Frequently Asked Questions

Problems importing data from Excel into Prism.

FAQ# 938    Last Modified 1-January-2009

Prism Mac cannot open Excel files at all.

While Prism Windows is able to import Excel files (or so it seems; see the next paragraph). However, we suggest that you don't use this feature. You rarely want all the Excel data into Prism anyway, and often need to rearrange the values to fit into Prism's formatted data tables. 

What we suggest: Select the data from Excel and then paste into the right spot within Prism. Or use Edit..Paste special which gives you more choices (such as transposing). Copy-paste from Excel works, of course, with both Windows and Mac versions of Prism.

What really happens: Prism Windows cannot read Excel files, although it seems to. When you select an Excel file to import, Prism launches Excel and then has a OLE "conversation" with Excel which then sends the data to Prism. This usually works, but is very dependent on Windows and Excel, and so is very delicate. It also works, of course, only when Prism and Excel are on the same computer.

Problem with early releases of Prism 5: Microsoft made a change to Excel 2007 (it registers '.xls' files as "Excel 97-2003 Worksheet", while older versions of Excel register .xls as "Excel Worksheet"). This small change impacts the ability of Prism 5.00 or 5.01 to import large Excel files. Excel 2007 will only send Prism the first page of data. With small data sets, there is no trouble. With huge data sets, you won't be able to use Prism's Import command to import the XLS file. Instead, save the data from Excel as a CSV (comma separated value) file, and import that into Prism. Or use copy and paste. If your Excel table is just a bit too big to import into Prism (because Excel only shows Prism the first page), you can bypass the problem by putting all the onto the first page (smaller font, smaller margins, smaller row height, different page size...). 

This problem is fixed in Prism 5.02, which can again to import data from Excel 2007, even if the table is long enough to be seen (by Excel) as occupying more than one page.