How to create a nicely formatted Excel table from a pandas DataFrame using openpyxl

When I want to save the current state of a pandas DataFrame for “manual consumption”, I often write df.to_excel('foo.xlsx') within my IPython session or Jupyter Notebook. However, the default style does not look pretty and often needs manual adjustments (e.g. column widths) to be usable.

If you want to create custom reports from pandas, you therefore might want to to this styling programmatically. Package openpyxl does this job nicely. Here is a motivational example that shows you the basic ways of its API. First, have some random data:

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Ant Neely – [2008] Not Fit For Human Consumption

Wide range of styles and techniques on a single solo artist review: pop album, movie score and a little bit of funk.

Ant Neely is one of the few artists on this blog who have their own Wikipedia article. And then there is this single free album, released on Jamendo and CDBaby. The style is… special, in that this album probably is the artist’s business card, showing off quirky production techniques and repertoire from vocal pop to dark cinematic.

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Bit Shifter – [2006] Information Chase

Essential chiptune album from the (g)olden age of Creative Commons music.

Six 8-bit style tracks produced on the Game Boy, the album itself an oldie by now, coming from one of the genre’s great names. While I don’t recommend to listen to hours of chiptunes in a single run, the nostalgic vibes one can get out of this genre well justify exposing your ears to raw sawtooth, blank noise and only mildly filtered sine waves…

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As Above So Below – [2016] Ritos I

Debut EP of “Portugese project doing cinematic postrock”. Special treat: excellently crafted melody lines.

What I like about post rock as a genre is how consistent it is. Once you have heard 3-4 albums, you immediately can recognise it and start concentrating on subtle differences, or bath your ears in the never-ending chord progressions above percussive loops that slowly build up to a loud, but modestly self-restrained instrumental finale. And that’s what awaits you here, as well…

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University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra – [2012] Design and Intent

Live recording of excellently performed classical music. Though not exactly hi-fi, the performance excels.

Without surprise, recordings of full orchestra performing classical symphonies are rare. But the productive university orchestra in Chicago is so kind to provide full recordings of some of their concerts. While they do not (and to not want) to compete with proper (and pricey) studio recordings, they give us an opportunity to try out some classics:

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Akey – [2010] Feel

Rather experimental ambient electronica, but hear me out. Songs that work as songs, but will stick out in your collection.

Most experimental albums fall into the trap of trying to be too innovative for their own good. Akey avoids this elegantly by using well established song structures. Instead, the experiments involve voicing, odd harmonies and occasional use of noise; all this is always in strict service of a clear emotion, or, feeling. My two picks are:

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Various Artists – [2009] Footprints

Massive trip hop infused electronic compilation. 30 tracks from dance to experimental.

Netlabel Bump Foot is special in that it consists two separately numbered release channels. One is labelled bump, dealing with house and techno, foot the other for IDM, trip hop, chiptune, ambient… everything else electronic, basically. In 2009, both series hit their 100th anniversary. This one is filled with two hours of high quality trip hop, pop-y and funky electronica from the golden netlabel era.

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Boogie Belgique – [2014] Nightwalker (Vol. 2)

Old swing samples meet instrumental hip hop loops. Both casually and dancually enjoyable.

Back in 2013, Belgian (surprise!) producer Boogie Belgique published Vol. 1 of this series (ojdo reported). Only one year later, this gem followed. Time for me to follow up: like before, modern percussion arrangements are woven together with vintage recordings, carefully curated, sliced and spliced to create a tasty blend that could be described as instrumental hip hop. But this is only half true. Listen to hear for yourself:

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Planet Boelex – [2013] Exist

Short like an EP, full like a compilation. Uplifting ambient electronica at its best.

A short album, but varied like a compilation: 6 tracks, 3 of which are compilations, and 2 remixes make this a small festival in all things ambient electronica.
It marked the end of a three year hiatus. And what a bombastic, I mean, relaxing, way to do that. If you have not yet Planet Boelex on your mental shortlist for acoustic bubble baths, here is your ticket:

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Spiedkiks – [2013] Take Off Your Make Up

Groovy big beat funk, great for upbeat parties.

Spiedkiks is an electronic duo from Cologne and Stuttgart. For their 10th anniversary this year, they have announced their 7th release together. This review’s album is an excellent appetizer and sampler of their common work, ranging from funky beats to house party. Special: the last track is a 13 minute collage of song production stems, which awaited their completion (at the time). Appetizers…

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