Small itch scratched.
import csv from xlrd import open_workbook def excel_to_csv(excel_file, include=None): """ Convert the data in the excel_file to CSV. If include is specified, only those named columns will be included in the CSV. """ # open the Excel file wb = open_workbook(excel_file) # read each sheet in the file for s in wb.sheets(): # create a CVS writer per sheet csv_writer = csv.writer(open("%s.csv" % (s.name), 'wb')) # what columns are included in the CSV? include_cols =  for col in range(s.ncols): heading = s.cell(0, col).value if include: if heading in include: include_cols.append(col) else: include_cols.append(col) # for each row, write a line of CSV. for row in range(s.nrows): rd =  for col in include_cols: value = s.cell(row, col).value rd.append(value) csv_writer.writerow(rd)
Aided and abetted by xlrd.