Session Details

Programming Microsoft Office using Python  

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Like it or not, we live in a world where we will interact with Win32 systems. It may be intermittent or something we have to deal with it on a daily basis, but regardless of how much exposure we face, the power of Python can be used to make our lives easier. In this session, we will explore Win32 COM Client programming using Python to control and communicate with Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. COM is a service which allows Win32 applications to interact with each other. (Specifically, well-known applications such as those in Microsoft Office provide COM services, and COM client programs can be written to drive these applications.) <p> Traditionally, COM clients are written in VB or (Visual) C++, two very powerful but very different tools. If you haven't already heard, Python is a systems application development language that is gaining popularity in a huge way. It is object-oriented, robust, agile, and easy-to-learn. It's as simple as VB but can do everything that C/C++, Java, Perl, PHP, and Ruby can do... and more. For COM programming, Python is often viewed as a great substitute as it is more powerful than VB and is more expressive and less time-consuming than developing in C++. </p><p> This lecture is designed for both: (1) COM developers who want to learn how they can apply Python in their world and also for (2) open source and/or existing Python developers who need to learn how to create COM clients, i.e., auto-generate Excel spreadsheets, create form letters as Word documents, make slide presentations automagically with PowerPoint, send e-mail via Outlook, etc. (We will not be discussing the principles/concepts of COM nor will we be learning about COM+, VSTO, ATL, IDL, MFC, DCOM, ADO, .NET, IronPython, etc.) </p><p> Instead, we will immerse you in COM client programming by learning how to use Python to communicate with some of the Office applications mentioned above. All of the examples used in lecture can be found in Prentice Hall's bestseller, "Core Python Programming" (2nd ed). We have delivered this talk at PyCon 2008 as well as the most recent Silicon Valley CodeCamps: </p> <br/><br> <br/><br> <br/><br> </p><p> If you are new to Python, be sure to also attend our "What is Python?" talk, also being given at CodeCamp this year again. </p>

The Speaker(s)


Wesley Chun

+WESLEY CHUN, MSCS, is the author of Prentice Hall's bestselling "Core Python" book series & companion videos (, co-author of "Python Web Development with Django" (, and has written for Linux Journal, CNET, and InformIT. In addition to being an engineer & Developer Advocate at Google, he runs CyberWeb (, a consultancy specializing in Python training. Wesley has over 25 years of programming, teaching, and writing experience, including helping create Yahoo!Mail using Python almost 2 decades ago. He has taught numerous Python courses at Cisco, Disney, VMware, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, & Foothill College. Wesley holds degrees in CS, Math, and Music from the University of California, and loves traveling worldwide to meet developers, whether at a technical conference, user group meeting, or on a university campus. He is a Fellow of the Python Software Foundation and can be reached on Google+ or Twitter (@wescpy).
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