly change between Workbook.caller() and one of the methods explained above.