I really love the addition of Dataset to Mathematica. I would like to write a basic utility function that exports a Dataset to Excel.

Is there a way to get a list of column names from a Dataset?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ For a flat dataset Keys acting on the first row should work. $\endgroup$ Jan 16, 2015 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ @SjoerdC.deVries Could you please explain what you mean by a flat Dataset? Do you mean one where the keys are just primitive types? $\endgroup$ Jan 16, 2015 at 22:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Shredderroy just a rectangular row x column type of dataset, not one of the fancier types that have embedded structures and such. Basically the first category shown under the Applications heading in the documentation. $\endgroup$ Jan 16, 2015 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ @SjoerdC.deVries, even a "flat" row x column dataset can have embedded structures. Dataset doesn't preclude eg, Graphics in some or all cells. Of course, that wouldn't really use Dataset lookup. Nested Associations allow use of Query. $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2015 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


Just an example:

tab = Table[{If[PrimeQ[i], "type" -> "Prime", "type" -> "NoPrime"], 
"n" -> i, "dc" -> DigitCount[i!, 2, 1], 
"dc1" -> DigitCount[i! + 1, 2, 1]}, {i, 20, 40}];

make a Dataset:

ds = Dataset[Association @@@ tab]

get the column heads:


You can then make a table, export, to Excel, or whatever. Excel Export of the values can be done e.g. with

temp = Normal@ds[All, {"type", "n", "dc"}] // Values


Export["test.xls", temp]

If necessary you can Prepend the column heads to get them into Excel, too.

  • $\begingroup$ mgamer - thank you most kindly! I will give this a shot. $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2015 at 14:27
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    $\begingroup$ For performance purposes I think it is better to use Keys@First@ds. $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2017 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @AntonAntonov: Absolutely right :-) $\endgroup$
    – mgamer
    Jun 30, 2019 at 15:34

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