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Reading Excel files (.xls) directly from a C# program?

Is there a free or open source library to read Excel files (.xls) directly from a C# program?

If it is just simple data contained in the Excel file you can read the data via ADO.NET. See the connection strings listed here:



[http://www.connectionstrings.com/?carrier=excel](http://www.connectionstrings.com/?carrier=excel)



then you can just read the worksheet via something like select * from [Sheet1$]