Swiftpack.co - Package - MaxDesiatov/CoreXLSX


Excel spreadsheet (XLSX) format parser written in pure Swift

CI Status Version License Platform Coverage

CoreXLSX is a library focused on representing the low-level structure of XML-based XLSX spreadsheet format. It allows you to open a spreadsheet archive and maps its XML structure into model types that you can read directly from Swift.


To run the example project, clone the repo, and run pod install from the Example directory first.

Model types in CoreXLSX directly map internal structure of XLSX format with more sensible naming applied to a few attributes. The API is pretty simple:

import CoreXLSX

guard let file = XLSXFile(filepath: "./categories.xlsx") else {
  fatalError("XLSX file corrupted or does not exist")

for path in try file.parseWorksheetPaths() {
  let ws = try file.parseWorksheet(at: path)
  for row in ws.data?.rows ?? [] {
    for c in row.cells {

This prints every cell from every worksheet in the given XLSX file. Please refer to the Worksheet model for more atttributes you might need to read from a parsed file.

Shared strings

Some cells (usually with strings) have their values shared in a separate model type, which you can get by evaluating try file.parseSharedString(). You can refer to the SharedStrings model for the full list of its properties.

Here's how you can get all shared strings in column "C" for example:

let sharedStrings = try file.parseSharedStrings()
let columnCStrings = ws.cells(atColumns: [ColumnReference("C")!])
  .filter { $0.type == "s" }
  .compactMap { $0.value }
  .compactMap { Int($0) }
  .compactMap { sharedStrings.items[$0].text }

Reporting compatibility issues

If you stumble upon a file that can't be parsed, please file an issue posting the exact error message. Thanks to use of standard Swift Codable protocol, detailed errors are generated listing a missing attribute, so it can be easily added to the model enabling broader format support. Attaching a file that can't be parsed would also greatly help in diagnosing issues. If these files contain any sensitive data, we suggest obfuscating or generating fake data with same tools that generated original files, assuming the issue can still be reproduced this way.

If the whole file can't be attached, try passing a sufficiently large value (between 10 and 20 usually works well) to errorContextLength argument of XLSXFile initializer. This will bundle the failing XML snippet with the debug description of thrown errors. Please also attach that full debug description if possible when reporting issues.

How does it work?

Since every XLSX file is a zip archive of XML files, CoreXLSX uses XMLCoder library and standard Codable protocols to map XML nodes and atrributes into plain Swift structs. ZIPFoundation is used for in-memory decompression of zip archives. A detailed description is available here.


  • Xcode 10
  • Swift 4.2
  • iOS 9.0 / watchOS 2.0 / tvOS 9.0 / macOS 10.11 or later


Swift Package Manager

Swift Package Manager is a tool for managing the distribution of Swift code. It’s integrated with the Swift build system to automate the process of downloading, compiling, and linking dependencies.

Once you have your Swift package set up, adding CoreXLSX as a dependency is as easy as adding it to the dependencies value of your Package.swift.

dependencies: [
  .package(url: "https://github.com/MaxDesiatov/CoreXLSX.git",
           .upToNextMajor(from: "0.4.0"))


CoreXLSX is available through CocoaPods. To install it, simply add pod 'CoreXLSX', '~> 0.4.0' to your Podfile like shown here:

source 'https://github.com/CocoaPods/Specs.git'
# Uncomment the next line to define a global platform for your project
# platform :ios, '9.0'
target '<Your Target Name>' do
  pod 'CoreXLSX', '~> 0.4.0'


Carthage is a dependency manager that builds your dependencies and provides you with binary frameworks.

Carthage can be installed with Homebrew using the following command:

$ brew update
$ brew install carthage

Inside of your Cartfile, add GitHub path to CoreXLSX master branch (Carthage support is not available in a stable release yet):

github "MaxDesiatov/CoreXLSX" "master"

Then, run the following command to build the framework:

$ carthage update

Drag the built frameworks (including the subdependencies XMLCoder and ZIPFoundation into your Xcode project.


For development work and for running the tests in Xcode you need to run carthage bootstrap in the root directory of the cloned repository first. Then you can open the CoreXLSX.xcodeproj from the same directory and select the CoreXLSXmacOS scheme. This is the only scheme that has the tests set up, but you can also build any other scheme (e.g. CoreXLSXiOS) to make sure it builds on other platforms.

If you prefer not to work with Xcode, the project fully supports SwiftPM and the usual workflow with swift build and swift test should work, otherwise please report this as a bug.

Code of Conduct

This project adheres to the Contributor Covenant Code of Conduct. By participating, you are expected to uphold this code. Please report unacceptable behavior to corexlsx@desiatov.com.


Max Desiatov, Matvii Hodovaniuk


CoreXLSX is available under the Apache 2.0 license. See the LICENSE file for more info.


Stars: 210
Help us keep the lights on


0.4.0 - Feb 7, 2019

This is a release with API improvements and bug fixes. A big thank you to everyone who provided bug reports and contributions that made this release possible!

Breaking changes

  • A few properties on the model types were added with cleaner names and better fitting types. Most of the old versions of those properties were kept as deprecated, but you might get some breakage with optionality, where we couldn't find a good deprecation path.


  • New parseSharedStrings function on XLSXFile allows you get values of cells with shared string value. Quite frequently those strings are unavailable and are only referenced in the original model types you get with parseWorksheet.

  • Previously when addressing cells and columns you had to use a stringly-typed API. It was also not very convenient for specifying a range of columns. This is now fixed with the new type-safe ColumnReference struct, which conforms to Comparable and Strideable.

  • Following the addition of an error context to XMLCoder, which is the main dependency of CoreXLSX, it is now exposed on struct XLSXFile. Pass a non-zero value to errorContextLength argument (default is 0) of XLSXFile initializer and you'll get a snippet of XML that failed to parse in the debug description of the error value.

  • Additional optional argument bufferSize was added to XLSXFile initializer as a response to previous reports about problems with zip file extraction. The default value is 10 MiB, which seems to be enough in most cases, but you can still try passing a larger value for bigger files if you see that an XML file stops abruptly in the middle of the file. Unfortunately, we haven't found a good way to adjust this value dynamically based on the file size, but please let us know if you did.

  • Support for Carthage was added as well as support for tvOS and watchOS.


Some files that couldn't be previously parsed should now be handled better thanks to fixes in optionality and more properties added to the model types.

All changes

0.3.0 - Nov 13, 2018

  • Improve Worksheet model property naming (#2). Some properties on Worksheet and its descendants had obscure names, most of that is fixed now with old names marked as deprecated.

0.2.3 - Nov 12, 2018

Refine README.md to include implementation details.

0.2.2 - Nov 11, 2018

Refine code comments and links in README.md

0.2.1 - Nov 11, 2018

  • Update README.md with instructions for Swift Package Manager.