In this tutorial I’ll show you how to use C# to read an Excel file’s data. - no more than 10 lines of code - isn’t .NET awesome ?

The method used is described below…

Adding the reference

To read values from an Excel file, you need to add a reference:
from Solution Explorer, right click on References->Add reference->.NET and look for Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.

Once done, add the following line in your project:

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using Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel;

Opening the document

First, we need an Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Application object, so we can open the Excel file:

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Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Application excel = new Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Application();

Once the file is opened, we have to store the data - this is done using an WorkBook object. This method has lots of arguments, fortunately only the first is required (which is the file’s path) - so we can add Type.Missing to the others:

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Workbook wbook = excel.Workbooks.Open(Directory.GetCurrentDirectory() + "/" + "filename.xls", 
                     Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing, 
                     Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing, 
                     Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing, 
                     Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing, 
                     Type.Missing, Type.Missing);

Reading the data

Now, as you probably know, an Excel document contains multiple WorkSheets. To read a cell’s value, we have to select the WorkSheet where the cell is found:

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Sheets worksheets = wbook.Worksheets;  //storing all the sheets

Range cell = ((Worksheet)worksheets["Sheet1"]).get_Range("A1", "A1");
//from the worksheets, we select Sheet1 and then the cell A1

string cell_value = cell.Value.ToString();  //this is the cell's value

/* some-code */

wbook.Close(); //closing...

Result

That’s all you might need to know about how to read an Excel document with C#.
I wrote a small application which shows the content of a Excel file, using a dataGridView.

The source code is below the screenshot:

Reading from Excel files

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using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Data;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Text;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel;
using System.IO;

namespace Excel
{
    public partial class Form1 : Form
    {
        public Form1()
        {
            InitializeComponent();
        }

        private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Application excel = new Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Application();

            Workbook wbook = excel.Workbooks.Open(Directory.GetCurrentDirectory() + "/" + "test.xls",
                     Type.Missing, false, Type.Missing,
                     Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing,
                     Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing,
                     Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing,
                     Type.Missing, Type.Missing);

            Sheets worksheets = wbook.Worksheets;

            //note that ExcelGridView is a dataGridView
            for (char c = 'A'; c < 'E'; c++)
            {
                ExcelGridView.Columns.Add("col", c.ToString());
                for (int i = 1; i < 10; i++)
                {
                    string celladdr = c.ToString() + i.ToString();  //cell's address (like A1 or B5, etc.)
                    Range cell = ((Worksheet)worksheets["Sheet1"]).get_Range(celladdr, celladdr);

                    ExcelGridView.Rows.Add();

                    try
                    {
                        ExcelGridView.Rows[i - 1].Cells[(int)c - 65].Value = cell.Value.ToString();
                    }

                    catch { /*empty cell*/ }

                }
            }

            wbook.Close();

        }
    }
}