Requesting help on creating a program


Hello Programmers,

I have an objective I wish to achieve with the use of programming and could certainly use your help in knowing where to begin. My objective is simple - I will need to create a program into which I will feed an excel sheet containing attendance data of all students in a class (which is in a fixed format), and at the output I would like to receive "Attendance Summary Reports" for individual students - which are basically just word/pdf documents containing the student name, class, attendance % (all of which are available in the excel sheet) + start&end dates, total weeks, days (all of which I will be feeding into the program).

This will need to be a program which can either be used in windows as a GUI (or) a GUI program in Google Sheets since this will not be used by technical people. Regarding my own proficiencies, I know a bit of C and Python but not much else.

My question is - which path do you think would be easier/shorter to complete for a beginner in programming such as myself? Making a windows program which will achieve this from scratch? Or creating an appscript based GUI program in Google sheets? I am under the impression that I would have to learn new languages for either of these options.

Or might there exist other options which would help me achieve my task in a much simpler/beginner-friendly fashion?

Thanks in advance


Since you already know some Python, you can start with tkinter. Python with tkinter is the fastest and easiest way to create GUI applications. You can also explore the option of PyQt and see whatever seems easy for you to implement.
You want to input an excel file, so I assume importing a CSV format file will be easier to process and extract the data. (Just save the excel file as .csv). For generating a PDF you will need a predefined PDF template on which you will draw the numbers OR an HTML template in which you can change the labels and convert that to PDF.
Checkout this link:
Appscript is nothing but javascript. It's nice to code but it gets slow if the solution is going to be complex one.

Why don't you create your solution into excel itself? You can code your solution in VBA itself. You can also create nice GUI using the VBA inside excel.

Creating a windows GUI app is a bad idea as it'll take a very long time.

Stick to google sheets, if you for some reason want to keep application in the cloud. And want multiple people collaborating onto it and want auto emailing people.
Stick to MS Excel, if you are working alone and don't have specific need to use cloud. Want to prefer speed over convenience.
Or might there exist other options which would help me achieve my task in a much simpler/beginner-friendly fashion?
There's gotta be something out there. Your case isn't uncommon. But I'm afraid you'll have to ditch your current excel attendance system for their own solution.


Simple Java jar file or C# based exe can be created to read excel files from a configurable folder, process them, and store output in configurable folder. A GUI will not be needed if its a simple program.


What is the purpose of this program? (Is it for learning or will it have real world use affecting people?)
How long will it need to be maintained?

It will be used by non-technical staff on campus, and is not simply a learning example
I am ideally looking for something that wont need to be maintained - considering it is a simple task