How to Create Excel Spreadsheets with Styling Options Using JavaScript

How to Create Excel Spreadsheets with Styling Options Using JavaScript


4 min read

TLDR: An Open Source fork of SheetJS lets you create and style Excel spreadsheets with JavaScript.

Creating XLSX Files

An XLSX file is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

I previously documented How to Download xlsx Files from a Next.js Route Handler.

In that blog post, I used the xlsx package which is also known as SheetJS.

However, I discovered a limitation of the community edition of the xlsx package: It did not allow the row and cell styling that my stakeholders desired in their final product.

The PRO edition does allow styling, but I looked for an open source solution and found it.


xlsx-js-style is a fork of SheetJS combined with code from a couple of other open source projects that were adding styles to SheetJS.

The only drawback I see is the last version was published 2 years ago, but it does not have the vulnerability I warned about if you install the xlsx dependency directly from npm.

xlsx-js-style allows you to create Excel spreadsheets with JavaScript and style the cells with borders, colors, alignment, and font styles.

Add xlsx-js-style to Your Project

Install xlsx:

npm i xlsx-js-style

Next, import xlsx-js-style into your project:

import XLSX from "xlsx-js-style"

You can use this package in any JavaScript or TypeScript project.

Creating and Styling the XLSX Worksheet

Here's an example of how to use the xlsx-js-style package:

// define your headers 
const headers = [

// set column widths
const colWidths = [
        { wch: 30 },
        { wch: 30 },
        { wch: 50 },

// get the data 
const userData = await getUserData()

// early return if no data
if (!userData || !userData[0]) {
    return null

// set header row height 
// consider if you have vertical headers
const headerRowHeight = [
    { hpt: 80 },

// Dynamically set row height based on size of data
const dataRowHeight = Array.from({ length: userData[0].length }, () => ({ hpt: 30 }))

// Combine header row height and data row height
const rowHeight = [...headerRowHeight, ...dataRowHeight]

// Create a new worksheet: 
const worksheet = XLSX.utils.json_to_sheet([])

// Assign widths to columns
worksheet['!cols'] = colWidths

// Assign height to rows
worksheet['!rows'] = rowHeight

// Enable auto-filter for columns
worksheet['!autofilter'] = { ref: "A1:C1" }

// Add the headers to the worksheet: 
XLSX.utils.sheet_add_aoa(worksheet, [headers])

// add data to sheet 
XLSX.utils.sheet_add_json(worksheet, userData, {
    skipHeader: true,
    origin: -1

// get size of sheet 
const range = XLSX.utils.decode_range(worksheet["!ref"] ?? "")
const rowCount = range.e.r
const columnCount = range.e.c

// Add formatting by looping through data in sheet 
for (let row = 0; row <= rowCount; row++) {
    for (let col = 0; col <= columnCount; col++) {
        const cellRef = XLSX.utils.encode_cell({ r: row, c: col })

        // Add this format to every cell
        worksheet[cellRef].s = {
            alignment: {
                horizontal: "left",
                wrapText: true,

        // vertical header - 1st column only
        if (row === 0 && col === 0) {
            worksheet[cellRef].s = {
                //spreads in previous cell settings
                alignment: {
                    horizontal: "center",
                    vertical: "center",
                    wrapText: false,
                    textRotation: 180,

        // Format headers bold
        if (row === 0) {
            worksheet[cellRef].s = {
                //spreads in previous cell settings
                font: { bold: true },


return worksheet

// After this, add worksheet to workbook, download, etc. 
// See docs and my previous article

Other Styles Available

I only applied a few of the styles available in the above example.

Checkout all of the available style settings on the npm page for xlsx-js-style.

Learning More:

  • Read my previous article on How to Download xlsx Files if you want to create these files in a Node.js backend and request them from your frontend. My example is with Next.js, but you could just set it up in Node.js without Next.js.

  • If you read the previous article or watch the video below, remember to replace the xlsx dependency with the xlsx-js-style dependency I discussed in this article.

Enjoy creating Excel spreadsheets with JavaScript!

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