How to remove illegal characters so a dataframe can write to Excel

Based on Haipeng Su's answer, I added a function that does this:

dataframe = dataframe.applymap(lambda x: x.encode('unicode_escape').
                 decode('utf-8') if isinstance(x, str) else x)

Basically, it escapes the unicode characters if they exist. It worked and I can now write to Excel spreadsheets again!

The same problem happened to me. I solved it as follows:

  1. install python package xlsxwriter:
pip install xlsxwriter
  1. replace the default engine 'openpyxl' with 'xlsxwriter':
dataframe.to_excel("file.xlsx", engine='xlsxwriter')

try a different excel writer engine solved my problem.

writer = pd.ExcelWriter('file.xlsx', engine='xlsxwriter')