You may have heard about how you can link Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to a table in AutoCAD 2008 and have them stay in sync with each other. It is easy to do but it’s not as straight-forward as you might imagine. Here is how to do it in a few easy steps.
STEP 1: Create a data link.
On the command line type DATALINK. In the Data Link Manager dialog box double-click on “Create a new Excel Data Link” and give the link a name.
Browse for an Excel file and modify settings in the New Excel Data Link dialog box:
As you can see, you can link to a sheet or a range in Excel. Hit Ok when finished.
If you want to modify your link, simply double-click on the name of your link and the Modify Excel Link dialog box will appear.
I recommend un-checking “Use Excel formatting” so that my table style matches the CAD standard instead of taking formatting from Excel.
STEP 2: Create a table using a data link.
On the command line type TABLE. Under insert options select the radio button called “From a data link”.
Launch the Data Link Manager dialog box:
Select a data link and hit OK:
Hit OK in the table dialog box and click to insert the upper-left corner of the table into your drawing.
STEP 3: Modify the table.
Select the table, right-click and select Table Style –> [your standard table style]
If you don’t have standard table styles already created, I recommend doing so and saving them to your drawing template.
If you want a row of cells to be the header row, you can hold down shift, select the first and last cell in the row, then right-click and select Cell Style –> Header.
The Excel file will now stay in sync with the AutoCAD table. If you make changes to the Excel file, right-click on the table and select “Update Table Data Links”. Anything you change in the Excel file will be changed in the AutoCAD table as well.