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Name: [002] Ian Ozsvald
Member: 128 months
Authored: 181 videos
Description: I am the co-founder of ShowMeDo (see, author of `The Screencasting Handbook <>`_ and the founder of the professional screencast production company `ProCasts <>`_: .. image:: ...

Tip - Cleanly Quit Excel and del the local reference [ID:620] (3/6)

in series: COM and Python with pyWin32

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When working with pyWin32 you'll probably run into this problem - you've worked with Excel and then closed it, you try to open it again and you get a half-broken screen. What's going on?!

The problem is that pyWin32 hasn't let go of its reference - if you look in the task-manager you'll see 'EXCEL.EXE' is still running. Here I show you how to cleanly shut-down Excel when you're done with it using this code:

In [55]: xlApp = Dispatch("Excel.Application")

In [56]: xlApp.Visible=1

In [57]: xlApp = Dispatch("Excel.Application")

In [58]: xlApp.Visible=1

In [59]: xlApp.Quit()

In [60]: del xlApp

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Yeah i should have started with this one. had closed excel and python. then noticed i still had an instance of excel in the task manager.

Anon - you'll probably want to ask here:

and get yourself a copy of Python Programming on Win32 (O'Reilly).



6. anonymous Wed, 06 Aug 2008 11:40


2 questions

1.trying to access the path of a xl which is allready open

2.trying to get the sheet name of the allready open

thanks in advance


Review of Tip - Cleanly Quit Excel and del the local reference

excellent information... this is very useful outside of just excel...

Hi Tal. I think you're right, I didn't observe anything odd in my testing but since the garbage-collector doesn't have to delete the instance straight away, something odd could happen there.

From my testing these seemed to be the right way to do things, perhaps if this fails for someone they could post a follow-up comment?


Are you sure that "del xlApp" always works? Doing "del" on a variable doesn't necessarily call the underlying instance's __del__ method, even if its refcount drops to zero, due to the mechanics of CPython's garbage collection. It is possible that the behavior is consistent in this case, I'm just wondering if you checked this out.

Anyways, thanks for this, it is very useful! I once spent hours figuring this out for myself...

this is good when more are coming.. im waiting

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Kudos and Thanks for Ian

3 Minute Oveview (What Does Python Look Like?)

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70 months ago


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