Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

AutoCAD Tutorial Logo AUTOCAD Excel to AutoCAD - Data Link Manager

_If you ever find yourself spending huge amounts of time updating drawing transmittals/registers then having to update project title cover sheets then this will save you time. In our office, we have a drawing transmittal/register in excel but also have an AutoCAD paperspace layout showing all the drawings in the project also. It only seems logical to need to only update this information once in one place. To do this, we first set up our excel drawing transmittal

I have included an Excel Spreadsheet for this Tutorial you can download here and an AutoCAD file here
Save this file to your hard drive.

Open the file in Excel and you should now have a file that looks something similar to Fig.1

I know this table is basic but it will serve our purposes for this tutorial.

Once you get the basic understanding of how this works you can then use your own drawing register to suit your needs.


Now open AutoCAD and open the drawing you downloaded (or use your own)

If you are using the downloaded AutoCAD drawing file you will be in paperspace (Fig.2)

From here, we are going to insert the Excel table into AutoCAD using the Data Link Manager.



Goto your menu bar: Click on TOOLS > Data Links > Data Link Manager

The Data Link Manager window appears. As we don't have any Data Links created yet, click on Create a new Excel Data Link (Fig.3)

Once you click on the Create a new Excel Data Link you are prompted for a name. You can call this anything you like but for now just name it DwgReg (Fig.4)



The next window to pop up is asking for an excel file to link to. Click on the three ... (Shown red in Fig.5) and goto where you saved the Excel file you downloaded. Select the file and click OK.

Now in the next window that appears, select Link to Range.
This gives us the abilty to select only certain parts of the Excel workbook instead of the whole sheet.

If you are familiar already with Excel, this next step should make sense.

In the input box that says <Example: , type in A1:D5

If you look back at the Excel spreadsheet in Fig.1, we have data starting from Column A Row 1, and finishing at Column D Row 5. So basically we have told AutoCAD to select all data between these ranges meaning everything currently shown.

Once done Click OK, then Click OK again to close Data Link window.

We have now set up a link between our Excel Workbook and AutoCAD. Now we just need to insert it into AutoCAD as a Table.


To insert a table into AutoCAD, goto DRAW > Table from the menu bar. The Insert Table window appears.

We want to select the option "From a Data Link" as we have set this up already. Select from the drop down box the Data Link we just set up (if you followed the tutorial it will be called DwgReg)

Once selected Click OK. You are now prompted to select the insertion point for the table. Place it anywhere you like.

You have now created your first Table with the data link connection.

If you now change something in the Excel file and click save,
when you go back to AutoCAD you will be prompted to update data links. The table will now change to reflect the alterations made to the excel file.

This tutorial was a basic look at the table data link, there is much more that can be done in terms of formatting your tables.