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Chapter 20. Customizing Made Easy > Embedding Data from Other Sources Using OLE

Embedding Data from Other Sources Using OLE

The functionality of AutoCAD is definitely enhanced when you utilize the power of Windows object linking and embedding, or OLE, to link and import data from outside sources. Because the data is linked, if the outside source is updated, the data displayed in AutoCAD also is updated. Accessing and modifying the data is a simple process: Just double-click on the data object in AutoCAD to launch the software in which the data is stored. Importing this data is also an easy task; follow through the next example to see how it is done.

Example: Embedding an Excel Spreadsheet into AutoCAD

  1. This example uses Microsoft Excel for Windows NT or 95/98. The important thing to remember is that if you wish to use another spreadsheet application, that application must support OLE for it to work. Open the drawing ch20_1.dwg you copied from the companion CD.

  2. Open Excel and the spreadsheet ch20_ex3.xls. Click cell A:1, and drag to H:35 to highlight the spreadsheet data.

  3. In Excel, choose Copy from the Edit pull-down menu.

  4. Switch to AutoCAD by selecting the AutoCAD tab from the Windows desktop taskbar. Then, from the Edit pull-down menu, select Paste Special, which opens the Paste Special dialog box (see Figure 20.14).

    Figure 20.14. The Paste Special dialog box imports data from other applications into AutoCAD via the Windows Clipboard.

  5. Click the Paste Link radio button. Microsoft Excel Worksheet should be highlighted in the As list.

  6. Select the OK button, and the spreadsheet is imported into the current drawing (see Figure 20.14).

  7. Note that the size of the spreadsheet is too large due to the scale of the current drawing. Right-click and select the Properties option from the shortcut menu to adjust the size.

    Figure 20.15. The properties of a data object imported into AutoCAD may need to be adjusted, depending on the scale of your drawing.

  8. The OLE Properties dialog box opens. Set the size height and width to 25%, making certain that the Lock Aspect Ratio check box is selected.

Tip 197 from

To restore an OLE object to its original size, right-click the object and select Properties. Then click the Reset button.

  1. You can also adjust the text font and size from this dialog. Click the OK button to apply the changes to the imported data object.

  2. With grips still applied to the spreadsheet, move the object to the desired location in the drawing.



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