How to Convert XML into Excel: A Comprehensive Guide

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XML (Extensible Markup Language) and Excel are two widely used formats for storing and representing data. While XML is a versatile format for data exchange, Excel is the go-to tool for data analysis and presentation.

In many cases, you might find it necessary to convert XML data into an Excel spreadsheet to take advantage of Excel’s powerful data manipulation and visualization capabilities.

In this guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of how to convert XML into Excel, enabling you to harness the full potential of your data.

Why Convert XML to Excel?

Before we delve into the conversion process, it’s essential to understand why you might need to convert XML data into Excel. Both XML and Excel have their unique strengths and applications:


  1. XML is a text-based format that is highly portable and platform-independent.
  2. It is used for data storage, transport, and as a configuration file format.
  3. XML is well-suited for structured data with a hierarchical format.
  4. It is widely used for web services and data interchange in various industries.


  1. Excel is a spreadsheet application that provides powerful data analysis and visualization capabilities.
  2. It is user-friendly and doesn’t require extensive technical knowledge.
  3. Excel supports various data types, formulas, and functions.
  4. It is an excellent tool for creating charts, graphs, and reports.

Converting XML to Excel allows you to make the most of both formats. You can transform structured XML data into a user-friendly Excel spreadsheet, making it easier to analyze and present the information.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Convert XML into Excel

Now, let’s walk through the step-by-step process of converting XML data into an Excel spreadsheet. We’ll cover two primary methods: using Excel’s built-in features and using third-party tools.

Method 1: Using Excel’s Built-in Features

Excel provides native support for importing XML data, making the conversion process relatively straightforward. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Prepare Your XML Data

Before you start, ensure your XML file is well-structured and conforms to a defined schema. This will make it easier to import into Excel.

Step 2: Open Excel

Launch Microsoft Excel on your computer.

Step 3: Access the Developer Tab

If you don’t see the Developer tab in your Excel ribbon, you’ll need to enable it:

  • In Excel 2010 or later, click on the “File” tab, then choose “Options.” In the Excel Options dialog, select “Customize Ribbon,” and check the “Developer” option.
  • In Excel 2007, go to the “Office Button” (the round Office icon), click “Excel Options,” and enable the “Developer” checkbox under the “Popular” category.

Step 4: Import XML Data

Now that you have the Developer tab available, follow these steps:

  • Click on the “Developer” tab.
  • In the “XML” group, click on “Source.” This opens the XML Source task pane.

Step 5: Connect to Your XML File

In the XML Source task pane:

  • Click “XML Maps.”
  • Click “Add,” then select your XML file.
  • You might need to define the XML schema if it’s not already included in the file.

Step 6: Map XML Elements to Excel Cells

  • Drag and drop the elements from the XML Source task pane onto your Excel worksheet. This maps the XML elements to specific cells in your spreadsheet.
  • You can also specify options like whether to include the XML table structure in your worksheet.

Step 7: Refresh Data

Whenever you need to update your Excel data from the XML source, go back to the Developer tab, click “Source,” and select “Refresh.”

By following these steps, you can easily import XML data into Excel and keep it up to date as your XML source changes.

Method 2: Using Third-Party Tools

If you prefer a more user-friendly and versatile solution or if you encounter difficulties with Excel’s built-in features, you can use third-party tools that specialize in XML to Excel conversion. One such tool is “AltovaMapForce,” which provides a graphical interface for XML mapping.

Step 1: Download and Install AltovaMapForce

Start by downloading and installing AltovaMapForce on your computer. You can find the software on the Altova website.

Step 2: Launch AltovaMapForce

Open the MapForce application.

Step 3: Create a New Mapping Project

  • Click on “File” and select “New” to create a new mapping project.
  • Choose the XML file you want to convert as the source and Excel as the target.

Step 4: Define the Mapping

  • In the mapping interface, you’ll see your XML source on the left and an Excel grid on the right.
  • Drag and drop elements from your XML source to the corresponding locations in the Excel grid.
  • You can perform transformations, apply functions, and customize the mapping as needed.

Step 5: Execute the Mapping

  • After mapping all the necessary elements, click on “Output” in the Excel section and choose “Save To File.”
  • Save the Excel file to your desired location.

Using third-party tools like AltovaMapForce can provide more advanced features and flexibility for complex XML to Excel conversions.


In this guide, we’ve explored two methods for accomplishing this task: using Excel’s built-in features and employing third-party tools like AltovaMapForce. The method you choose depends on your specific requirements, your familiarity with the tools, and the complexity of the XML data you’re working with.

Ultimately, the ability to convert XML to Excel empowers you to leverage the strengths of both formats. You can harness the structured nature of XML data and the data analysis and presentation capabilities of Excel, making your data more accessible and actionable. Whether you’re a business analyst, a data scientist, or someone working with data in various fields, mastering this conversion process is a valuable skill that can save you time and improve your data-driven decision-making.

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