Entering replacement values from MS Excel worksheet

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The Woodwork for Inventor add-on allows the user to replace the values contained in the descriptions of colours, materials and purchased components with own values. This is achieved by entering values in cells in front of each item presented in the replacement dialog box. However, such a renaming method is not convenient and can result in errors when handling large amounts of materials or if there is a need to enter material names from a different system. Therefore, the Woodwork for Inventor add-on additionally allows the user to enter the replacement values by selecting them from the table which is created by using the data contained in the MS Excel worksheet. Each configuration can be linked to different MS Excel files.


hmtoggle_plus1Linking MS Excel worksheets to replacement configuration


To obtain replacement item data, material/colour replacement configuration has to be linked to MS Excel worksheet of your choice. To do this, you will first have to open the item replacement window. This is achieved by clicking on MS Excel file icon in any cell.


Color relation



A dialog box is opened. You can use it to make item replacements by selecting the desired replacement item from the table. If the configuration has no MS Excel source, the table will be empty.


Empty Material replacement data


Setup - allows linking material replacement configuration to MS Excel worksheet.



Setup Data Source file for replacement



Data Source Files - a browser panels displays all material types in a tree structure and the specific sources that will be used for the specific materials when completing replacement item tables. Each material type can have its own replacement source. On the other hand, you can specify one source for all material types. This can be done by placing the cursor on a higher branch of the tree structure in the browser.


Select Data Source File - selects MS Excel data file that will be used as a source for the item selected in Data Source Files browser.


Sheet of Data Source - selects the worksheet of MS Excel file specified as Data Source File. Below is a table in which columns from MS Excel worksheet can be linked to the fields in the replacement item table. The following three fields are given in the initial linking stage:


Material Image - this field allows linking MS Excel worksheet column containing file paths to images that help to better illustrate the content of the replaced item. These images have to be stored in the same directory, in which the file is stored. Or images can be stored in a separately created subdirectory located in the same directory as MS Excel source file. There is no requirement to link this field.


Material Code - this field allows linking MS Excel worksheet column containing material codes. This field must be linked.


Material Name - this field allows linking MS Excel worksheet column containing material names. This field must also be linked.


The user can create their own fields that facilitate navigation or are used as additional fields describing materials. For example, a producer field or a field defining fire resistance of the material, or a field indicating that the material is in stock, etc. If necessary, these additional fields can be exported to BOMs. To this end, the appropriate keywords can be used in BOMs. For example, if you want to export Producer characteristic, enter Material.AddedProperty.Producer keyword in the BOM. Click here for more information.



Linking colour replacements


Colour replacements are linked to configurations in the same way as materials; only material types for which colour replacements can be specified differ. Colour replacement sources can only be specified for the following material types:


Laminated Board
Edge Band


Important! If colour and material replacements are linked to the same MS Excel worksheet, colour replacement automatically leads to material replacement and vice versus.



Linking purchased product replacements


Replacement items can also be provided for purchased components (Hardware). In this case, the difference from material and colour replacement is that only one MS Excel file and one MS Excel worksheet can be specified as the source of replacement items.



hmtoggle_plus1Exporting replacement values from MS Excel source


To open the item replacement window, click on MS Excel file icon in the item cell.


Start material replacment from Excel dialog




Data replacement dialog box will open.

Excel replace window


1.Shows which MS Excel file is used as the data source for replacement values.
2.Shows which MS Excel worksheet contains the replacement data.
3.Search (filter) window.
4.Selection window.
5.Image illustrating an item.
6.Opens replacement data source setting.



If a replacement configuration has just been created and has not yet been linked to the MS Excel data source, the windows representing the data will be empty. To see the content, click the Setup button to go to the source setting (selection).


Based on the search phrase entered in the search (filter) window, the items shown in the selection window will be selected and classified. You may enter several criteria in a single phrase, for example, the phrase Oak Bolderaja will mean that all items in any field containing Oak and having Bolderaja line fragments will be searched. A space character will be treated as a separator between phrases. If a search phrase contains a space character, it should be placed in quotation marks, e. g. "Milky Oak". This will help to narrow down the item search.


An item selection for replacement is performed by double-clicking the right mouse button after placing the cursor on a selected row.



hmtoggle_plus1Requirements for the MS Excel data file


Data in the MS Excel file must start from the A1 cell. The number of columns in the file is unlimited.


If one of the file columns displays image names illustrating a row item, and this column is linked to the image (...image) column, then by selecting a replacement item in the replacement window, this image will be displayed in the image illustrating the item. The image will also be used for appearance replacement. Images must be placed in the same catalogue that contains the MS Excel file, or in deeper catalogues. If images are in a deeper catalogue, the image name must have the name of that catalogue. For example:


Name (EN)











Bolderaja\854.jpg means that looking from the MS Excel file perspective, the image is in a lower Bolderaja catalogue.