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PyXLL vs xlwings: What are the differences?


PyXLL and xlwings are both Python libraries that are used to interact with Microsoft Excel. They allow users to write Python code that connects to Excel spreadsheets, manipulates data, and performs various tasks. However, there are key differences between PyXLL and xlwings that differentiate them from each other.

  1. Integration with Excel: PyXLL is designed to be seamlessly integrated with Excel, providing an Excel-like experience for users. It allows users to define functions and macros in Python and use them directly in Excel without any additional steps. On the other hand, xlwings focuses on providing a Pythonic interface to Excel, allowing users to automate Excel tasks using Python code, but with less integration with the Excel interface itself.

  2. Deployment: PyXLL provides a fully integrated deployment process that allows users to create standalone executables or installable Excel add-ins. This makes it easy to distribute Python code to users who may not have Python itself installed. In contrast, xlwings requires users to have Python and the xlwings library installed on their machines in order to run the code.

  3. Performance: PyXLL uses a highly optimized architecture that is designed for speed, making it a good choice for complex calculations and large data sets. It leverages features such as multi-threading and lazy evaluation to improve performance. On the other hand, xlwings is a lightweight library that focuses on simplicity and ease of use, but may not be as optimized for performance-intensive tasks.

  4. Compatibility: PyXLL supports both Windows and Mac operating systems, allowing users to write Python code that works on both platforms. It also supports Excel versions from 2007 onwards. In contrast, xlwings primarily focuses on Windows and Excel 2010 or later, with limited support for Mac and older Excel versions.

  5. VBA Integration: PyXLL provides seamless integration between Python and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), allowing users to call Python functions from VBA code and vice versa. This makes it easy to combine the power of Python with the flexibility of VBA in Excel. xlwings also supports VBA integration, but it requires additional steps and manual configuration to set it up.

  6. Commercial vs Open-source: PyXLL is a commercial product that requires a license for commercial use. It offers additional features and support, making it a good choice for organizations that require professional support and advanced features. On the other hand, xlwings is an open-source library that is free to use, making it a popular choice for individual developers and smaller projects.

In summary, PyXLL provides seamless integration with Excel, offers a fully integrated deployment process, and focuses on performance and compatibility, with additional support for VBA integration. In contrast, xlwings provides a Pythonic interface to Excel, is lightweight and simple to use, and is open-source and free.

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Pros of PyXLL
Pros of xlwings
  • 5
    Fully replace VBA with Python
  • 2
    Excellent support
  • 1
    Very good performance
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    Cons of PyXLL
    Cons of xlwings
    • 1
      Cannot be deloyed to mac users
    • 3
      Very slow and still needs VBA for UDFs

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    What is PyXLL?

    Integrate Python into Microsoft Excel. Use Excel as your user-facing front-end with calculations, business logic and data access powered by Python. Works with all 3rd party and open source Python packages. No need to write any VBA!

    What is xlwings?

    Replace your VBA code with Python, a powerful yet easy-to-use programming language that is highly suited for numerical analysis. Supports Windows & Mac!

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    What companies use PyXLL?
    What companies use xlwings?
    See which teams inside your own company are using PyXLL or xlwings.
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    What tools integrate with PyXLL?
    What tools integrate with xlwings?
      No integrations found
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