Reads from an Excel® spreadsheet into a GAUSS string array or string.


s = xlsReadSA(file[, range[, sheet[, vls]]])
  • file (string) – name of .xls or .xlsx file.

  • range (string) – Optional input, range to read, e.g. “A2:B20” or the starting point of the read, e.g. “A2”. Default = “A1”.

  • sheet (scalar) – Optional input, sheet number. Default = 1.

  • vls (null string or 9x1 string array) – Optional input, specifies the conversion of Excel® empty cells and special types into GAUSS (see Remarks). A null string results in all empty cells and special types being converted to null strings. Default = null string.


s (string) – string array or a scalar error code.


Windows, Linux and macOS

The vls input is currently ignored on macOS and Linux. Missing values will be returned for all cells that are empty or contain errors.


Basic Example with Starting Cell and Sheet Number

Read all contents from the file yarn.xlsx located in the GAUSS examples directory as a string array.

// Create file name with full path
file = getGAUSSHome("examples/yarn.xlsx");

//"A1" means start from A1
// 1 = sheet number
s = xlsReadSA(file, "A1", 1);

After the above code, the first 5 rows of s will equal:

yarn_length        amplitude             load           cycles
        low              low              low              674
        low              low              med              370
        low              low             high              292
        low              med              low              338

Read From a Range

// Create file name with full path
file = getGAUSSHome("examples/yarn.xlsx");

s = xlsReadSA(file, "B3:C4");

After the above code, s will equal:

low      med
low     high

Read your own data

If you have a file named myfile.xlsx located in your current GAUSS working directory, the code below will read all of its contents into a string array.

s = xlsReadSA("myfile.xlsx");


  1. If range is a null string, then by default the read will begin at cell “A1”.

  2. If a full path to the Excel file is not provided, xlsReadSA() will look for the file in your current working directory.

  3. Use loaddSA() to load all rows, except for the header row, from specific columns of an Excel file.

  4. If xlsReadSA() fails, it will either terminate and print an error message or return a scalar error code, which can be decoded with scalerr(), depending on the state of the trap flag.

    trap 0

    Print error message and terminate program.

    trap 1

    Return scalar error code.

    // Will end the program and print an error message
    x = xlsReadSA("nonexistent_file.xlsx");
    // Turn error trapping on
    trap 1;
    x = xlsReadSA("nonexistent_file.xlsx");
    // Check to see if 'x' is a scalar error code
    if scalmiss(x);
       // Code to handle error case here
    // Turn error trapping off
    trap 0;
  5. By default, empty cells are imported as empty strings. The vls argument lets users control the import of Excel® empty cells and special types, according to the following table:

    Row Number

    Excel® Cell


    empty cell

















    Use the following to convert all occurrences of #NULL! and empty cells to the string ‘NULL’, and all other and special types to empty strings:

    // Create a 9x1 vector of empty strings
    vls = reshape("",9,1);
    // Set the 1st and 8th element of 'vls' to the string 'NULL' so that
    // Excel #NULL! and empty cells will be imported as the string 'NULL'
    vls[1] = "NULL";
    vls[8] = "NULL";
    x = xlsReadSA("myfile.xlsx", "A1", 1, vls);