How many of you export your data into a csv file so you can manipulate it in Excel?

To manipulate? Never. Any revision is done in plaintext file. I mean, that’s the whole point, ain’t it?

Excel(Libreoffice Calc in my case) is used exclusively for visualization. It’s a nice way to fiddle with various charts and graphs.

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Can’t but agree with @KoreanCPA, Excel and similar spreadsheet programs are too error prone to manipulate data.

I sketch graphs in LIbreoffice calc and then replicate them in gnuplot + a scripting language. This way they are quick and easy to reuse again.

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I’ve dragged report CSV into a spreadsheet (Pages) to make charts from it. And probably once or twice to produce tabular reports with custom formatting. It’s not something I do often. Spreadsheets can’t be beaten for certain tasks, so I’d like it to be easy to move PTA data to and from them.


And for those who are wondering what kinds of manipulation you can do in Excel or other spreadsheets, here is an introductory video that I made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb-hK8Lc67s&t=2s.


Nice example of simple charting! You can also drag and drop CSV files into a spreadsheet.

Yes. Over many years - perhaps even decades - I’ve used excel to model and manipulate data. I certainly see the benefits of hledger and plain text accounting, but being so new to PTA I was curious how many people combine both tools and if anyone would be will to share how they do that.

Exporting transactions
Exporting from hledger - hledger has some tips for moving transactions (as opposed to, say, balance report output) from hledger to a spreadsheet. In short, with hledger there are two ways to export transactions CSV: print, which preserves the most data but generates multiple records per transaction:

$ hledger print [QUERY] -o foo.csv

or aregister, which generates one record per transaction, which is usually what you want in a spreadsheet:

$ hledger areg ACCT -o foo.csv

Exporting report data for charting
When exporting report output for charting, you’ll usually want to filter to a single currency (cur:) or convert to a single currency (-B, -X CUR, --infer-market-prices). Also the balance reports’ --layout=bare or --layout=tidy option can help make the data more consumable. Eg, to export monthly expenses summarised to depth 2, with commodity symbols separated from numbers:

hledger bal type:x -2 -M cur:\\$ --layout=bare -o monthly-expenses.csv

hledger and Ultorg - hledger describes working with Ultorg, a kind of “superspreadsheet”.