How to Read Excel Files by Pandas read_excel

Reading Excel files in Pandas – A Python library

Pandas is a Python library that is used:

  • For data science
  • Data analysis
  • Analyzing data
  • Cleaning data
  • Exploring and manipulating data

If we are talking about data, how come Excel is not covered?

Pandas has a method read_excel() that enables us to read the Excel files (xlsxlsxxlsmxlsbodfods and odt file extensions).

The Pandas read_excel() has plenty of parameters that you may pass to fetch the data as per need.

You may load:

  • Whole sheet data
  • Multiple sheets data
  • Merge data
  • Exclude a certain number of rows from the sheet(s)
  • Fetch only specific top rows
  • Return only a few bottom row
  • And many more

In this tutorial, we will show you examples of loading and reading Excel files with a few options (one by one), so keep reading.

An example of loading and displaying Excel sheet

For our examples, we will use the following Excel sheet with the .xlsx extension.

Pandas sample-file

It has two sheets namely:

  • Product Information
  • Sales

The first example reads data from the “Product Information” sheet:


Note: If you have not installed the pandas package yet, just write this line in the CMD (or command line)
$ pip install pandas

Python code to read Excel file:

import pandas as pd

#loading excel file by read_excel method

dt_frame = pd.read_excel('test_Excel.xlsx')

#Display first sheet



  Product ID Product Name  Price        Status

0      p-001        Wheat   3.50      In Stock

1      p-002         Rice   5.50      In Stock

2      p-003        Sugar   2.00      In Stock

3      p-004         Maze   1.50      In Stock

4      p-005      Tea Set   5.55      In Stock

5      p-006   Dinner Set  25.99  Out of Stock

6      p-007         Rice   1.20  Out of Stock

7      p-008       Plates   7.00      In Stock

8      p-009    Tea Spoon   8.00  Out of Stock

9     p-0010  Table Spoon  10.00      In Stock

Two things to notice in the above output:

  • By default, read_excel only loaded the first sheet’s data.
  • It also added row numbers (0,1,2…) which is index column

So, we will address both in the examples below.

How to omit index column from the data frame

The read_excel has a parameter index_col that you may use to omit the first column that contains the row number.

Its default value is None i.e. index_col=None

By using index_col=0 we get the output as follows:


import pandas as pd

#Loading excel file without index column

dt_frame = pd.read_excel('test_Excel.xlsx',index_col=0)

#Display first sheet




Using the values example

Alternatively, you may get the Sheet rows without index columns as follows:


import pandas as pd

#Loading excel file without index column

dt_frame = pd.read_excel('test_Excel.xlsx')

#Display first sheet with values




Reading Excel file by sheet names – sheet_name parameter

The following example specifies the sheet in our Excel Workbook. We will fetch records of the “Sales” sheet by number.

For that, sheet_name parameter is used where you may specify the sheet number from 0. In our case,

  • 0 = Product Information
  • 1 = Sales

The program below loads data from Sheet 1 i.e. Sales.

Python code:

import pandas as pd

#Loading excel file by sheet number

dt_frame = pd.read_excel('test_Excel.xlsx', sheet_name=1)

#Display sheet numebr 1(Sales) data




Loading data by sheet name rather than number

Similarly, you may specify the sheet name rather number of sheet in the Workbook.

The example below loads data of “Product Information” by using sheet_name and omitting the index column:

import pandas as pd

#Loading excel file by sheet name

dt_frame = pd.read_excel('test_Excel.xlsx', sheet_name='Product Information',index_col=0)

#Display sheet name = Product Information data




Loading two (multiple) sheets example

import pandas as pd

#Loading multiple sheets without index column

dt_frame = pd.read_excel('test_Excel.xlsx', sheet_name=['Sales','Product Information'],index_col=0)

#Display sheet name = Product Information and Sales data




Display only column headers

Though this will be deprecated in the next version, let us show you how to get headers only from the sheet:

import pandas as pd

#loading excel file by read_excel method

dt_frame = pd.read_excel('test_Excel.xlsx')

#Display only headers



[‘Product ID’ ‘Product Name’ ‘Price’ ‘Status’]

Get only specific columns example

import pandas as pd

# Return only specific columns

dt_frame = pd.read_excel('test_Excel.xlsx', index_col=0, usecols=['Product Name', 'Status'])

#Display columns data




Author - Atiq Zia

Atiq is the writer at, an online tutorial website started in 2014. With a passion for coding and solutions, I navigate through various languages and frameworks. Follow along as we solve the mysteries of coding together!