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oletools / oleid


oleid is a script to analyze OLE files such as MS Office documents (e.g. Word, Excel), to detect specific characteristics usually found in malicious files (e.g. malware). For example it can detect VBA macros and embedded Flash objects.

It is part of the python-oletools package.

Main Features

  • Detect OLE file type from its internal structure (e.g. MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ...)
  • Detect VBA Macros
  • Detect embedded Flash objects
  • Detect embedded OLE objects
  • Detect MS Office encryption
  • Can be used as a command-line tool
  • Python API to integrate it in your applications

Planned improvements:

  • Extract the most important metadata fields
  • Support for OpenXML files and embedded OLE files
  • Generic VBA macros detection
  • Detect auto-executable VBA macros
  • Extended OLE file types detection
  • Detect unusual OLE structures (fragmentation, unused sectors, etc)
  • Options to scan multiple files
  • Options to scan files from encrypted zip archives
  • CSV output

Usage <file>


Analyzing a Word document containing a Flash object and VBA macros:

C:\oletools> word_flash_vba.doc

Filename: word_flash_vba.doc
| Indicator                     | Value                 |
| OLE format                    | True                  |
| Has SummaryInformation stream | True                  |
| Application name              | Microsoft Office Word |
| Encrypted                     | False                 |
| Word Document                 | True                  |
| VBA Macros                    | True                  |
| Excel Workbook                | False                 |
| PowerPoint Presentation       | False                 |
| Visio Drawing                 | False                 |
| ObjectPool                    | True                  |
| Flash objects                 | 1                     |

How to use oleid in your Python applications

First, import oletools.oleid, and create an OleID object to scan a file:

import oletools.oleid

oid = oletools.oleid.OleID(filename)

Note: filename can be a filename, a file-like object, or a bytes string containing the file to be analyzed.

Second, call the check() method. It returns a list of Indicator objects.

Each Indicator object has the following attributes:

  • id: str, identifier for the indicator
  • name: str, name to display the indicator
  • description: str, long description of the indicator
  • type: class of the indicator (e.g. bool, str, int)
  • value: value of the indicator

For example, the following code displays all the indicators:

indicators = oid.check()
for i in indicators:
    print 'Indicator id=%s name="%s" type=%s value=%s' % (,, i.type, repr(i.value))
    print 'description:', i.description
    print ''

See the source code of for more details.

python-oletools documentation