How To
Nov 9, 2022

How To Import JSON To Excel

If you're looking to view JSON in Microsoft Excel, you've come to the right place! In this post we'll provide step-by-step instructions to view JSON in Excel. First, it's worth explaining why Excel can't simply open JSON like any other spreadsheet. JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a format type widely used in front- and back-end programming and databases, but it's not natively readable by Microsoft Excel. The JSON format is straightforward to work with, but often you may feel the need to access data in tabular form, or in other words use an Excel to JSON Maybe you are more comfortable with spreadsheets while working with data.

Whatever the case, you can easily convert JSON into a CSV file and open it in the spreadsheet software of your choice. So, here are the steps to import a JSON file into Excel. Let us dive straight in.

6 Steps: Import JSON In Excel

Want to automatically convert JSON to CSV for Excel online? Skip ahead.

MS Excel, as you know, is one of the most accessible spreadsheet software options in the world. It is readily available on most modern MS Windows devices and has an estimated 850 million users globally. If you're using Windows and MS Excel 2016 and newer versions, and want to import a JSON file follow these steps below. (If you are using MS Excel 2010 – 2013, skip to the next section.)

1. Open MS Excel

Open the Start Menu using Windows Keys or Clicking the Start Menu icon on your Task Bar. Search and open MS Excel.

2. Create New Workbook

Next, you need to create a blank spreadsheet. Once you have MS Excel’s welcome page in front of you, click on Blank Workbook in the New section. It will create a new spreadsheet for you to work with.

Screen depicting how to create a new workbook for JSON in MS Excel

3. Locate the Data Tab

Find and click on the Data tab in the Ribbon menu of MS Excel.

4. Import Data

When you click on the Data tab, it brings up several sections, and one of them is Get & Transform Data. In the section, Click on Get Data, select From File option and then select From JSON option.

Import JSON file to Excel

5. Select your JSON File

Clicking on From JSON option will bring up an import window. You have to select the drive or folder where your JSON file is located and select the file. Click on Import, and Excel will open the Power Query Editor window. Here, you have the option to choose the way you want data in JSON to appear in a spreadsheet.

6. Convert Data Into Table

At last, to convert JSON into a table, select the option Into Table. And then click Close & Load option in Home tab of Power Query Editor. That’s it. You have a JSON file in a tabular format open in MS Excel.

Home tab of Excel Query Editor

Now all you have to do is open the File menu and save your spreadsheet. Optionally you can export the data as a CSV file.

Import JSON To MS Excel 2010 – 2013

The steps mentioned above will work on MS Excel 2016 and newer versions. If you are using MS Excel 2010 – 2013, follow the following steps to import JSON to Excel:

a.       Open MS Excel from Start Menu.

b.       Open New Spreadsheet.

c.       In the Power Query tab, click From Other Sources and select Blank Query.

d.       In the Query Editor, select Advanced Editor.

e.       Enter your query string as given below.

Note: Replace “C:\Users\XYZ\Desktop\examplefile.json” with the path to your JSON file.

let    Source = Json.Document(File.Contents(“C:\Users\XYZ\Desktop\examplefile.json”)),    # “Converted to Table” = Record.ToTable(Source)in    # “Converted to Table”

Limitations & Troubleshooting JSON in Excel

Flattening JSON Structure

JSON is a lightweight data-interchange format. It is easy to read and write and can be used in almost all programming languages, but it can be difficult to get a usable format imported into Excel. This is especially true if you're working with a highly complex file. As we've detailed above, there are ways to import JSON into Excel, but if you're unfamiliar with the data schema, and unsure how best to flatten a large JSON, you can be at a deadend. At Gigasheet we believe that a better approach is to use algorithms to aumatically convert JSON to CSV.

JSON & Excel's Max File Size

Like all spreadsheets in Excel, JSON imports are subject to Excel's row limits. Excel's maximum row limit is 1,048,576, and columns are limited to 16,384. If your JSON file is large, say more than a few megabytes, it's likely that Excel will crash. JSON is an ideal format for larger data sets that have a hierarchical structured relationship, but this structure also makes it more difficult to work with in Excel. If you're looking to get around Excel's max row limit, read ahead to learn how to convert JSON to Excel compatible formats online.

Convert JSON for Excel - Online

If you're struggling to get JSON imported to Excel, Gigasheet can help. You do not need to know the code or need to install any spreadsheet software to convert JSON files to CSV, which can easily be read by Excel.  Gigasheet is a cloud-based big data spreadsheet web application, and it will automatically convert JSON to a tabular format.

Here is how:

1.   Create a free account

If you do not have a Gigasheet account, you can create one for free here. It's free forever and we support files up to 1 GB, but you can upgrade to a paid plan for larger files.

2.  Upload your JSON File

Click on "Upload," and you will get the option to locate your file. You can upload JSON files from your computer's local storage or cloud storage.

3.  View online and export

Once the upload is complete, Gigasheet will automatically parse and flatten the JSON file and present it in the tabular format without requiring you to write any code or query. You can filter, sort, split columns, and more with the data.

To save the file as CSV, simply click the File option in the menu and export the file as a CSV.

How to export as CSV

Why Use Gigasheet Convert JSON to CSV?

  • Comparing the processes above shows that using Gigasheet to convert JSON to CSV for Excel is much easier than the other two, especially if the file is large or if you aren't intimately familiar with the data structure. There are some other very significant advantages of using Gigasheet over other options...
  • First of all, Gigasheet is a web application that you can access from the web browser on your PC, laptop, and even a mobile device.
  • Gigasheet allows you to upload files from different sources - local storage or the cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, SFTP, and AWS S3.
  • Even though MS Excel is easily accessible on modern PCs, it cannot process more than 1,048,576 rows of data. Gigasheet, on the other hand, has no such constraints so you can process large multi-gigabyte JSON files.
  • Often JSON files are too large, and users compress them to ZIP format to save storage. Gigasheet, by default, supports ZIP format, so you can directly upload compressed JSON files without having to un-compress them first.
  • Gigasheet is a no-code big data worksheet. So, when working with big data in Gigasheet, you do not have to write a single line of code or set up a database.

To Conclude

There are ways to import your JSON files into Excel and work with data in tabular spreadsheet format. You can follow any of the processes that best fit your workflow. However, if you work with large JSON files with millions of rows of data, we think Gigasheet is the best way to convert them into CSVs which can then be used in Excel.

Gigasheet does what Excel can't. It's free to use, and offers much higher limits on size of files you can upload (we support up to 1 billion rows). Also, you do not have to write any code to process, define any JSON scheme and no database is required. Sign up today for free.

The ease of a spreadsheet with the power of a database, at cloud scale.

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