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Bloomberg Professional Research Guide (IMF): Bloomberg Excel Add-in

This guide helps you understand how to navigate Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg Excel Add-in, formally known as Bloomberg API (Application Program Interface), is a tool that delivers Bloomberg data directly into an Excel spreadsheet for custom analysis and calculations.

Installing Excel Add-in

If you are using the Excel plugin for the first time at any kiosk, you have to do a one-time installation.

To install, close all Excel spreadsheets and follow this path: Start > All Programs > Bloomberg > Install Excel Add-In.

Once installed, the Bloomberg tab will appear in the Excel ribbon.

Bloomberg Excel Templates

Bloomberg has various pre-built templates to help users retrieve data.

To see a list of templates, use the command XLTP <GO>

Bloomberg Excel Help

Details on Excel API formulas: Use the command HELP DAPI <GO> 

Excel Guides:

Download Limits

Data extracted through the Excel API is subject to monthly download limits. Please be judicious in downloading data to avoid hitting the limits for yourself and all other users. Once the monthly limit is reached at a terminal, data cannot be downloaded until the start of the next month.​

If the monthly limit has been reached on a terminal:

  1. Report it to Bloomberg: Hit the Bloomberg Help key (F1) twice. Via a chat with the Helpdesk ask them to boost the limit. Bloomberg will ask for the details of the research that caused the overage.
  2. If you are not sure or do not know what caused the limit issue - please report to it to the Content Development Team,​ ​​


If you need to download large amounts of data:

  • Use the Bloomberg datafeed in EDI instead:
  • Contact Bloomberg to confirm your data retrieval strategy (<HELP> <Help> to start instant messaging). The Bloomberg terminal already includes many helpful aggregates and analyses; raw data might not need to be downloaded.
  • Check with the Library (; they can offer alternatives and/or discuss with Bloomberg on your behalf.


Bloomberg Query Language

Bloomberg Query Language (BQL) is Bloomberg’s new API. It allows you to perform custom calculations/analysis in the Bloomberg Cloud. This makes it possible to extract the right information by synthesizing large amounts of data. 
BQL is based on normalized, curated, cross asset data. BQL allows you to define the data and the analytics (for eg., aggregation/ trend/ filtering/ scoring/ ranking / zscore) you need – to get the answer rather than the data.