Tech Tips

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How To Insert an Excel Spreadsheet Into a Drawing

Many drawings such as a reinforced concrete detail or a component drawing require a table with calculations for total length, cross section areas or the weight of steel sections.

The simplest way to do this is to set up an Excel spreadsheet with formulae to do the calculations and then to incorporate the spreadsheet as part of your drawing.

The same principles also apply to any OLE (Object Linking and Embedding ) object such as a Word document or a CorelDraw illustration. The beauty of inserting an OLE object is that you can use the native program for that object to edit it from within the drawing, and that it will be displayed with all the formatting and special functionality that comes with the original program that created the OLE object.

This tech tip will explain how to insert an Excel spreadsheet - in this case a bending schedule - into a reinforced concrete detailing drawing.

Note: The Excel file (or any other OLE object) must have been created first before running this function.

  To insert the Excel spreadsheet into your drawing select the Insert > OLE Object menu option or click on the icon in the Insert toolbar.

The Insert Object window will be displayed prompting you to either create a new OLE object, or browse for a document file to insert:

To insert the Excel spreadsheet select the Create from File option and click on the Browse button to select the spreadsheet file using the standard Windows file open window.

The Insert Object window will be updated with the OLE file path.

If you check the Link option the spreadsheet will be linked to the drawing and updated every time you open the drawing. If you leave it unchecked a copy of the spreadsheet will be embedded into the drawing.

Click OK to insert the indicated file into your drawing as a linked OLE object and you will be prompted to indicate the position of OLE Object:

A rubber-banded frame for the spreadsheet will be displayed to assist with the placement. You may use the CAD bar to adjust the scaling and the hook point of the spreadsheet. The Draw Frame option determines if a border is drawn around the spreadsheet.

Click in the drawing to place the spreadsheet and it will be displayed as part of the drawing.

Note: The OLE object is rendered by its associated application and is sized "on paper" ie. the printed size of the OLE object is the same as if the OLE object’s document was printed in its associated application.

To edit the data in the spreadsheet or change its formatting select the spreadsheet, right-click and select the Activate option from the popup menu list:

The originating application - in this case MS Excel - type will open and allowing you to edit the document.

Once you have finished editing the data in the OLE object's document, close the document in the application used to edit the data (eg: If you were editing the OLE object's document in MS Excel, then close the document in MS Excel).

The OLE object in AllyCAD will update to show the new data.

  To create a new OLE object in your drawing, run the Insert > OLE Object menu function, and in the Insert Object dialog, check the Create New option.

The document types ("object types") that are available for creation on your system will be listed. Select the object type you want to create from the list (for example, "Microsoft Equation 3.0") then click OK.

If document type can successfully be created on your system, then you will be prompted to indicate the position of the OLE object in your drawing. Click in the drawing to place the OLE object.

The OLE object will be added to the drawing, and the application which edits that document type will start up (in this example the Equation Editor will start up to allow you to edit the embedded document).

Edit the content of the document, and then close the editor to update the drawing with the changes.


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