Pyspread – The Spreadsheet with a Python connection

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Saving Documents

When you reopen a previously saved Pyspread document, the application does not automatically interpret the formulas that the document contains. The reasoning behind this is a security mechanism that is designed to prevent the running of potentially malicious code – any Python snippet could in principle do harm to the system.

Pyspread cannot itself identify the side effects of the program code in the data sheet – particularly not for external modules. If you are sure that the Python snippets included do no harm, you can select File | Approve .

To automate this step in the future, Pyspread asks you for your GnuPG key [7], which it uses to sign Pyspread files. As a user, you can now use the GnuPG key to check whether the document is from a trusted source.

Listing 1 shows the thumbprint of my own GnuPG key [8]. Pyspread stores this fingerprint in its settings (Figure 3). The corresponding dialog is found in the menu below File | Preferences ; the entry for the fingerprint is the bottom input box.

Listing 1


$ gpg --fingerprint D431AC07
pub   4096R/D431AC07 2014-09-05
  Key fingerprint = 35F8 DF9C 884E 36AB 9744  60AF CFA7 2978 D431 AC07
uid                  Frank Hofmann (Hofmann EDV) <>
sub   4096R/3B074F29 2014-09-05
Figure 3: Dialog box with the stored GnuPG key fingerprint.


The idea of elegantly combining a spreadsheet with an existing, mature programming language is smart. The same applies to the use of GnuPG signatures to boost confidence in the submitted documents. This is a combination that the major league players currently do not offer.

Pyspread has mature basic functions that make working with the program convenient. The major construction sites are the charts and documentation – there is ample scope for improvement here. But, there is good reason to keep an eye on Pyspread's development in the future.


I thank Martin Manns, the creator of Pyspread, for his help while writing this article.


  1. Pyspread:
  2. Ubuntu Pyspread package:
  3. NumPy:
  4. Matplotlib:
  5. Working with Excel Files in Python:
  6. wxPython library:
  7. GnuPG:
  8. "Encrypting Email with GnuPG" by Peter Kreussel, Ubuntu User , Issue 19, 2013:

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