Apache POI – Cells


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Any data that you enter into a spreadsheet is always stored in a cell. We use the labels of rows and columns to identify a cell. This chapter describes how to manipulate data in cells in a spreadsheet using Java programming.

Create a Cell

You need to create a row before creating a cell. A row is nothing but a collection of cells.

The following code snippet is used for creating a cell.

//create new workbook
XSSFWorkbook workbook = new XSSFWorkbook(); 
//create spreadsheet with a name
XSSFSheet spreadsheet = workbook.createSheet("new sheet");
//create first row on a created spreadsheet
XSSFRow row = spreadsheet.createRow(0);
//create first cell on created row
XSSFCell cell = row.createCell(0);

Types of Cells

The cell type specifies whether a cell can contain strings, numeric value, or formulas. A string cell cannot hold numeric values and a numeric cell cannot hold strings. Given below are the types of cells, their values, and type syntax.

Type of cell value Type Syntax
Blank cell value XSSFCell.CELL_TYPE_BLANK
Boolean cell value XSSFCell.CELL.TYPE_BOOLEAN
Error cell value XSSFCell.CELL_TYPE_ERROR
Numeric cell value XSSFCell.CELL_TYPE_NUMERIC
String cell value XSSFCell.CELL_TYPE_STRING

The following code is used to create different types of cells in a spreadsheet.

import java.io.File;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import java.util.Date;
import org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFCell;
import org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFRow;
import org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFSheet;
import org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFWorkbook;
public class TypesofCells 
{
   public static void main(String[] args)throws Exception 
   {
      XSSFWorkbook workbook = new XSSFWorkbook(); 
      XSSFSheet spreadsheet = workbook.createSheet("cell types");
      XSSFRow row = spreadsheet.createRow((short) 2);
      row.createCell(0).setCellValue("Type of Cell");
      row.createCell(1).setCellValue("cell value");
      row = spreadsheet.createRow((short) 3);
      row.createCell(0).setCellValue("set cell type BLANK");
      row.createCell(1);
      row = spreadsheet.createRow((short) 4);
      row.createCell(0).setCellValue("set cell type BOOLEAN");
      row.createCell(1).setCellValue(true);
      row = spreadsheet.createRow((short) 5);
      row.createCell(0).setCellValue("set cell type ERROR");
      row.createCell(1).setCellValue(XSSFCell.CELL_TYPE_ERROR );
      row = spreadsheet.createRow((short) 6);
      row.createCell(0).setCellValue("set cell type date");
      row.createCell(1).setCellValue(new Date());
      row = spreadsheet.createRow((short) 7);
      row.createCell(0).setCellValue("set cell type numeric" );
      row.createCell(1).setCellValue(20 );
      row = spreadsheet.createRow((short) 8);
      row.createCell(0).setCellValue("set cell type string");
      row.createCell(1).setCellValue("A String");
      FileOutputStream out = new FileOutputStream(
      new File("typesofcells.xlsx"));
      workbook.write(out);
      out.close();
      System.out.println(
      "typesofcells.xlsx written successfully");
   }
}

Save the above code in a file named TypesofCells.java, compile and execute it from the command prompt as follows.

$javac TypesofCells.java
$java TypesofCells

If your system is configured with the POI library, then it will compile and execute to generate an Excel file named typesofcells.xlsx in your current directory and display the following output.

typesofcells.xlsx written successfully

The typesofcells.xlsx file looks as follows.

Type Of Cells

Cell Styles

Here you can learn how to do cell formatting and apply different styles such as merging adjacent cells, adding borders, setting cell alignment and filling with colors.

The following code is used to apply different styles to cells using Java programming.

import java.io.File;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import org.apache.poi.hssf.util.HSSFColor;
import org.apache.poi.ss.usermodel.IndexedColors;
import org.apache.poi.ss.util.CellRangeAddress;
import org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFCell;
import org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFCellStyle;
import org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFRow;
import org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFSheet;
import org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFWorkbook;
public class CellStyle 
{
   public static void main(String[] args)throws Exception 
   {
      XSSFWorkbook workbook = new XSSFWorkbook(); 
      XSSFSheet spreadsheet = workbook.createSheet("cellstyle");
      XSSFRow row = spreadsheet.createRow((short) 1);
      row.setHeight((short) 800);
      XSSFCell cell = (XSSFCell) row.createCell((short) 1);
      cell.setCellValue("test of merging");
      //MEARGING CELLS 
      //this statement for merging cells
      spreadsheet.addMergedRegion(new CellRangeAddress(
      1, //first row (0-based)
      1, //last row (0-based)
      1, //first column (0-based)
      4 //last column (0-based)
      ));
      //CELL Alignment
      row = spreadsheet.createRow(5); 
      cell = (XSSFCell) row.createCell(0);
      row.setHeight((short) 800);
      // Top Left alignment 
      XSSFCellStyle style1 = workbook.createCellStyle();
      spreadsheet.setColumnWidth(0, 8000);
      style1.setAlignment(XSSFCellStyle.ALIGN_LEFT);
      style1.setVerticalAlignment(XSSFCellStyle.VERTICAL_TOP);
      cell.setCellValue("Top Left");
      cell.setCellStyle(style1);
      row = spreadsheet.createRow(6); 
      cell = (XSSFCell) row.createCell(1);
      row.setHeight((short) 800);
      // Center Align Cell Contents 
      XSSFCellStyle style2 = workbook.createCellStyle();
      style2.setAlignment(XSSFCellStyle.ALIGN_CENTER);
      style2.setVerticalAlignment( 
      XSSFCellStyle.VERTICAL_CENTER);
      cell.setCellValue("Center Aligned"); 
      cell.setCellStyle(style2);
      row = spreadsheet.createRow(7); 
      cell = (XSSFCell) row.createCell(2);
      row.setHeight((short) 800);
      // Bottom Right alignment 
      XSSFCellStyle style3 = workbook.createCellStyle();
      style3.setAlignment(XSSFCellStyle.ALIGN_RIGHT);
      style3.setVerticalAlignment( 
      XSSFCellStyle.VERTICAL_BOTTOM);
      cell.setCellValue("Bottom Right");
      cell.setCellStyle(style3);
      row = spreadsheet.createRow(8);
      cell = (XSSFCell) row.createCell(3);
      // Justified Alignment 
      XSSFCellStyle style4 = workbook.createCellStyle();
      style4.setAlignment(XSSFCellStyle.ALIGN_JUSTIFY);
      style4.setVerticalAlignment(
      XSSFCellStyle.VERTICAL_JUSTIFY);
      cell.setCellValue("Contents are Justified in Alignment"); 
      cell.setCellStyle(style4);
      //CELL BORDER
      row = spreadsheet.createRow((short) 10);
      row.setHeight((short) 800);
      cell = (XSSFCell) row.createCell((short) 1);
      cell.setCellValue("BORDER");
      XSSFCellStyle style5 = workbook.createCellStyle();
      style5.setBorderBottom(XSSFCellStyle.BORDER_THICK);
      style5.setBottomBorderColor(
      IndexedColors.BLUE.getIndex());
      style5.setBorderLeft(XSSFCellStyle.BORDER_DOUBLE);
      style5.setLeftBorderColor( 
      IndexedColors.GREEN.getIndex());
      style5.setBorderRight(XSSFCellStyle.BORDER_HAIR);
      style5.setRightBorderColor( 
      IndexedColors.RED.getIndex());
      style5.setBorderTop(XSSFCellStyle.BIG_SPOTS);
      style5.setTopBorderColor( 
      IndexedColors.CORAL.getIndex());
      cell.setCellStyle(style5);
      //Fill Colors
      //background color
      row = spreadsheet.createRow((short) 10 );
      cell = (XSSFCell) row.createCell((short) 1);
      XSSFCellStyle style6 = workbook.createCellStyle();
      style6.setFillBackgroundColor(
      HSSFColor.LEMON_CHIFFON.index );
      style6.setFillPattern(XSSFCellStyle.LESS_DOTS);
      style6.setAlignment(XSSFCellStyle.ALIGN_FILL);
      spreadsheet.setColumnWidth(1,8000);
      cell.setCellValue("FILL BACKGROUNG/FILL PATTERN");
      cell.setCellStyle(style6);
      //Foreground color
      row = spreadsheet.createRow((short) 12);
      cell = (XSSFCell) row.createCell((short) 1);
      XSSFCellStyle style7=workbook.createCellStyle();
      style7.setFillForegroundColor(HSSFColor.BLUE.index);
      style7.setFillPattern( XSSFCellStyle.LESS_DOTS);
      style7.setAlignment(XSSFCellStyle.ALIGN_FILL);
      cell.setCellValue("FILL FOREGROUND/FILL PATTERN");
      cell.setCellStyle(style7);
      FileOutputStream out = new FileOutputStream(
      new File("cellstyle.xlsx"));
      workbook.write(out);
      out.close();
      System.out.println("cellstyle.xlsx written successfully");
   }
}

Save the above code in a file named CellStyle.java, compile and execute it from the command prompt as follows.

$javac CellStyle.java
$java CellStyle

It will generate an Excel file named cellstyle.xlsx in your current directory and display the following output.

cellstyle.xlsx written successfully

The cellstyle.xlsx file looks as follows.

CellStyle

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