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Export to XLS and XLSX Formats

The Grid Control supports two modes (engines) when exporting data from Grid Views and Banded Grid Views to MS Excel format (*.XLS(x)): Data-aware export and WYSIWYG export. This topic describes data-aware export in more detail.

  • Data-aware export - The new export engine features improved performance and memory usage. Choose this mode if you need to process and analyze exported data in MS Excel.
    Data shaping options in an exported control (for example, data collapsing/expanding, summary formulas, format rules; see below for a complete list) are persisted in the output XLS-XLSX document. Grid elements' layout may not match the original layout in the exported document.
  • WYSIWYG export - This export engine retains the grid elements' layout in the output document. However, the data shaping options are not retained. For instance, the grid control exports summary values as text strings instead of formulas.

    The Grid Control's Card, Layout, Tile, and WinExplorer Views always export their data in WYSIWYG mode.

    You can also use the PrintableComponentLink and XtraReports library's methods to export a Grid Control to MS Excel format. These approaches always employ the WYSIWYG export engine.

Expanded Data-aware Export

To export the grid control's data, use the following methods:

Method Description
GridControl.ExportToXls Exports a View's data to a file/stream in XLS format.
GridControl.ExportToXlsx Exports a View's data to a file/stream in XLSX format.

The data-aware export engine retains the following grid data shaping features in the resulting XLS-XLSX documents:

  • Data grouping (collapse/expand groups within a worksheet).
  • Column sorting and filtering.
  • Total and group summary formulas.
  • Conditional cell formatting (format rules)


    Limitations apply. See the note in the Export Specifics section below.

  • Lookup values (Lookup and Combo-box columns).
  • Fixed columns.
  • Expressions (expression-based unbound columns).


    Limitations apply. See the note in the Export Specifics section below.

The following image illustrates an MS Excel worksheet containing data from a sample Grid control with grouping and summaries:

Expanded Data-aware Export Limitations and Specifics

Grid Features that are not Exported

  • Images, charts, gauges and RTF text in grid cells.

    If a Grid Control contains a column with this data, the resulting worksheet contains only a column with a header.

  • Preview sections
  • Detail Views (in master-detail mode)
  • Appearance settings applied to rows and individual cells.

    The resulting document contains appearance settings applied to column cells (GridColumn.AppearanceCell).

  • Custom painting, alpha blending, and color gradient customizations. Refer to this KB article for available workarounds.

Export Specifics

  • Some functions used in expression-based Excel Style Format Rules and expression-based unbound columns can only be exported to XLS(X) format in data-aware export mode. Refer to the Criteria Language Syntax document for details on which functions can be exported to XLS(X) format.
  • To export custom text you provide with the ColumnView.CustomColumnDisplayText event use one of the following approaches:

  • Columns anchored to the grid control's right edge are not fixed in the resulting document.
  • Custom summaries implemented using grid events are exported as plain text.
  • The GridColumn.Width property specifies columns' width in XLS(X) documents. The GridColumn.Width property value may not match the actual column width in column auto-width mode (see GridOptionsView.ColumnAutoWidth).
  • Lookup and image-combo box columns export display values by default. Use the RepositoryItem.ExportMode property of GridColumn.ColumnEdit objects to export edit values instead of display values.
  • The sorting and filtering functionality is disabled in the resulting document when exporting data from Advanced Banded Grid Views (these Views arrange columns one under another). The export engine ignores the XlsExportOptionsEx.AllowSortingAndFiltering and XlsxExportOptionsEx.AllowSortingAndFiltering settings for Advanced Banded Grid Views.
  • The GridView.RowHeight and AdvBandedGridOptionsView.RowAutoHeight settings do not affect row height in the resulting worksheets.
  • Column values are exported using the "[h]:mm:ss" format string for TimeSpan columns with no explicit formatting.
  • Values of numeric columns with a "P" display format string are exported using the "0.00\%" format string.
  • MS Excel specifications and limits (this online article provides more information about the limitations of MS Excel, for example, row count and column count).

Expanded Choosing Export Mode

The static ExportSettings.DefaultExportType property allows you to choose the default export mode when you use the Grid Control's ExportToXls and ExportToXlsx methods.

You can also specify the required export mode with each ExportToXls(x) method call when you use these method overloads with an options parameter. Create an XlsExportOptionsEx object (or XlsxExportOptionsEx object), set its ExportType property to ExportType.DataAware or ExportType.WYSIWYG and pass this object to the ExportToXls(x) method.

Expanded Export Settings

You can use the following settings to customize the resulting document's data:

  • Base settings - available from the GridView.OptionsPrint and BandedGridView.OptionsPrint objects.

    These properties specify which grid elements should be included in the resulting document.

  • Advanced settings - available by calling the ExportToXls(x) method overloads that take an options parameter.

    Set the options parameter to an XlsExportOptionsEx (when using the ExportToXls method) or XlsxExportOptionsEx object (when using the ExportToXlsx method).

The following table lists these options, grouped by categories:

Worksheet Settings


Gets or sets a name of the sheet in the created XLS file to which a document is exported.



Gets or sets whether a title is displayed for each print preview page of the exported document.



Gets or sets the export document's culture which defines numeric and date-time data formatting settings.


Gets or sets whether to suppress the warning that appears if the resulting XLSX file has more than 16,384 columns.


Gets or sets whether to suppress the warning that appears if the resulting XLSX file has more than 1,048,576 rows.




Gets or sets whether data is exported in regular mode or as a native Excel table.



Gets or sets whether cell merging is enabled for band headers in the exported document.



Gets or sets whether cell merging is enabled in the exported document.

The cell merging feature is active in the resulting worksheet if the Xls(x)ExportOptionsEx.AllowCellMerge property is set to Default, and the Grid View allows cell merging (see GridOptionsView.AllowCellMerge).

If cell merging is disabled in the Grid View, the Xls(x)ExportOptionsEx.AllowCellMerge property is not in effect, and cell merging is disabled in the resulting worksheet.



Gets or sets whether left fixed columns enabled in a grid control are fixed in the exported document.



Gets or sets whether the column header panel is anchored to the top of the export document and not scrolled vertically.



Gets or sets how bands and columns are arranged in the output worksheet (when exporting from Banded Views).



Gets or sets whether band headers are visible in the exported document. This option is in effect when exporting from Banded Grid Views if the XlsExportOptionsEx.BandedLayoutMode option is set to Default.



Gets or sets whether column headers are visible in the exported document.


Gets or sets whether to display the view footer in the print/export output.


Gets or sets whether to display column headers in the print/export output.


Gets or sets whether horizontal grid lines are printed/exported.


Gets or sets whether vertical grid lines are displayed in the print/export output

Data Grouping, Sorting and Filtering



Gets or sets whether data groups are exported from the source control to the output document.



Gets or sets whether columns' sorting and filtering functionality is enabled in the exported document.



Gets or sets data groups' expanded state in the exported document.



Gets or sets whether group summaries are enabled in the exported document.




Gets or sets whether total summaries are enabled in the exported document.



Gets or sets whether group summaries are enabled in the exported document.



Gets or sets whether the Count summary function takes all cells into account or only non-blank cells when exporting to Excel format.

Cell Values/Custom Text



Gets or sets whether hyperlinks are exported.



Gets or sets whether sparklines are exported.



Gets or sets whether combo-box and lookup columns' lookup values are exported.



Gets or sets whether the source control cells with Empty Strings are exported as Blank cells in Excel format.



Gets or sets whether column values or column expressions are exported for unbound (calculated) columns.


Set this property to Text to export cell display text (not values) from all columns. In this mode, the export engine takes into account the custom text you specify for any column using the Data Grid's ColumnView.CustomColumnDisplayText event.


To export a single column's display text (not its values), assign an in-place editor to the column and set the editor's RepositoryItem.ExportMode to DisplayText. In this mode, the custom text you provide for the target column with the ColumnView.CustomColumnDisplayText event is exported.

Appearance and Styles



Gets or sets whether conditional formatting rules applied to columns are preserved in the exported document.



Gets or sets whether cell formatting (cell appearance and borders) is applied to the entire sheet columns (faster) or individual sheet cells in the range of exported rows (slower).


Gets or sets whether horizontal grid lines are printed/exported.


Gets or sets whether vertical grid lines are displayed in the print/export output.

Expanded Export-aware Events

You can use the following events to customize the resulting document while it is being generated:





Fires immediately after a row is added to the output document.



Allows you to customize a native Excel table's settings before export.



Allows you to customize a cell in the output document.



Allows you to customize the header in the output document.



Allows you to customize the footer in the output document.



Allows you to customize the output document's settings.



Allows you to apply filters to the exported document's columns.



Fires repeatedly while the data is being exported.



Allows you to hide certain summary footers (or certain multi-line summary footers' lines) from the exported document.

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