How to Publish an Excel Spreadsheet on the Web

How to Publish an Excel Spreadsheet on the Web

People use spreadsheets so often because they are useful for presenting data. They use them in their personal lives, but even more in business.

Customers, vendors, investors, government agencies, and others ask for them.

It is always possible to send a copy of the file to them. But it is not guaranteed that they have a copy of Microsoft Office Excel.

Another option is to attach it to an email as a printable PDF file. Check out these raw file converters that can be of much help. An easy solution is to make the spreadsheet accessible as a web page that anyone can open with a web browser.

This post shows how to publish an Excel sheet on the web. It also shows how to publish a Google Sheets document on a public website.

It goes over the entire process, and it is not as hard as it seems. The good thing is that there are no special tricks or requirements needed.

Why Publish Excel Spreadsheets on the Web?

Many businesses use Excel files. They store customer records, financial information, sales data, and more within these files.

Most of the time they store this information locally, or sometimes on an external server.

Sharing data often involves a tedious process of sending emails back and forth. Sometimes the attachment is not included, or the wrong file or the wrong version is sent.

Because these documents go to and fro, no one is sure whether the document they have is the most up-to-date one. The solution to all these problems is a local intranet or a secure internet site for publishing data.

This ensures that everybody has access to current information. This may be inventory data, monthly sales figures, or something else.

Automatic updates to the information on the secure website or the intranet is a must. A secure website also makes it possible to access information from a mobile device, at any time and place.

That all sounds fantastic, but there remains one practical question. How to publish an Excel spreadsheet on the web?

Data Format Options

Excel spreadsheets may contain different types of data. These data types include currencies, numbers, text, and even visual data.

Excel also has different ways of visualizing information. It uses chart types like waterfalls and doughnuts.

To make it more complicated, sometimes it is necessary to export a combination of these data types. An example is stock prices that are shown in conjunction with a graph of last month’s performance.

Exporting this is possible in different formats.

Useful formats are JPG, PDF, HTML, and others. It’s possible to store numerical data as CSV, JSON, or XML.

HTML Web Markup

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the coding language used for every website. The browser on a local computer is able to read the code and convert it to a visual representation on the screen.

It is possible to convert any kind of data format to HTML, including tables, graphs, and headings. Converting an Excel table to HTML means that a web browser can now read it and display it.

JSON Format

JSON is short for JavaScript Object Notation. It is an alternative method for sharing and transferring information via the Internet.

JSON is based on a system that pairs keys and values. It is especially suited for coding Excel data for online purposes.

JSON works directly with a web page and the data is also easy to import into a database.

XML Format

XML is similar to the JSON format but has a longer history. In appearance, it is like HTML but it describes spreadsheet data.

In fact, Excel stores all workbook data in this format. This is an open standard so anyone can use it.

This makes it very practical. Anyone can open, edit, and import the information in an XML file.

CSV Files

The CSV format is the oldest of the spreadsheet formats that are still in common use. CSV stands for Comma Separated Values.

In this format, commas separate the fields. Instead of commas, it is also possible to use different symbols, like tabs.

CSV files are still commonly used. For example, MySQL databases make use of it.

How to Publish an Excel Spreadsheet on the Web

Start by opening the desired Excel spreadsheets in Microsoft Office Excel.

  • Open the File
  • Click Save As.
  • At the bottom of the window, click on the down arrow of the drop-down menu.
  • Select Web Page from the list.
  • In the File Name box, type an appropriate name for the file.
  • Click Publish.

Sheet Option Button

Change the Selection Option depending on whether part of the sheet is selected. If changes to the sheet are being saved, the button changes to Republish: Sheet.

If nothing is selected, Excel will by default save the entire workbook. It will include all the data in the HTML file.

To limit what gets included in the HTML file, select the appropriate items in the Choose List. It is possible to publish only one item at a time.

To continue publishing, select a different element and follow the procedure outlined above.

These are the publishable elements and a description of how to publish them:

  • The whole workbook.

Select the whole workbook. Excel will publish it with all the associated interactivity.

It is not possible to publish it with the interactive elements.

  • Complete worksheets.

Select the sheet names, then select All Content of the sheet.

  • Items.

Under Sheet Name select the desired items. Examples include PivotTable or a chart.

Items do not include cell ranges.

  • Cell Ranges.

Select the cell ranges.

To select the right range, click on the worksheet. The dialog box will now collapse.

Now, select the range by clicking and dragging. Then click on the Expand Dialog Button:

  • Charts.

Select Items on Sheet. Then select the appropriate Chart.

  • Filtered ranges.

Click Select Items on Sheet and then apply the AutoFilter.

  • External data ranges.

Select Items on Sheet name. Then select the query item

To republish part of a previously published workbook, click Previously Published Items. Select the elements to republish.

Alternatively, select Remove to prevent an element from publishing again. Finally, click a different item on the list to continue publishing.

It is also possible to add a page to the HTML file:

  • Click the Change
  • Type a heading in the Page Title text box in the Set Page Title box.
  • Click OK. The title will appear in the middle at the top of the page.

This header is not the same as the web page title.

  • Click Save.
  • Close the Save As box.

By default, Excel saves a single worksheet as HTM, a Hypertext Markup file. It uses the .mht extension if publishing multiple worksheets.

Some file servers, in particular the ones that run on UNIX, are case-sensitive. So, keep the effect of capitalization in mind when choosing a file name.

Publishing with Interactivity

Adding interactivity allows visitors to work with the data in their browsers.

For example, it’s possible to publish an interactive sheet that calculates loan information. A visitor can use the sheet to calculate monthly payments by entering information like interest rate and loan amount.

To add interactivity, tick the box Add Interactivity. Then select the kind of interactivity.

The choices that Excel offers depend on the kind of document.

For a worksheet with formulas, an option is Spreadsheet Functionality. Users then use the web page to enter new values and make certain calculations.

PivotTable is an interactivity option for PivotTable. Users can rearrange data by changing the layout of columns and rows.

This allows them to have a different view of the data. The Spreadsheet functionality is available for filtered range Excel spreadsheets.

The Chart option will appear for PivotChart reports. The chart will not appear on the web page when an interactive chart is published through Excel.

Publish the chart separately to include the chart on the web page.

Use Google Docs

In recent years Google Docs has become more and more popular. It is another great option for embedding spreadsheets into a web page.

It is simple and is very convenient to work with when there are many changes to make to the spreadsheet.

Changes made to the Google Sheets document are reflected on the web page. So it is not necessary to perform any additional tasks.

To use Google Sheets for publishing spreadsheets:

  • Open the Google Sheets document.
  • Update the data as needed.
  • Go to File.
  • Click Publish to the Web.
  • Start posting.

  • Copy and paste the shortcode that it generates.

The best way to publish an Excel sheet on the web is with WordPress and wpDataTables

The most classy way for publishing Excel with  WordPress is through wpDataTables, the best WordPress plugin for tables and charts.

Here’s how easy it is to import Excel in WordPress:

And you can get more info about the process through our documentation page for importing data from Excel, CSV, or Google Spreadsheets.

FAQ about publishing an Excel spreadsheet on the web

How can I publish my Excel spreadsheet online?

Well, you’ve got a couple of options here. You can either use Microsoft’s OneDrive to host your file and then share the link with others, or you can use a third-party tool like Google Sheets to import your Excel file, which will let you publish it directly on the web. Keep in mind that sharing sensitive data in a public setting may not be ideal, so consider your privacy needs.

Can I keep my spreadsheet interactive?

You bet! When you publish your Excel file using Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel Online, the web version maintains most of the interactivity. Users will be able to sort, filter, and navigate through the sheets, but do keep in mind that some advanced features might not work perfectly on the web version.

Is it possible to embed my spreadsheet on a website?

Yes, indeed! Both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Online offer you the option to generate an embed code. You can copy and paste that code onto your website’s HTML, and your spreadsheet will show up right there, looking pretty and interactive.

Can I limit who can access my published spreadsheet?

Absolutely! With both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Online, you can control who has access to your published file. You can choose to make it public or restrict it to specific people by sharing the link or requiring a password.

Will my formulas still work when my spreadsheet is published?

No worries! In most cases, your formulas will still function correctly in the web version. However, there could be some minor differences in how they’re calculated, so it’s always a good idea to double-check for accuracy, especially if you’re using complex formulas.

Can I edit my spreadsheet after publishing it?

Of course! You can make changes to your spreadsheet at any time, and the published version will update automatically. Keep in mind, though, that if you’re using a third-party tool like Google Sheets, you’ll need to edit the file within that platform to ensure the changes are reflected.

How can I track changes made to my published spreadsheet?

With Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Online, you can enable version history to track all edits made to your spreadsheet. This feature lets you see what changes were made, when, and by whom, giving you better control over your data.

Can I add charts and graphs to my published spreadsheet?

You bet! Charts and graphs created in Excel can also be published and displayed on the web version. But do note that some advanced chart features might not be supported when published, so always check to ensure everything looks the way you want it to.

Are there any limitations to publishing my Excel spreadsheet on the web?

While it’s generally a smooth process, there are some limitations. For instance, not all Excel features will be available in the web version, like certain advanced formulas, data validation, or custom formatting. Additionally, very large files might take longer to load or experience performance issues when published.

Is it free to publish my Excel spreadsheet online?

Yes, it is! Both Microsoft Excel Online and Google Sheets offer free options for publishing your spreadsheet. However, if you need more advanced features or larger storage, you might have to upgrade to a paid plan.


If you liked this article about how to publish an Excel spreadsheet on the web, you should check out this article about examples of data tables.

There are also similar articles discussing how to make a data table, pricing table examples, statistical tables, and weather tables.

And let’s not forget about articles on comparison tables, product comparisons, table UI design, and WordPress Excel spreadsheet plugin.

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