reverse engineering Excel spreadsheet

Bart Willems b.r.willems at
Tue Apr 3 03:16:02 CEST 2007

John Machin wrote:
> I'm a bit puzzled by your notion of creating a dependency graph
> *without* first extracting the "relationships (functions)" [which you
> could do only by parsing the formulas and macros].

Not really. The range object in the Excel object model has a Dependents 
  attribute, although for creating a graph you might want to rely on 
DirectDependents for obvious reasons. There's no reason to parse
You can use that for each cell to get a list of the cells that have 
their formulas depending on the cell you are interrogating. There's also 
a Precedents and DirectPrecedents property if you want to walk the trees 
in the other direction. :-)

More important, get some *serious* books about Excel VBA programming (I 
can recommend Walkenbach's Power Programming). Excel has a an extremely 
complex object model that can do almost anything for you - writing code 
against Excel without knowledge of that data will mean that you'll be 
writing 100 lines of Python code (for instance, to parse formulas) to do 
something that could have been done in 5 lines of Visual Basic code (or 
Python for that matter, but I can make a better point by using VBA :) ).

Best Regards,

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