Is it possible to import data from Excel file so that imported values keeps their original format? I mean if cell formatted in Excel as text import it as String, if cell is integer, than import it as integer. If it is not possible I would like be able at least force to import columns in specific format. For example columns 1,2 I import as integers and 3,4 as strings.

In my case the column with "ids" which is generally the string but could be also a string of digits interpreted by Mathematica as real number in last case. While I want "ids" always as string.

  • $\begingroup$ I think mathematica does not know how excel had cells formatted, so there is no way to do this automatically. You can of course apply ToString to the desired column. $\endgroup$
    – george2079
    Nov 4, 2016 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ If I apply ToString there is an extra point at the end of the string because Mathematica interpreted the value as real number. And I cannot apply Floor to the column because the are also string values. So I should iterate trough all imported values. $\endgroup$ Nov 4, 2016 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ Try the documentation on SemanticImport $\endgroup$ Nov 5, 2016 at 0:36

1 Answer 1


One way is to save the Excel worksheet as "XML Table" and then Import this table in Mathematica as "XML" with option "IncludeNamespaces" -> "Unparsed":

XMLData = Import["test.xml", "IncludeNamespaces" -> "Unparsed"]

The XMLData contains all the information about formatting of the worksheet. It can be analyzed and modified inside Mathematica, and further Exported as Excel-compatible XML file:

Export["test-from MMa.xml", XMLData]

The exported file is recognized by Excel as its native format.


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