Bug introduced in ?.?.? and fixed in 11.0.0

Has anyone had any success with importing an Excel Spreadsheet holding an array formula into Mathematica?

The Syntax I'm using is

Import["test.xlsx", {"Sheets", "SheetWithArrayFormula"}]

The error that is returned is: Import::fmterr: Cannot import data as XLSX format. >>


A sample excel file can be found here: http://temp-share.com/show/gFHKQZS0Y

  • $\begingroup$ Please provide a small sample Excel file for testing. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Jul 19, 2013 at 1:48
  • $\begingroup$ I've made an edit to contain a link with a sample excel file. $\endgroup$
    – Jonie
    Jul 19, 2013 at 1:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I have been informed by WRI that the reported issue has been resolved; a quick check done by me revealed no difficulties with array formulas in excel files being imported. I thus added an updated bug header. $\endgroup$
    – gwr
    Sep 26, 2016 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


It seems there are some troubles with the XLSX format, whereas using the old XLS it works fine. Look the following tests:

Import["c:\\tempmath\\test.xlsx", "Sheets"]


Import["c:\\tempmath\\test.xlsx", {"Sheets", "SheetWithArrayFormula"}]

Import::fmterr: Cannot import data as XLSX format. >>


Import["c:\\tempmath\\test.xlsx", "Formulas"]

{{{"", "", ""}, {"", "", "A2:A4*B2:B4"}, {"", "", "A2:A4*B2:B4"}, {"", "", "A2:A4*B2:B4"}}}


Import::fmterr: Cannot import data as XLSX format. >>


after converting the XLSX to XLS


{{{"X", "Y", "Formula"}, {1., 0.1, 0.1}, {2., 0.2, 0.4}, {3., 0.3, 0.9}}}

Import["c:\\tempmath\\test.xls", "Formulas"]

{{{"", "", ""}, {"", "", "A2:A4*B2:B4"}, {"", "", "A2:A4*B2:B4"}, {"", "", "A2:A4*B2:B4"}}}

Import["c:\\tempmath\\test.xls", {"Sheets", "SheetWithArrayFormula"}]

{{"X", "Y", "Formula"}, {1., 0.1, 0.1}, {2., 0.2, 0.4}, {3., 0.3, 0.9}}

generally when you want to look which elements are available into an external file, use the second Import argument "Elements"

Import["c:\\tempmath\\test.xlsx", "Elements"]

{"Data", "FormattedData", "Formulas", "Images", "Sheets"}

So, I guess the problem is not due to the Excel file contents (array formulas), rather to some wrong behavior of Import and XLSX.

  • $\begingroup$ I wonder if there is a workaround using "Data"? $\endgroup$
    – Verbeia
    Jul 19, 2013 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, even adding "Data" it doesn't work. However, you can convert the file to xls format and it works. $\endgroup$
    – bobknight
    Jul 20, 2013 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but that's going to be very unpopular with anyone hoping to use Mathematica for visualizing a lot of data stored in Excel. It is clearly a bug in Mathematica. $\endgroup$
    – Verbeia
    Jul 20, 2013 at 7:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Verbeia that's right, I already sent a report to WRI technical support. $\endgroup$
    – bobknight
    Jul 20, 2013 at 7:45
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I just received an answer from WRI technical support: The issue is known and they hope it will be fixed by a future release. Hope dies last as they say. $\endgroup$
    – gwr
    Jun 30, 2015 at 20:59

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