6.1 Importing from Excel

You can open Excel .XLS, .XLSX or .XLSM files as Excel workbooks -- which launches an OLE instance of MS Excel -- or you can import the data into Origin workbooks. Because the OLE environment -- Excel workbooks in an Excel instance running inside of Origin -- largely limits you to plotting related tasks, importing the data into Origin workbooks is generally the better choice. If you want to perform analysis or data manipulation operations on your Excel data, you should import your data into Origin. To learn more about importing vs opening Excel, see the chapter on working with Excel.

Beginning with Origin 2017, you can import MS Excel .XLS, .XLSX and .XLSM files without having MS Excel installed.

To import an Excel file:

  1. Select Data: Import from File: Excel (XLS, XLSX, XLSM)..., or click the Import Excel button Button Import Excel.png located in the Standard toolbar. This opens the Excel dialog box.
  2. Add your files one at a time or press CTRL or SHIFT to select multiple files, and click Add File(s). After choosing all the files, click the OK button. For more information about this setting, please see below.
  3. Make necessary adjustments in the impMSExcel dialog box, then click the OK button to import the files into Origin.

Additional Excel dialog box controls

  • Use the Remove File(s) button to remove selected files from the import file list.
  • Click the buttons (see the picture below) over the import file list to sort the files by File Name, Size or Modified date.
Importing from Excel-1.png
  • Origin opens a secondary dialog box -- the impMSExcel dialog box -- when you click the OK button.


To re-import one or multiple Excel sheets:

From Origin 2015, you are allowed to re-import multiple sheets from Excel to Origin. During Excel re-importing, a link is maintained so that Origin is able to use up-to-date data.

To re-import Excel files, go to Data: Re-Import Directly or use Ctrl+4 keys to re-import Excel sheets with same settings as before. Or you can go to File: Re-Import... to bring up dialog box to change import settings for files to be re-imported.

You can also type command reimport -d in command window to re-import Excel files.

See this topic for other file types that support Origin's Re-import functionality.


The impMSExcel dialog box allows more controls over the way in which .XLS or .XLSX or .XLSM files are imported:

File Name

The File Name box lists all the files that have been chosen in the Excel dialog. Note that you can click the Browse button to the right to re-select your files.

File Info

Node gives file size and sheet structure of selected excel file(s):

  • The read-only Info box shows the size of the Excel file.
  • All sheets in the Excel file are shown. Choose sheet(s) to be imported using the check box next to each sheet.
1st File Import Mode

Import mode for the first file to be imported. Choose from:

  • Replace Existing Data to import data by replacing the existing Excel data in target window.
  • Start New Books to import the first file to a new workbook.
  • Start New Sheets to import the first file into the empty sheets following the active sheet, if it exists; Otherwise, import file into new sheets following the active sheet. A maximum of 1024 sheets can be added to a book before a new book will be created.
  • Start New Columns for Each Sheet to import each sheet in the first Excel file as new columns in the specified worksheet.
  • Start New Books for Each Sheet to import each sheet in the first Excel file into a new book.
Multi-File (except 1st) Import Mode

Import Mode for files after the first file. Choose from:

  • Start New Books to import each file to a new workbook.
  • Start New Sheets to import files into empty sheets following the active sheet in the workbook into which data were first imported, if it exists; otherwise import file into new sheets following active sheet. A maximum of 1024 sheets can be added to a book before a new book will be created.
  • Start New Columns for Each Sheet to import each worksheet in the Excel file as new columns to the Origin worksheet into which the first file was imported.
  • Start New Books for Each Sheet to import each sheet in file(s) following the first Excel file, into a new book.
Template Name

For data import, a workbook template (*.otw) or an analysis template (*.ogw) can be used. Select a template from the list, or click the browse button.

  • By default, an Origin prototype workbook template <default> is used.
  • Origin also provides a special template named <clone>, which allows importing data files into a worksheet/workbook cloned from active worksheet/workbook.

Note: when importing a multi-sheets Excel book into the specified workbook template which contains empty worksheet(s), you can refer to system variable @ISE for additional control over importing behavior.

Column Designations

Apply Origin column plot designations to imported Excel workbook data. Make a selection from the drop-down list, or type the designation directly. This option supports the column designation syntax (such as repeat designations) same as Import Wizard. You can refer to this page for more details.

Note: the specified column designation will be applied to all sheets automatically.

Add Sparklines

Add sparklines for the data:

  • No: disable sparklines.
  • Yes: to add sparklines.
  • Yes(if less than 50 columns) to add sparklines if there are less than 50 columns.
Import Cell Formats

Specify whether to import cell formats (text color, font, cell height, .etc) in the Excel file.

Maximum Number of Empty Columns (-1 for all)

Specify the maximum number of empty columns that will be imported into Origin.

Exclude Empty Sheets

Specify whether input the empty sheets into target window. If it is chekced, empty sheets will not appear in the File Sheet(s) branch under the File Info branch.

Apply Header to All Sheets

Specify whether apply the header settings in the Header Lines branch to all Excel sheets.

(Re)Naming Worksheet and Workbook

Specify how to rename the worksheet and workbook.

  • Auto Rename Using File Name: If it is checked, Origin will use the default settings to rename the worksheet and workbook name, which is, (1)using the whole filename (includes the file extension) as workbook name, (2)using Excel sheet name as worksheet name.
  • Rename Sheet with Excel Sheet Name: Specify whether rename the sheet with the Excel sheet name.
  • Rename Book with (Partial) Filename: Check this to use part of the file name as workbook name.
  • Trim Filename From: Specify the start of the name.
  • Trim Filename To: Specify the end of the name.
  • Rename Long Name for Book only: Check this to rename the long name for book only, but not short name.
  • Include File Path when Renaming Book: Specify if the file path should be included for the workbook name.
  • Append Filename to Workbook Comment: Specify if the file name should be appended to the workbook comment.
  • Append Filename to Worksheet Comment: Specify if the file name should be appended to the worksheet comment.
  • Append Filename to Column Comment: Specify if the file name should be appended to the column Comment row.
  • Add Filename User Parameters Row: Specify if the file name should be put to the column User Parameter row "SourceFile".
  • Include File Path when Appending Filename: When this is checked, the import file path is included to the appended file name (so as file extension).
  • Add Sheetname User Parameter Row: Specify if the sheet name should be put to the column User Parameter row "SourceSheet".
Header Lines

Use these branch to specify which rows, if any, should be supply Origin worksheet column Long Name, Unit and Comment. The Number of Main Header Lines and Number of Subheader Lines can be specified too.

  • Number of Main Header Lines(exclude subheader lines): Specify the number of the main header lines, which will be skipped upon importing.
  • Number of Subheader Lines: Specify the number of the subheader lines.
  • Long Names: Specify the row index for column long name row.
  • Units: Specify the row index for column units row.
  • Comments From: Specify the starting index of the comments rows.
  • Comments To: Specify the ending index of the comments rows.
  • System Parameters From: Specify the starting index of the system parameters rows.
  • System Parameters To: Specify the ending index of the system parameters rows.
  • User Parameters From: Specify the starting index of the user parameters rows.
  • User Parameters To: Specify the ending index of the user parameters rows.
Partial Import Select columns and/or rows to import by specifying a regularly repeating pattern; or use Custom and the notation listed below to select columns for import. Note that for columns or rows, specifying To = 0 means "read to the end."
  • Partial Import: Apply partial import settings to All Files or From Second File On.
  • Partial Columns: Use these controls to specify a regular pattern of columns to import, beginning with the starting column (From), read m number of columns (Read), then skip n columns (Skip), repeating pattern until you reach the last column (To).
  • Partial Rows: Use these controls to specify a regular pattern of rows to import, beginning with the starting row (From), read m number of rows (Read), then skip n rows (Skip), repeating pattern until you reach the last row (To).

For Custom, use the following characters in building your import string:

  • spaces separate individual column or row indices.
  • colon(:) separates From and To.
  • vertical bar(|) = "read n cols/rows".
  • dash(-) = "skip".
  • tilde(~) = "except".
  • comma(,) = "and"
Examples
1 3 7 import cols/rows 1,3 and 7.
1:100,~50:60 import cols/rows from 1 to 100, except 50 to 60.
1:200|3-2 import cols/rows from 1 to 200 by reading 3 then skipping 2.
1:1000,~200:300,250:260 import cols/rows 1 to 1000, skipping 200 to 300 with the exception of 250 to 260.
1:100|3-7,5:100|2-8 imports cols/rows 1 to 100, read 3 then skip 7 and import cols/rows 5 to 100, read 2 then skip 8. The "and" combination generates a repeating pattern of read 3, skip 1, read 2, skip 4 for every 10 cols/rows.
Scripts

Third branch Script is used to specify the LabTalk scripts to be run after file(s) being imported.

  • Script after Each File Imported: Enter LabTalk scripts in the edit box to be run after each file is imported.
  • Script after All Files Imported: Enter LabTalk scripts in the edit box to be run only after all files are imported.