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Which of HTML, JPEG, PDF and XML is best for importing data into a Calc spreadsheet? [closed]

asked 2014-06-23 17:05:06 +0200

MC gravatar image

updated 2014-06-24 00:20:00 +0200

bencomp gravatar image

I have an Accounting software which exports reports into MS Excel but since I do not have MS Excel my Accounting software gives me the option to save it in HTML PDF XML and JPEG.

I Need the data in a spreadsheet; Would anybody know how to import the above data formats i.e. HTML PDF JPEG or XML in a workable Spreadsheet VIA Libreoffice preferences into Calc Spreadsheet or directly into Calc Spreadsheets??

A knowledgeable answer would be a godsend!



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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2016-02-26 09:53:17.306843


Does the HTML contain tables? If so, Calc may be able to import the tables. What kind of XML is coming out? Maybe a filter that allows LibreOffice to load the XML already exists.

bencomp gravatar imagebencomp ( 2014-06-25 16:55:52 +0200 )edit

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answered 2014-06-24 06:02:53 +0200

ROSt52 gravatar image

I might be completely wrong but would give the simply practical answer to export as: Excel file. You can do this without having Excel installed. Once the file is on your PC you can open it in LibO. I think this is also what @mariosv wants to say.

The Excel-export could have the extension xls or xlsx; both open in Calc.

If the xls or xlsx files don't open automatically in Calc, right-click on them and select "Open with" (The way to open the files works for Windows and most likely Linux but I am not sure for MAC.)

Additionally I recommend to read the answer of @CyanCG and comment of @mariosv because there you can learn more about formats.

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The accounting software does not permit you to export it as an MS Excel file if you do not have Microsoft Office suite.

MC gravatar imageMC ( 2014-06-24 08:52:03 +0200 )edit

@MC - A bit difficult to understand but if it is that way. you need to follow the advice of @CyanCG. May I ask how this accounting SW is called?

ROSt52 gravatar imageROSt52 ( 2014-06-24 16:44:33 +0200 )edit

MC: "The accounting software does not permit you to export it as an MS Excel file if you do not have Microsoft Office suite."

It sounds incredible to me. How much was the bribe? Such behaviour should be illegal everywhere. Throw the software away, it may contain other bombs!

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2014-06-25 11:14:01 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-06-23 17:38:22 +0200

CyanCG gravatar image

updated 2014-06-23 17:39:44 +0200

The best option seems to be to import the MS Excel file into LibreOffice Calc. Is it the legacy .xls or the new .xlsx? In both cases, LibreOffice’s support has steadily improved in recent versions.

If, after trying that, you realize that something is wrong or some data is missing, try HTML, which could then be opened in Writer, converted into OpenDocument tables and placed in Calc sheets.

Generic XML is problematic, unless you happen to know how to use an XML transformation language (XSLT or XQuery).

PDF and JPEG are generally unsuited to data export, as they are visual as opposed to structural. PDF could eventually allow you to keep the exact formatting produced by the accounting software, but JPEG is the least suitable of all: raster images are not much use in data workflows.

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As @CyanCG has commented the better option is open/insert excel files, if account software really produce excel files, sometimes they are formats with xls extension that usually open fine in excel. It's possible import HTML through Menu/Insert/Link to external data, there are some issue with dates imported as text. XML sometimes open fine selecting Microsoft excel 2003 XML as file type.

m.a.riosv gravatar imagem.a.riosv ( 2014-06-23 22:05:09 +0200 )edit

@mariosv - Didn't you want to write "...xls extension that usually open fine in CALC"?

ROSt52 gravatar imageROSt52 ( 2014-06-24 06:00:41 +0200 )edit

@CyanCG The accounting software refuses to export the file in an excel format incase the microsoft offfice suite is not installed. So the only option I have is ASCII JPEG HTML PDF or XML. Tried importing the HTML file via Writer but it is a really bad option. I then tried importing the HTML via Calc Spreadsheet (a better option) but the formatting is not workable too. Is there anything else I can try?? Thank you..

MC gravatar imageMC ( 2014-06-24 09:15:09 +0200 )edit

@MC is the ASCII a CSV file? (so values separated with comma) If so choose this. This can imported by Calc best. Did you tried the XML variant (as described above)? Well it is mostly a try-and-error game... :-(

Dennis Roczek gravatar imageDennis Roczek ( 2014-06-25 16:04:31 +0200 )edit

The fact that the application refuses to export to Excel’s format if Excel is not present is infuriating. I agree with @Lupp that this should be illegal and that the ideal solution would be to use another application, but if this is not possible, opening the HTML in a browser as suggested by @Rugslug is a good idea, as then you can visualise everything that the file is supposed to contain.

CyanCG gravatar imageCyanCG ( 2014-06-25 19:11:30 +0200 )edit

Some applications to generate the file call the application set up as default to open the file type. Verify if xls(x) on the windows explorer are opened with calc.

m.a.riosv gravatar imagem.a.riosv ( 2014-06-25 21:30:43 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-06-25 02:49:05 +0200

Rugslug gravatar image

Try opening the HTML file in your internet browser. Select all or drag your selection. Then paste into a calc file. The Import Text dialog will open so you can customize each column (date format etc). You can also set your text delimiters as required. Some trial and error may be required to get the correct settings in the text import dialog.

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Asked: 2014-06-23 17:05:06 +0200

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