Java Client API Basics

Keikai also comes with a complete set of Java API which let you control Keikai to achieve spreadsheet related functions including editing, like set/get data, style, format, manipulating cells/rows/columns, and all other operations that you can do on a toolbar/context menu. In the following sections, you will learn how to use these APIs.

Load an xlsx File

You can import a file with the API of Spreadsheet below:

spreadsheet.importAndReplace(defaultXlsx, defaultFile);

In the tutorial project, we load xlsx files from the default folder /WEB-INF/book/.

Access Cell Values

Next, you may want to change a cell’s value or insert a column. Then you must know Range API.

Range API

A Range object can represent a single cell or a range of cells in a worksheet. It is the main class that allows you to manipulate values, styles, and formats of cells. You can also perform an user action such as “insert”/”delete” cell/row/column, “merge”, “sort”, “filter”, or “auto fill” or any other operations you can do on a toolbar/context menu.

Keikai Java client offers different ways to get a Range for different purposes, including:

One cell:

spreadsheet.getRange(0, 0); //rowIndex, columnIndex

Multiple cells

spreadsheet.getRange(0, 0, 2, 2);  //rowIndex, columnIndex, numberOfRows, numberOfColumns

Active cell

Active cell means the cell being selected currently in a browser.


If you didn’t specify a sheet index in those methods, by default it will return cells in the active sheet, which is the currently selected sheet.

To select cells in a specific sheet:

// bookName, sheetIndex, rowIndex, columnIndex
spreadsheet.getRange("app.xlsx", 0, 0, 0);
// bookName, sheetIndex, numberOfRows, numberOfColumns
spreadsheet.getRange("app.xlsx", 0, 2, 2);

For complete API list, please refer to Javadoc.

Set a Cell Value

You can pass a String or a Number to set a cell’s value.


If the range contains multiple cells, then it will fill all cells in the range with a same value.

Get a Cell Value

The simplest way is:

String text = range.getValue();
Number number = range.getValue();

This method will return String or Number, so you have to assign to the expected type.

If you want a specific return type, you can call the following methods:


Get Multiple Cell Values at Once

From the architecture above, you can know that each method calling of Keikai Java client requires to communicate with Keikai engine via the network. To have better performance and shorter network transmission time, it’s better to get multiple values at once than one cell by one cell.

List<String> cellValues = spreadsheet.getRange(row, col, 1, 4).getValues();
String value = cellValues.get(0);

Insert Rows/Columns

To insert one/multiple rows, you have to select rows or columns first. Then, call insert() to insert the same number of rows in the range. For example, if the range contains 3 rows, then insert() will insert 3 rows.

Insert 3 Rows

Range range = spreadsheet.getRange("1:3")
range.insert(InsertShiftDirection.ShiftDown, InsertFormatOrigin.LeftOrAbove);

The 1st parameter specifies the direction Keikai shifts existing rows. We usually shift rows down so we specify InsertShiftDirection.ShiftDown here. The 2nd parameter specifies where Keikai should copy the style from. In this case, the new 3 rows will copy the styles from the row above them.

Insert 3 Columns

The same rule applies to column insertion. You need to get a column range and call insert() with similar parameters.

range.insert(InsertShiftDirection.ShiftToRight, InsertFormatOrigin.LeftOrAbove);

Delete Rows/Columns

The deletion API is simpler than insertion because you only need to specify the shift direction:

Range range = spreadsheet.getRange("1:3");

Convert to Entire Row/Column

Sometimes you only have a range of cells returned by a method: Range range = findRange(); //return a range of A1:A3

But you want to perform an operation that works on the whole row/column. Keikai offers an easy way to turn your range selection into row/column selection, just call:


If range is A1:A3, then getEntireRow() returns a range 1:3, row 1 to row 3.

For details, please refer to Javadoc.

Applying Styles & Formats

To apply a style, we have to:

  1. Create the style related object, e.g. Font, Borders, or PatternFill

  2. Assign the style object to the Range

For example, to make a cell text bold:

Font font = range.createFont();

You can follow a similar way to apply borders:

Borders borders = range.createBorders(Borders.BorderIndex.EdgeBottom);

Number/Date/Time Format

setNumberFormat() can be used to set numbers, dates, or time formats:


At this point, you already can load an xlsx file in Keikai and access cells to perform basic operations like getting/setting values, insertion, deletion, and formatting. In the next section we will quickly go through some of the advanced features that you can do with Range.