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Navigation: Importing and exporting data

Options when pasting data from Excel (Win or Mac)

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What Excel puts on the clipboard


Excel Windows 2003 and later, and Excel Mac 2008 and later, copy data to the clipboard in two formats: Plain text, and HTML.

By default, Prism (starting with 5.0c and 5.03)  pastes the HTML format. This will allow much better pasting of Greek letters, superscripts and subscripts, titles with punctuation, numbers with nonstandard thousands or decimal separators, and more.

There is one change. If the Excel cell contains a mixture of numbers and letters (or punctuation), prior versions tried to extract and paste just the numbers. Prism Mac still works that way, but Prism Windows won't paste anything into numerical parts of a Prism table if the corresponding Excel cell mixes numbers and text.

This new style of pasting only applies when pasting values. Paste-embedding and paste-linking (Windows only) are not changed.


Changing back to the old style


Pasting from the HTML rendition is the default. If it causes any problems, use Edit..Paste Special and check the new option on the first tab:

   [ x]Paste older text-based clipboard format. Not recommended.

With this option selected, pasting will work just as it did with earlier releases of Prism (before 5.03 and 5.0c). We don't anticipate any situations where this will be helpful, but are providing this option just in case. The option is available when you insert data only, and will be unavailable if you choose to paste link or paste embed.

Numbers, a Mac spreadsheet that is part of iWork, does not copy the HTML so pasting from Numbers always uses the older style.

Two ways to paste from the HTML (older Excel versions only)

It gets even more complicated.

The HTML clipboard version from some versions of Excel contains each number twice. One copy shows exactly what you see in Excel. The other copy shows the value with more decimal places (ignoring formatting or rounding within Excel). By default, Prism pastes the values as they are shown in Excel. But the Paste Special dialog lets you use the other version if you prefer:

[x ]Paste as many digits as possible. If Excel rounds to 1.23, paste 1.23456

This option is not available if you copy from Excel Windows 2007 or later, as the necessary information is not copied to the clipboard.

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