See video version of the tutorial

Microsoft Excel is a leading software program for working with spreadsheets, probably no other software is such commonly used everywhere for tables; and .XLS ans .XLSX formats are such common for storing and exchanging table data that might be called a standard. So wpDataTables would not be a fully-functional tool if it wouldn’t support this format as well.

You can download the Excel file used in this tutorial by this link.

See the resulting table first, and the step-by-step tutorial to create it below.

Excel table example

When working with Excel-based tables please note: generally they work slower then CSV-files or even Google Spreadsheets, so if your table is large, it is much better to port it to a different format, or – even better – to MySQL table (you can use Table Constructor to import your Excel file to MySQL)

Step 1 - Create a table and save it in Excel file

First thing to do on this step is to prepare an Excel file with your data. It doesn’t have to necessarily be prepared in MS Excel, it can be prepared in other software – e.g. OpenOffice or Libre Office, the necessary thing is to save it in .XLS or .XLSX format.

Create wpDataTable from Excel file

Step 2 - Create a wpDataTable and upload the Excel file

When the .XLS or .XLSX file is prepared, you need to create a wpDataTable in your WordPress admin which will pull the data from it.

Go to your WordPress admin, and open wpDataTables -> Add from data source.

wpDataTables - add a new Excel-based table

When the new wpDataTable page opens, define the initial data for the table:

  1. Provide a name for your wpDataTable so you could find this table later.
  2. Select “Excel file” as Table Type.
  3. Click on the Upload file button to open WordPress media library.
  4. Upload the Excel file that you prepared, then click Use in wpDataTable.
  5. Click “Save” so wpDataTable would read the column structure and save it.
Excel file for tables in WordPress
Use Excel file in wpDataTable

Step 3 - (Optional) - Define additional table and column settings

When the table structure is read from the Excel file, you might want to define additional settings for the table (responsiveness, table tools, layout, and others) and for individual columns (column data type, filter, change the displayed name). You can read this documentation section for all the details related to different table features, and this documentation section for descriptions of different column features.

In this example table we defined the filter types for “Amount purchased” and “Total” as “Number range“. Also for the “Total” column we defined a “Display text before” as “$” so that the currency sign would be displayed before each value.

Excel based wpDataTable column settings

Step 4 - Insert the wpDataTable in your page or post

When you finished preparing your Excel-based wpDataTable, you can insert it in the post or page.

Create a post or page, or open one of the posts/pages that you already have for editing.

Place the cursor in the post or page where you want to insert the table, then click the “Insert a wpDataTable” button, and pick the table that you created in previous steps:

Insert Excel table in WordPress post
Using Excel table in your post or page

If you prefer, you can just copy & paste the generated wpDataTable shortcode.

When you save the post or page, and open it in the front-end, you will see the wpDataTable generated from your Excel file.

That’s all; step 3 is optional. If you want to update the table later, just re-upload the Excel file, over-writing it at the same location (the easiest would be to do this using some FTP manager, such as FileZilla, Total Commander or Cyberduck). The important thing to notice here is to keep the column structure the same as in initial file: do not change the number of columns, do not delete or add columns, and do not reorder them.

When creating new table in our plugin our engine uses first worksheet from your document so please place your input data there.

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