7 Working with Microsoft Excel

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For many years, Origin supported an OLE instance of MS Excel within the Origin workspace, even though it severely limited access to Origin's graphing and analysis tools. Over time, users have reported an increase in problems and as a result, OriginLab decided to remove user interface controls for launching OLE instances of Excel.

We strongly recommend that you use the Excel Data Connector for importing Excel data. The Excel Connector is fast and you have full access to Origin's graphing and analysis tools. If using the Excel Connector is not an option, please see this topic.

There are two ways to work with Microsoft Excel data in Origin:

  • Import Excel files into the Origin workbook
  • Copy Excel data to the Clipboard and paste or paste-link into the Origin workbook

Import Excel Copy Excel Data
How To
  • From menu Data: Connect to File: Excel
  • Click the Import Excel button Button Import Excel.png located in the Standard toolbar.
  • Drag-and-drop an Excel file onto the Origin worksheet.
  • Copy the data from Excel, right click to select Paste (or Paste Link) in Origin.
How Does it Work?
  • Excel data will be read into Origin's workbook.
  • Before import, user specifies an initial sheet to import, header lines, column labels, partial import (optional).
  • Excel data will be pasted into Origin’s workbook.
  • If you choose Paste Link, you will create a DDE link between the Excel data and Origin workbook. Any change in that Excel data will dynamically update Origin workbook.
Handle Metadata
  • Metadata such as multi-line headers are preserved so that data are easily re-imported when the external Excel file is changed.
  • Metadata such as headers should be added manually.
  • Full access to graphing features in Origin.
  • Full access to graphing features in Origin.
Data Analysis
  • Full access to analysis features in Origin.
  • Formulas in imported Excel workbook will be missing and shown as corresponding values instead.
  • Changes in source Excel book can be updated in imported workbook, associated analysis and plot(s) through Re-import.
  • Full access to analysis features in Origin.
  • Changes in source Excel data will dynamically update Origin project.

Updating Excel Data in Origin

If you are periodically updating an Excel file, there are a couple of ways of passing updates to Origin:

  • Once an Excel file is imported into an Origin workbook via The Excel Connector, updates to that file (updates must be saved) are passed to the Origin workbook.
  • If you are copying Excel data to the Clipboard, choose Paste Link when pasting in Origin.

Reimport Data if Changed

Importing data with a Data Connector creates a live link between the Origin workbook and the source data. Thus, when source data are updated, it is easy to update the Origin workbook and any dependent plots.

  • Origin workbooks can be refreshed manually by clicking the Connector icon and choosing Import.
  • Origin workbooks can be refreshed automatically by clicking the Connector icon and choosing Auto Import, then selecting On Project Open and/or On Change.

Reimport Excel File.png

Copy Excel Data Outside and Paste/Paste Link into Origin

It may be desirable at times to simply copy Excel data from a workbook opened in Excel and paste/paste link into Origin to access Origin's powerful graphing and analysis features. If you choose to paste Excel data as link, any change in that Excel workbook will dynamically update Origin project.

Working with Excel 20.png

When copy data from Excel to Origin, it will copy the full precision rather than the number of digits displayed in Excel. For more complicated data that has been copied from Excel, Origin includes the ability to use its Import Wizard on Clipboard data.

When copying and pasting date or time data from Excel, consult the following FAQs:

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