How to read XLS file in Java

EasyXLS Excel library can be used to import Excel files in Java. The library works with any Java SE application and without MS Excel installed.

Step 1: Download EasyXLS Excel Library for Java

To download the trial version of EasyXLS Excel Library, press the below button:

Download EasyXLS™ Excel Library for Java

If you already own a license key, you may login and download EasyXLS from your account.

Install the downloaded EasyXLS installer for v8.6 or earlier.

Step 2: Create a Java project

If don't have a project already, create a new Java project.

Step 3: Include EasyXLS library into project

EasyXLS.jar must be added to external libraries into your project for Eclipse or to your application CLASSPATH.

EasyXLS.jar can be found:
- Inside the downloaded archive at Step 1 for EasyXLS v9.0 or later
- Under installation path for EasyXLS v8.6 or earlier, in "Lib" folder.

Add EasyXLS library to CLASSPATH

Step 4: Run Java code that reads XLS file

Execute the following Java code that imports an XLS file.

package testexceljava;

/* ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 | Tutorial 37                                                  
 | This tutorial shows how to read an Excel XLS file in Java (the
 | XLS file generated by Tutorial 28 as base template), modify
 | some data and save it to another XLS file (Tutorial37 - read XLS file.xls).                       
 * ------------------------------------------------------------------------ */

import java.io.FileInputStream;
import EasyXLS.*;

public class Tutorial37 {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try {
            System.out.println("Tutorial 37");
            // Create an instance of the class that reads Excel files
            ExcelDocument workbook = new ExcelDocument();

            // Read XLS file
            System.out.println("Reading file C:\\Samples\\Tutorial28.xls.");
            FileInputStream file = new FileInputStream("C:\\Samples\\Tutorial28.xls");
            if (workbook.easy_LoadXLSFile(file))
                // Get the table of data for the second worksheet
                ExcelTable xlsSecondTable = 
                    ((ExcelWorksheet)workbook.easy_getSheet("Second tab")).easy_getExcelTable();

                // Write some data to the second sheet
                xlsSecondTable.easy_getCell("A1").setValue("Data added by Tutorial37");

                for (int column=0; column<5; column++)
                    xlsSecondTable.easy_getCell(1, column).setValue("Data " + (column + 1));
                // Export the new XLS file
                System.out.println("Writing file C:\\Samples\\Tutorial37 - read XLS file.xls.");
                workbook.easy_WriteXLSFile("C:\\Samples\\Tutorial37 - read XLS file.xls");

                // Confirm export of Excel file
                if (workbook.easy_getError().equals(""))
                    System.out.println("File successfully created.");
                    System.out.println("Error encountered: " + workbook.easy_getError());
            // Dispose memory
        catch (Exception ex) {

EasyXLS Excel libraries:

Excel Library for Java
full Java version to import, export or convert Excel files
Excel Reader for Java
Java version to read and import Excel files
Download EasyXLS™ Excel Library for Java

File formats:

MS Excel 97 - 2003
MS Excel 2007 - 2019
MS Excel 2021
Office 365