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June 26, 2013
Posted on June 26, 2013 by Darin Green, Synergis Lead Helpdesk Technician:
Being able to link measurement values to Microsoft® Excel® has always been a challenge for AutoCAD users. Earlier versions of AutoCAD (2005, 2006, and 2007) require users to import the Excel file as an OLE object. Those OLE objects were nothing more than an Image with a link that opens the .xls file with Microsoft Excel by double clicking the image. AutoCAD 2008 was the first release to include Data Links, a linking mechanism which relies on AutoCAD’s table feature. AutoCAD tables favors Excel in many ways, and like Excel, these tables can leverage just about any object and/or file geometry into its cells while minimizing manual input from the users.
In the following example, we are going to create a Data Link using an existing Excel file; Create a AutoCAD Table using the Data Link; Extract dimension values into the AutoCAD Table; and have AutoCAD write the values to the Excel file.
1) On the Insert tab, choose Data Link from the Linking & Extraction panel.
2) This will open the Data Link Manager
3) Click create a new Excel Data Link and give it a name.
4) After clicking OK, the New Excel Data Link dialog will appear. Browse to the Excel file.
5) Under Link options, leave the default setting to “Link entire sheet”
7) Adjust your options to match the image above.
Options in this box will determine how data is imported into your drawing from your external source.
Convert Data Formats to Text, Solve Formulas in Excel
Imports Microsoft Excel data as text with data calculated from formulas in Excel (supported data formats not attached).
Allow Writing to Source File
Specifies that the DATALINKUPDATE command can be used to upload any changes made to linked data in your drawing to the original external spreadsheet.
Use Excel Formatting
Specifies that any formatting specified in the original XLS, XLSX, or CSV file will be brought into your drawing. When this option is not selected, the table style Table dialog box
Keep Table Updated to Excel Formatting
If the option above is selected, updates any changed formatting when the DATALINKUPDATE command is used.
9) Click OK in the Data Link Manager to return to drawing window.
Now we’re going to create a table using the Excel link.
12) Click anywhere in the drawing window to place the table.
15) Select a dimension that you would like to extract data from.
19) Select the edge of the AutoCAD table, and hit enter.
If you run into problems, call the Synergis Helpdesk at 800.836.5440, or email us. It may be something popular that we can share on our blog.
Check out some of these additional posts by Darin:
Darin Green is one of our Helpdesk Leads and provides tips and information in our monthly Helpdesk Newsletter. Darin has over 10 years of CAD experience and in his time at Synergis he has provided support for over 700 customers to help them stay ahead. He previously worked with Ritter and Plante Associates where he performed various zoning, project duties, and hands-on field work, along with surveying. Darin has a broad range of experience with many CAD applications including AutoCAD, Revit, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Map 3D, among others.