[OS X TeX] Excel tables to LaTeX - new script

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Wed Jul 15 11:07:39 EDT 2009

Hi Alain,

On 14/07/2009, at 10:21 PM, Alain Schremmer wrote:

>> On 15/07/2009, at 12:55 PM, Alan Munn wrote:
>>> Hi everyone,
>>> Tables are always a pain in the neck to write in LaTeX.  I used to
>>> use an Excel macro xl2latex.xls which would convert an Excel  
>>> table to
>>> LaTeX
>> 	<snip>
>> 	There is no accounting for taste, or the lack thereof.
>> 	I have *never* found tables to be a pain in the anywhere,
>> 	in LaTeX.  Page 64 of Lamport's book makes everything crystal
>> 	clear.  Whereas I wouldn't touch Excel with a sterilised
>> 	barge pole.  For anything.
>> 	Fortunately freedom of choice prevails; except insofar as
>> 	the MicroSoft monopoly forces the rest of us to use the MS
>> 	junk ``because everybody else does''.
> Occasionally, spreadsheet ARE nice for getting something and it is  
> when you want to show off what you ended up with that you want to  
> translate it into LaTeX as it's kind of wasteful to have to redo it  
> from scratch in LaTeX.

Why redo from scratch?

It is very easy to add extra columns for the & symbols,
and "fill down"; similarly for the '\\' or '\cr' at the
end of each row. Then a simple Copy-Paste into your
text editor (TeXshop ?) gives most of what you'll need
to get the table into a form acceptable to LaTeX.

Of course if you have merged cells, then it gets a bit
more complicated, but the principles are the same:
  --- add more columns to put the extra markup, even
if only a single '}'.

It can also help to work with a 2nd copy of your table,
in the Spreadsheet, obtained using 'Copy' then
'Paste Values' (into a new worksheet, say). This overcomes
any difficulties that may result from formulas or rounding
in floating-point data.

> But tables CAN be a pain in the whatever to do in LaTeX.
> As for the rest, how about TeXTable? I have it, I have used it but  
> I am not too much into tables so I cannot really say. Also, doesn't  
> Open Office translate in LaTeX too?

I've never used a special tool to get from Excel
to LaTeX. Some simple actions, as outlined above,
have been sufficient for some quite complicated
tables that I've worked with over many years.

> Regards
> --schremmer

Hope this helps,


Ross Moore                                       ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                           office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                             tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                          fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8114

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list