How to insert rows in an Excel file using Python

Updated June 6, 2024

This guide provides a detailed walk-through on how to manipulate Excel files using the IronXL Python library, focusing on inserting rows and other related operations. IronXL covers a range of operations such as creating and reading excel files, inserting rows, deleting rows, managing blank rows, handling multiple rows and columns, insert columns and delete rows from excel files.

IronXL is a powerful tool for conducting Excel operations like inserting columns or deleting columns without needing Microsoft Office Interop. This tutorial will cover setting up your Python environment, using IronXL to insert rows, format them, and save changes back to the Excel files.

How to insert rows in an Excel file using Python1. Setup the Python Environment in your machine

  1. Install the Excel Python Library3. Load the Excel file using the Excel Python library
  2. Insert single row in the excel file using the InsertRow method5. Insert multiple rows in the excel file using the InsertRow method
  3. Save the updated excel file using the Save method

Setting Up the Python Environment for Working with Excel Files

The first step in any Python project is to set up an appropriate environment which can support the project's requirements without affecting other Python projects. This isolation is achieved through virtual environments. Here’s why setting up a virtual environment is beneficial:

  • Isolation: Avoids dependency conflicts between projects.
  • Control: Gives you control over the Python and library versions your project uses.
  • Replicability: Makes it easier to replicate your environment on other machines or with other team members.

To start, ensure Python is installed on your computer. If not, download it from Following installation, you can establish a virtual environment with these steps in Visual Studio Code:

Install the Python Extension: First, make sure you have the Python extension installed in Visual Studio Code. You can find it in the Visual Studio Code Marketplace and install it directly.

Select Python Interpreter: Once the extension is installed, you can select a Python interpreter by clicking on the Python version in the bottom-left corner of the status bar or by opening the command palette (Ctrl+Shift+P on Windows/Linux, Cmd+Shift+P on macOS) and typing “Python: Select Interpreter”. You can choose one of the existing interpreters or install a new one.

Create a Virtual Environment:

  • Open the command palette and type “Python: Create Virtual Environment”.
  • Enter a name for your virtual environment and select a location to store it.
  • Once created, Visual Studio Code will automatically prompt you to select the new environment as your active Python interpreter.

Installing IronXL Library

How to insert rows in an Excel file using Python: Figure 1 - IronXL for Python: The Python Excel Library

IronXL Python relies on .NET 6.0 as its underlying technology. Hence please make sure you have .NET 6.0 runtime installed on you machine.

IronXL is not included in the standard library and needs to be installed using pip, Python's package manager. Here’s how to install IronXL using the following pip command:

 pip install IronXL

The pip install command fetches the IronXL package from the Python Package Index (PyPI) and installs it into your virtual environment. This process integrates IronXL seamlessly into your Python environment, making its classes and methods available for importing in your scripts.

Steps to Insert Rows

Step 1: Opening and Reading Excel Files

Once IronXL is installed, you can start working with Excel files. The process begins with loading an Excel file into your Python script using IronXL’s WorkBook class. This class represents the workbook object in Excel and provides methods to access and manipulate the sheets within the Excel file.

from ironxl import *     
License.LicenseKey = "License-Key";
# Load the Excel workbook
workbook = WorkBook.Load("Sample.xlsx")
worksheet = workbook.DefaultWorkSheet

In the above example, when you load an Excel file, IronXL reads the binary Excel file format and converts it into objects that can be manipulated through Python. This step sets the stage for all subsequent operations like reading data, modifying sheets, or inserting rows.

Step 2: Inserting a Single Row into an Excel Sheet

Inserting a single row into an Excel sheet using IronXL involves specifying where the new row should go. The InsertRow method of the WorkSheet object allows you to specify the row index where the new rows should be inserted and how many rows you want to insert. This operation shifts existing rows down to accommodate the new row.

from ironxl import *     
License.LicenseKey = "License-Key";
# Load the Excel workbook
workbook = WorkBook.Load("Sample.xlsx")
worksheet = workbook.DefaultWorkSheet
# Add a row before row 2

The choice of row index is crucial as it determines where the new data will appear in your Excel worksheet. It is essential to ensure that this operation does not overwrite existing data unless intended.

How to insert rows in an Excel file using Python: Figure 2 - Output: Excel file with one new row inserted programmatically using IronXL Python.

Step 3: Inserting Multiple Rows into an Excel Sheet

Similarly, to insert multiple rows, you use the same InsertRows method but specify a greater number of rows to insert. This is particularly useful when you need to add large sections of data into an existing sheet.

from ironxl import *     
License.LicenseKey = "License-Key";
# Load the Excel workbook
workbook = WorkBook.Load("Sample.xlsx")
worksheet = workbook.DefaultWorkSheet
# Insert multiple rows after row 3
worksheet.InsertRows(3, 3)

How to insert rows in an Excel file using Python: Figure 3 - Output: Excel file with multiple new (blank) rows inserted programmatically using IronXL Python.

Step 4: Formatting Rows That Have Been Inserted

After inserting rows, it is often necessary to format them to match the style of the rest of the sheet or to highlight the new data. IronXL supports various formatting options, including font changes, color fills, and more. Proper formatting can make your Excel files more readable and professional-looking.

Step 5: Saving Changes to the Excel File

All changes made to an Excel file using IronXL remain in memory until you save the workbook back to a file. The save method of the WorkBook class writes all changes to the disk. This step is crucial as it ensures that all your modifications are persisted.

# Save the excel file as XLS, XLSX, CSV, TSV, JSON, XML, HTML and streams
# workBook.SaveAs("updated.xlsx");

Handling Large Excel Files and Performance Considerations

When working with large Excel files, performance can become an issue. IronXL is designed to handle large files efficiently, but there are best practices you should follow to optimize performance, such as loading only the necessary sheets and minimizing read/write operations.

Error Handling and Debugging Common Issues

Error handling is an essential aspect of working with files as it ensures your script can gracefully handle unexpected situations like missing files, corrupted data, or permission issues. IronXL provides clear error messages that can help in debugging issues during development.


How to insert rows in an Excel file using Python: Figure 4 - IronXL Python licensing information

IronXL provides a comprehensive suite of tools for working with Excel files in Python, making it a valuable asset for any developer needing to read, write, or modify Excel documents programmatically. Its straightforward API, combined with the robust handling of large files and extensive formatting capabilities, makes IronXL a top choice for Python developers. To enhance your spreadsheet's functionality, learn to swiftly delete columns, insert rows, and clean up deleting rows, while managing the column index for seamless integration of new data across multiple columns.

IronXL offers a free trial starts at $599, providing full support for enterprise needs and advanced functionalities.

IronXL provides thorough documentation and useful code examples to help you get started. To know more about IronXL Python, please visit their website.

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