Another Excel to RDF converter for SKOS vocabs, but one that uses fixed template to achieve particular SKOS profile outcomes!

How to use

Creating vocabularies

The template files in this repository’s templates/ folder are to be used to create vocabularies. The templates contains all the basics needed to understand what to do including notes, examples and so on. Vocab authors only need this template file to create vocabulary content.

Note: example sheets for various template versions are in the tests folder. Just ensure you’re looking at examples prefixed with the template version you are after. Both simple and complex vocabularies are exemplified.

There are multiple versions of template in the templates/ folder. You are free to use any of them however the latest is usually the greatest!

Use one Excel workbook per vocabulary.


Several forms of use of this tool do not require any installation – see the next section. However, to run the tool as a Python script or a module, you will need to:

  1. have Python (3.6+) installed on your computer
  2. create a poetry environment
  3. install the necessary packages in that environment
    • when running a poetry environment, some IDE’s like python will automatically install the pyproject.toml else, there would have to be a manual install with something like ‘poetry install’
  4. run the script, convert.py, using the version of Python in your poetry environment

Generating RDF from Excel

There are several methods available to process vocabularies entered into the Excel template using resources in this repository:

  1. Windows command line
  2. Shell command line script (Linux/Unix/Mac)
  3. Python script
  4. Python module
  5. Online – coming soon!

Methods 1 & 2 all use the same options. See the section Command Line Arguments.

1. Windows command line

There will soon be an Windows EXE file, vocexcel.exe, in the vocexcel/bin/ folder that can be used like this:

c:\\Users\\user> vocexcel.exe vocabulary-x.xlsx

The command above will generate either a vocabulary RDF file in the same directory as the input Excel file, or an Excel file from the RDF file, based on file endings.

2. Shell command line script (Linux/Unix/Mac)

The script vocexcel/bin/vocexcel.sh can be run as a shell script on Linux/Unix/Mac with the same options as the Windows EXE program.

~$ sh vocexcel.sh vocabulary-x.xlsx

Note that to run this shell script, you need to have installed a Python environment that contains this program’s dependencies which are all listed in requirements.txt. The shell script then needs to be told where the Python environment is: see the PYTHON variable in the script.

The script will work out, based on file endings, if this is an Excel to RDF or an RDF to Excel conversion.

3. Python script

The Python script convert.py in the vocexcel/ directory can be run on Windows/Unix/Linux/Mac systems like this:

~$ python convert.py vocabulary-x.xlsx

As long as a Python environment containing the program’s needed modules, listed in requirements.txt are installed. As above, the script will work out, based on file endings, if this is an Excel to RDF or an RDF to Excel conversion.

4. Python module

The converter program has two methods that can be called from other Python programs, perhaps as part of a chain of processing, for Excel to RDF and RDF to Excel: rdf_to_excel() & excel_to_rdf(). For this, you would need code like this:

from vocexcel import convert
from pathlib import Path

convert.rdf_to_excel(Path(".") / "path" / "to" / "vocab-file.xlsx")

Or similar code for the reverse conversion, RDF to Excel using convert.excel_to_rdf().

This will create an output file, vocab-file.ttl for Excel to RDF, in the same directory as the input file.

There are several options for the conversion functions, just see the functions themselves in vocexcel/convert.py.

5. Online

Coming soon!.

We will be providing a web page for easy use.

Command Line Arguments

All command line options can be printed out by the Windows, Linux/Unix/Mac versions of the tools by specifying -h for ‘help’ like this:

> vocexcel.exe -h

~$ sh vocexcel.sh -h

It will print something like this with any updates actually available in the tool:

usage: convert.py [-h] [-v] [-lp] [-val] [-p PROFILE] [-of {file,string}] [-s SHEET] excel_file

positional arguments:
  excel_file            The Excel file to convert to a SKOS vocabulary in RDF

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v, --version         The version of this copy of VocExel. (default: False)
  -lp, --listprofiles   This flag, if set, must be the only flag supplied. It will cause the program to list all the vocabulary profiles that this converter, indicating
                        both their URI and their short token for use with the -p (--profile) flag when converting Excel files (default: False)
  -val, --validate      Validate output file (default: False)
  -p PROFILE, --profile PROFILE
                        A profile - a specified information model - for a vocabulary. This tool understands several profiles andyou can choose which one you want to convert
                        the Excel file according to. The list of profiles - URIs and their corresponding tokens - supported by VocExcel, can be found by running the program
                        with the flag -lp or --listprofiles. (default: vocpub)
  -of {file,string}, --outputformat {file,string}
                        The format of the vocabulary output. (default: file)
  -s SHEET, --sheet SHEET
                        The sheet within the target Excel Workbook to process (default: vocabulary)

Note that the excel_file parameter is always required except for the ‘help’ (-h) option, so if you want tpo print out the version of the program, you will need to put in a fake file location like this:

> vocexcel.exe -v .

~$ sh vocexcel.sh -v .


This code is licensed using the GPL v3 licence. See the LICENSE
for the deed. Note that Excel is property of Microsoft.


Lead Developer:
Nicholas Car
Data System Architect
Supporting Developer:
Peter Philips
Analyst Programmer
Company support:


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