Overview

olefile (formerly OleFileIO_PL)

olefile is a Python package to parse, read and write Microsoft OLE2 files (also called Structured Storage, Compound File Binary Format or Compound Document File Format), such as Microsoft Office 97-2003 documents, vbaProject.bin in MS Office 2007+ files, Image Composer and FlashPix files, Outlook messages, StickyNotes, several Microscopy file formats, McAfee antivirus quarantine files, etc.

Quick links: Home page - Download/Install - Documentation - Report Issues/Suggestions/Questions - Contact the author - Repository - Updates on Twitter

News

Follow all updates and news on Twitter: https://twitter.com/decalage2

  • 2015-01-25 v0.42: improved handling of special characters in stream/storage names on Python 2.x (using UTF-8 instead of Latin-1), fixed bug in listdir with empty storages.
  • 2014-11-25 v0.41: OleFileIO.open and isOleFile now support OLE files stored in byte strings, fixed installer for python 3, added support for Jython (Niko Ehrenfeuchter)
  • 2014-10-01 v0.40: renamed OleFileIO_PL to olefile, added initial write support for streams >4K, updated doc and license, improved the setup script.
  • 2014-07-27 v0.31: fixed support for large files with 4K sectors, thanks to Niko Ehrenfeuchter, Martijn Berger and Dave Jones. Added test scripts from Pillow (by hugovk). Fixed setup for Python 3 (Martin Panter)
  • 2014-02-04 v0.30: now compatible with Python 3.x, thanks to Martin Panter who did most of the hard work.
  • 2013-07-24 v0.26: added methods to parse stream/storage timestamps, improved listdir to include storages, fixed parsing of direntry timestamps
  • 2013-05-27 v0.25: improved metadata extraction, properties parsing and exception handling, fixed issue #12
  • 2013-05-07 v0.24: new features to extract metadata (get_metadata method and OleMetadata class), improved getproperties to convert timestamps to Python datetime
  • 2012-10-09: published python-oletools, a package of analysis tools based on OleFileIO_PL
  • 2012-09-11 v0.23: added support for file-like objects, fixed issue #8
  • 2012-02-17 v0.22: fixed issues #7 (bug in getproperties) and #2 (added close method)
  • 2011-10-20: code hosted on bitbucket to ease contributions and bug tracking
  • 2010-01-24 v0.21: fixed support for big-endian CPUs, such as PowerPC Macs.
  • 2009-12-11 v0.20: small bugfix in OleFileIO.open when filename is not plain str.
  • 2009-12-10 v0.19: fixed support for 64 bits platforms (thanks to Ben G. and Martijn for reporting the bug)
  • see changelog in source code for more info.

Download/Install

If you have pip or setuptools installed (pip is included in Python 2.7.9+), you may simply run pip install olefile or easy_install olefile for the first installation.

To update olefile, run pip install -U olefile.

Otherwise, see https://bitbucket.org/decalage/olefileio_pl/wiki/Install

Features

  • Parse, read and write any OLE file such as Microsoft Office 97-2003 legacy document formats (Word .doc, Excel .xls, PowerPoint .ppt, Visio .vsd, Project .mpp), Image Composer and FlashPix files, Outlook messages, StickyNotes, Zeiss AxioVision ZVI files, Olympus FluoView OIB files, etc
  • List all the streams and storages contained in an OLE file
  • Open streams as files
  • Parse and read property streams, containing metadata of the file
  • Portable, pure Python module, no dependency

olefile can be used as an independent package or with PIL/Pillow.

olefile is mostly meant for developers. If you are looking for tools to analyze OLE files or to extract data (especially for security purposes such as malware analysis and forensics), then please also check my python-oletools, which are built upon olefile and provide a higher-level interface.

History

olefile is based on the OleFileIO module from PIL, the excellent Python Imaging Library, created and maintained by Fredrik Lundh. The olefile API is still compatible with PIL, but since 2005 I have improved the internal implementation significantly, with new features, bugfixes and a more robust design. From 2005 to 2014 the project was called OleFileIO_PL, and in 2014 I changed its name to olefile to celebrate its 9 years and its new write features.

As far as I know, olefile is the most complete and robust Python implementation to read MS OLE2 files, portable on several operating systems. (please tell me if you know other similar Python modules)

Since 2014 olefile/OleFileIO_PL has been integrated into Pillow, the friendly fork of PIL. olefile will continue to be improved as a separate project, and new versions will be merged into Pillow regularly.

Main improvements over the original version of OleFileIO in PIL:

  • Compatible with Python 3.x and 2.6+
  • Many bug fixes
  • Support for files larger than 6.8MB
  • Support for 64 bits platforms and big-endian CPUs
  • Robust: many checks to detect malformed files
  • Runtime option to choose if malformed files should be parsed or raise exceptions
  • Improved API
  • Metadata extraction, stream/storage timestamps (e.g. for document forensics)
  • Can open file-like objects
  • Added setup.py and install.bat to ease installation
  • More convenient slash-based syntax for stream paths
  • Write features

Documentation

Please see the online documentation for more information, especially the OLE overview and the API page which describe how to use olefile in Python applications. A copy of the same documentation is also provided in the doc subfolder of the olefile package.

Real-life examples

A real-life example: using OleFileIO_PL for malware analysis and forensics.

See also this paper about python tools for forensics, which features olefile.

License

olefile (formerly OleFileIO_PL) is copyright (c) 2005-2015 Philippe Lagadec (http://www.decalage.info)

All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  • Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
  • Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.


olefile is based on source code from the OleFileIO module of the Python Imaging Library (PIL) published by Fredrik Lundh under the following license:

The Python Imaging Library (PIL) is

  • Copyright (c) 1997-2005 by Secret Labs AB
  • Copyright (c) 1995-2005 by Fredrik Lundh

By obtaining, using, and/or copying this software and/or its associated documentation, you agree that you have read, understood, and will comply with the following terms and conditions:

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its associated documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice appears in all copies, and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation, and that the name of Secret Labs AB or the author not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of the software without specific, written prior permission.

SECRET LABS AB AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL SECRET LABS AB OR THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.