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Skipping rows when importing Excel into SQL using SSIS 2008

Posted by: admin March 9, 2020 Leave a comment


I need to import sheets which look like the following:

    March Orders   
   ***Empty Row    
    Week Order # Date Cust #
    3.1 271356 3/3/10 010572
    3.1 280353 3/5/10 022114
    3.1 290822 3/5/10 010275
    3.1 291436 3/2/10 010155
    3.1 291627 3/5/10 011840

The column headers are actually row 3. I can use an Excel Sourch to import them, but I don’t know how to specify that the information starts at row 3.

I Googled the problem, but came up empty.

How to&Answers:

have a look:

the links have more details, but I’ve included some text from the pages (just in case the links go dead)



While we are loading the text file to SQL Server via SSIS, we have the
provision to skip any number of leading rows from the source and load
the data to SQL server. Is there any provision to do the same for
Excel file.

The source Excel file for me has some description in the leading 5
rows, I want to skip it and start the data load from the row 6. Please
provide your thoughts on this.


Easiest would be to give each row a number (a bit like an identity in
SQL Server) and then use a conditional split to filter out everything
where the number <=5



  1. Is it possible during import data from Excel to DB table skip first 6 rows for example?

  2. Also Excel data divided by sections with headers. Is it possible for example to skip every 12th row?


  1. YES YOU CAN. Actually, you can do this very easily if you know the number columns that will be imported from your Excel file. In
    your Data Flow task, you will need to set the “OpenRowset” Custom
    Property of your Excel Connection (right-click your Excel connection >
    Properties; in the Properties window, look for OpenRowset under Custom
    Properties). To ignore the first 5 rows in Sheet1, and import columns
    A-M, you would enter the following value for OpenRowset: Sheet1$A6:M
    (notice, I did not specify a row number for column M. You can enter a
    row number if you like, but in my case the number of rows can vary
    from one iteration to the next)

  2. AGAIN, YES YOU CAN. You can import the data using a conditional split. You’d configure the conditional split to look for something in
    each row that uniquely identifies it as a header row; skip the rows
    that match this ‘header logic’. Another option would be to import all
    the rows and then remove the header rows using a SQL script in the
    database…like a cursor that deletes every 12th row. Or you could
    add an identity field with seed/increment of 1/1 and then delete all
    rows with row numbers that divide perfectly by 12. Something like



I have an SSIS package that imports from an Excel file with data
beginning in the 7th row.

Unlike the same operation with a csv file (‘Header Rows to Skip’ in
Connection Manager Editor), I can’t seem to find a way to ignore the
first 6 rows of an Excel file connection.

I’m guessing the answer might be in one of the Data Flow
Transformation objects, but I’m not very familiar with them.


Question Sign in to vote 1 Sign in to vote rbhro, actually there were
2 fields in the upper 5 rows that had some data that I think prevented
the importer from ignoring those rows completely.

Anyway, I did find a solution to my problem.

In my Excel source object, I used ‘SQL Command’ as the ‘Data Access
Mode’ (it’s drop down when you double-click the Excel Source object).
From there I was able to build a query (‘Build Query’ button) that
only grabbed records I needed. Something like this: SELECT F4,
F5, F6 FROM [Spreadsheet$] WHERE (F4 IS NOT NULL) AND (F4
<> ‘TheHeaderFieldName’)

Note: I initially tried an ISNUMERIC instead of ‘IS NOT NULL’, but
that wasn’t supported for some reason.

In my particular case, I was only interested in rows where F4 wasn’t
NULL (and fortunately F4 didn’t containing any junk in the first 5
rows). I could skip the whole header row (row 6) with the 2nd WHERE

So that cleaned up my data source perfectly. All I needed to do now
was add a Data Conversion object in between the source and destination
(everything needed to be converted from unicode in the spreadsheet),
and it worked.


My first suggestion is not to accept a file in that format. Excel files to be imported should always start with column header rows. Send it back to whoever provides it to you and tell them to fix their format. This works most of the time.

We provide guidance to our customers and vendors about how files must be formatted before we can process them and it is up to them to meet the guidlines as much as possible. People often aren’t aware that files like that create a problem in processing (next month it might have six lines before the data starts) and they need to be educated that Excel files must start with the column headers, have no blank lines in the middle of the data and no repeating the headers multiple times and most important of all, they must have the same columns with the same column titles in the same order every time. If they can’t provide that then you probably don’t have something that will work for automated import as you will get the file in a differnt format everytime depending on the mood of the person who maintains the Excel spreadsheet. Incidentally, we push really hard to never receive any data from Excel (only works some of the time, but if they have the data in a database, they can usually accomodate). They also must know that any changes they make to the spreadsheet format will result in a change to the import package and that they willl be charged for those development changes (assuming that these are outside clients and not internal ones). These changes must be communicated in advance and developer time scheduled, a file with the wrong format will fail and be returned to them to fix if not.

If that doesn’t work, may I suggest that you open the file, delete the first two rows and save a text file in a data flow. Then write a data flow that will process the text file. SSIS did a lousy job of supporting Excel and anything you can do to get the file in a different format will make life easier in the long run.


You can just use the OpenRowset property you can find in the Excel Source properties.
Take a look here for details:

SSIS: Read and Export Excel data from nth Row



My first suggestion is not to accept a file in that format. Excel files to be imported should always start with column header rows. Send it back to whoever provides it to you and tell them to fix their format. This works most of the time.

Not entirely correct.

SSIS forces you to use the format and quite often it does not work correctly with excel

If you can’t change he format consider using our Advanced ETL Processor.

You can skip rows or fields and you can validate the data the way you want.


Sky is the limit