Howto Write a Thesis using LaTeX: Excel to LaTeX Table

Generating nice tables in plain LaTeX can be really annoying as it is very hard to get an overview of columns and rows for raw text. One possibility would be to use a WYSIWYG editor that comes with many development environments.

You can find a nice tool for generating tables in TexMaker by selecting Quick Tabular from the Wizard menu item.
TabularWizard

But, in most cases, we do not want to insert tables manually. Instead, most of the data already exists in any other program and we would like to generate a table from our existing data. Also, there are much more specialised application for editing and generating tables, one and probably the most common one is Microsoft Excel.

Fortunately, there is a great tool that let’s you export your existing Excel table to LaTeX code, called  Excel2LaTeX!

1. Install Software

Go to http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/support/excel2latex/ and download the latest Excel2LaTeX.xla file. Next, open the file with Excel.
You might get asked if you want to activate Makros and this is a potential security issue. As we know what we are about to do, we accept Makros. And that’s it, the add on is already installed!

You will find two additional buttons in the Add-Ins tab of your Excel Toolbar.
Excel2LaTeX_buttons

Note that the Add-Ins tab needs to be activated for some Excel versions separately!

Now comes the easy part, select the area of your table you want to export to LaTeX and click the Convert table to LaTeX button. The following dialog pops up:
ExportToLatex

Click either the Copy to Clipboard button to copy the LaTeX text or save it to a file by choosing Save to File:.
For some reason, copying the text snippet did not work for me on Windows 8, so I had to copy it manually!

Next, as we have the table as LaTeX code in our Clipboard, we only need to paste it to our LaTeX file. Navigate to the position where you want to insert the table in your TexMaker file and paste the content. Note that you might need to load the following packages in the preamble depending on how fancy your table is styled:

\usepackage{booktabs}
\usepackage{color}

The generated code for the example table looks like:

% Table generated by Excel2LaTeX from sheet 'Tabelle1'
\begin{table}[htbp]
  \centering
  \caption{Add caption}
    \begin{tabular}{rrr}
    \toprule
    \multicolumn{1}{c}{\textbf{Name}} & \multicolumn{1}{c}{\textbf{Age}} & \multicolumn{1}{c}{\textbf{Score}} \\
    \midrule
    Maria & 23    & 1 \\
    Thomas & 21    & 0.78 \\
    \textit{Alicia} & 19    & 0.27 \\
    Mark  & 31    & 0.45 \\
          &       &  \\
    \bottomrule
    \end{tabular}%
  \label{tab:addlabel}%
\end{table}%

Note that you also might want to update the table caption:
insert_table

Cool, we just inserted a table from Excel to our LaTeX document! Wasn’t that much easier than typing it yourself?

Please also note, that the newly inserted table is automatically listed in the list of tables we inserted at the end of the document.