How to Import Excel Spreadsheets into a SharePoint List

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25 Responses

  1. Steve Howard says:

    Nice tutorial, but it should be mentioned that importing spreadsheets doesn’t work if you are using IE7, or a non-Microsoft Browser (from the MSDN Website)

  2. Jackie Stanley says:

    Very detailed and helpful! Thank you!

  3. Neil says:

    Nice tutorial. Doesn’t help me though because I want to import 3 spreadsheet files in 3 different EXISTING lists.
    Any ideas? Thanks.

  4. Denson says:

    I tried your fix but my machine will not allow enable macros, it is disabled, then when I try and save it removes signature. I am warned when I try and open the file that the signature is invalid. I have tried opening this file on several different machines and I get the same results as mentioned above.

    Interestingly on the machine I need it to work on the exptoows.xla file is in a different location, even after I loaded office 12 on the machine. I have several problems here.

  5. Zubair Alexander says:

    You didn’t mention what version of Office you were using but you can try this solution from Microsoft for your invalid signature problem:
    “The “Invalid signature” indication appears when you try to open a Word document or an Excel workbook”:

  6. Denson says:

    Thanks for the response, I actually found what was wrong.

    It appears that the dev box wasn’t setup properly, I deleted/recreated the main Web application and added a site collection to the root. Just glad this issue was not on production. That was the problem all along. I forgot where I found the fix. Strange that this configuration would cause this problem.

    By the way I am on Office 2007. Also the exptoows.xla file was not in the 1033 of office12. Go figure.

    Again Thanks for your reply.

  7. Zubair Alexander says:

    I am glad you found a solution.

  8. Sheila says:

    Whenever we try to import the file we’re getting the the error “The specified file is not a valid spreadsheet or contains no data to import”. I even get this error after downloading and using the Excel Sample file.

    Do you think that this might be a configuration error?

    Appreciate your help.


  9. Zubair Alexander says:


    In IE, go to Tools, Internet Options, Security tab, Trusted Sites, Sites, and add your site. Hopefully that should fix the problem.

  10. Jeanette says:

    Having the same problem as Sheila. My site is already a trusted site, still receiving the same problem.

  11. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial. I should have checked this site first. I have my spreadsheet in SharePoint now in datasheet view however the formulas are not working. I have a column, for example, that tabulates the sum of several preceding columns. I can click on the cell and enter a value, but the macro does not then tabulate the sum. In SharePoint do I have to enter the updates in the Excel spreadsheet and then reload it to the SharePoint site or should the datasheet view preserve the formulas?


  12. Zubair Alexander says:

    Ryan, you cannot make changes to the cell in datasheet view if you are working with a calculated column. The moment you enter a value you are essentially overwriting the calculated field. Make the change in standard view and then switch to datasheet view.

  13. Edyth R. Nicholson says:

    Thanks for the instructions it helped. But let people know that they have to have a blank row at the top and a blank column to the left.

  14. Mike Kretzler says:

    I’m having the same problem Jeanette is. My site is already a trusted site, but I’m still getting the “not a valid spreadsheet” error.

  15. sudha says:

    Hi sir,

    While following given steps I am getting an exception after clicking on import button-
    “An unexpected error has occurred(-2147467259)”

    Please help. What can I do?

  16. Ritu Chauhan says:

    Getting error “The specified file is not a valid spreadsheet or contains no data to import”
    Please tell what to do my site is already a trusted site.

  17. Lorri Sharp says:

    I have a very large file that I’m trying to import. When I enter the cell range $A$1:$BS$2733 into the Range of Cells box I get a TYPE MISMATCH error. I’ve tried different variations of the formula to no avail. What am I doing wrong?

  18. akaalx says:

    Once you create a SharePoint list, is there a way to append it with weekly updates while keeping the previous entries? Is there a way to do this automatically? Thanks.

  19. Doris says:

    Hello, did anyone identify a solution to the below? This is my situation too. Thanks.

    3. Neil Says:
    June 30th, 2010 at 10:02 pm
    Nice tutorial. Doesn’t help me though because I want to import 3 spreadsheet files in 3 different EXISTING lists.
    Any ideas? Thanks.

  20. Zubair Alexander says:

    Neil and Doris, check out this CodePlex solution for importing Excel data into existing SharePoint lists. This was meant for MOSS 2007 and I haven’t had a chance to try it in SP2010. Here’s the URL:

    Akaalx, I don’t know of an out-of-the-box solution but you might want to look at this Business Data List Connector for SharePoint which connects SharePoint’s native list to external business data sources. It offers bi-directional connection and updates:

  21. Edwin says:

    I keep getting error message like this. I am sure this file is not anywhere on this server. Could you please help me? “The specified name is already in use on this server. You must rename this list before publishing.” I tried renaming and it does not work still.

  22. CJ Stacey says:

    Thanks for the nice guide. This is exactly what I was looking for.

    Keep up the good work!


  23. Zubair Alexander says:

    Edwin, the most likely cause for the error is that you may already have the list with the same name, just like the error indicates. Go to View All Site Content and look for a list with the exact same name. If you don’t have the right permissions, you won’t see the List. If you have proper permissions but don’t see the List in your browser, try looking for the List in SharePoint Designer.

    By the way, if you upload a file that is checked out then you will also see this error. In that case go to Library/List settings and under permissions section click “Manage checked out files.” You then need to take ownership of the file.

  24. Benjamin says:

    Hi guys, I am trying to import a spreadsheet into SharePoint but one error is coming on my way
    it says “The selected range cannot be converted to table before publishing or the existing table is invalid”.
    Please help me out guys.

    Thanks in advance.

  25. Zubair Alexander says:

    Benjamin, make sure you don’t have any formulas or links in the range that you have selected. You should only have data in the range.

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