Import the First Sheet in a Workbook with Power Query - Excelerator BI

Import the First Sheet in a Workbook with Power Query

My series about common patterns for loading data using Power Query received quite a lot of interest over the last few weeks.  You can review those articles in the links below

The other day I was helping a client and he asked me about another scenario; import the first worksheet from a workbook, what ever it is.   I thought this would be a good extension to the above articles.

Actually, the process I show you here can be used to import the first “anything” from a list. It doesn’t matter if it is the first sheet in a workbook or the first file in a folder, or what ever, the priisolution is still the same.

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Import Only the First Sheet in a Workbook with Power Query

There are a couple of tricky issues to overcome with this scenario.

  1. Write the query to give you a list of sheets in the workbook.
  2. Make the query work regardless of the name of the first sheet, so it loads the first one in the workbook regardless of its name.

I cover these tricks in my video below.

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21 thoughts on “Import the First Sheet in a Workbook with Power Query”

  1. Why always some long, over explaining video when you just need to post a quick couple sentence paragraph and a single screenshot. So many people do this, doesn’t seem to matter what you’re looking for. Few people can get to the point. Nice extra explanation, but for someone just looking for the quick answer, the videos are a real PITA.

    “Item=Source{0}[Item]” < that's the answer

  2. Grant I Berthold

    Hi Matt,

    Great video on “Import the First Sheet in a Workbook with Power Query”. I generally prefer written articles I can skim through as so many videos seem to be excruciatingly noddy and slow, too high level, but this was spot on. One specific user case/problem, relevant, well explained solution.



    1. Thanks Grant. There are some people that produce pure video content. My preference is still for a blog (step by step instructions), but sometimes the effort of writing those instructions is so high, that I just record a video instead. And I agree, some videos are so slow – it is as if some people are trying to pad it out to create a longer video. I say “just give it to me” 🙂

  3. Hi, Thanks for the tip.
    Can you help me with the same issue when selecting “files from folder” in which the file contains data from an ERp system and the sheet name changes. Because of the changing sheet name the query is not succesfull.

    1. You need to turn on the formula bar so you can see the code generated. There will probably be a navigation step something like this…
      = Source{[Item=”Sheet1″,Kind=”Sheet”]}[Data]
      This code is “hard coded” to a “sheet” named “Sheet1”. You need to change the code so it simply picks the first Sheet. Assuming you have no tables etc, you can just edit the above line to this….
      = Source{0}[Data]
      This will pick the first item in the list, and as long as you only have sheets, it will work fine. If you have more than just Sheets, you will need to filter the list of items to keep just sheets first.

      1. I too was facing almost similar problem, and just came across your reply and the below piece of code came as a rescue to me. Thanks!!

        = Source{0}[Data]

  4. There’s a few ways. probably easiest is to select “Keep last rows, 1” and then import the one that is left. If you want the second to last, then keep last rows, 2, and take the top one.

  5. Sylvain Pasquier

    Hi Matt, thanks for the suggestions. How would you import the last sheet as opposed to the first sheet? For example where you changed the M code reference for June to {0} in order to always return the first sheet regardless of the sheet ‘s name how would we change the {0} to pick up thus the last sheet. Thus using {Last} would not work… (That’s what I would like to do!) And if I wanted the second last sheet thus it would be {Last – 1}….

  6. Hello,
    Thanks for sharing. A further question on this – how would one always pick up the last sheet and or the second last sheet. Especially if you are doing a merge / compare of the two most recent months or years of data etc. Not uncommon for the latest data to be added at the end in XL rather than the start… Thanks!

    1. You could use the standard table row functions in Power Query. There is a “Keep top Rows” that you could use to keep just the first row (instead of what I did). There is also a “keep bottom Rows” that you can use to keep just the last one (one of your questions). There is also a “remove bottom rows” which you could use to remove the last page, then “keep bottom rows” which would keep the new bottom row (previously second to last) – your second question. Hope that makes sense.

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