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Old 10-24-2012, 02:39 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2009
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Can I use XLSperl,, perl-spreadsheet-read, someting else? Calc spreadsheet

To do an automated daily search of our Calc spreadsheet I have been doing this;

Exploding the Calc spreadsheet with ark, then grepping through the "content.xml" for
full strings (with small amounts of regexp thrown in to the greps) to return the equivalent
of the full row of info.

I don't normally have to change parameters often, but when I do it kinda sucks. We recently
changed that Calc spreadsheet by adding a few columns and changing the cell formatting
of a couple of existing cells. This change is going to call for a larger reworking of
my grep script.

I want to take the opportunity to find and use a utility that would do the pre-parsing for
me, i.e. return the full row, if it finds a partial match from predefined list. I can
then finish working with the row of data.

I am getting lost just trying to find (if there is) a utility and how to
use it. I see things like XLSperl,, perl-spreadsheet-read, that I had hoped
were utilities I could use similar to sed and grep.

If there is one, what utility might do what I'm after and should be the most likley to
run without lots of configuration to do, or programming knowledge (perl or otherwise)?

I am asking instead of "just trying them to see for myself" because;
I have yet to get any of the above to even pretend they were going to run, much less
start playing with them, and so, because I am most likley going to have to ask for help and
spend time just getting a utility to run, I want to choose it ahead of time.

Thanks for any help,

First, thanks chrism01.
I went and looked around PerlMonks, it looks like a fun (and helpful) community, makes me wish I had time to learn some perl.
I'm not an office type person, that is to say I've never worked with any office applications or documents myself (other than this one Calc spreadsheet). I didn't realize what a .csv was until just now. Its so easy to just use libreoffice from the command line with the --invisibile switch and convert the .ods to a .csv, then grep and sed to my hearts content. I wish I would have realized that two years ago.

Last edited by monsteriname; 11-02-2012 at 10:39 AM. Reason: found a solution but don't want to drag up an old thread
Old 10-24-2012, 07:32 AM   #2
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Definitely sounds like something I'd use Perl for.

You could search over at, which is where you'll find all the Perl modules, but to save time and get expert advice I'd also post this qn over at;, its where the Perl gurus hang out (inc the ones that do Perl internals).

I'd also consider asking the Mods here at LQ to move this to the Programming forum (use the Report button).

Good Luck


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