When working with different disciplines on a Revit project, you may sometimes get useful information provided in Excel format. To avoid repeating information in different software programs and throughout the project, it is recommended to store them in a single location. So how do we import Excel into Revit?
At present, Revit’s native software does not seem to have the functionality to either import or link Excel. However, with some different alternative methods, it is possible to import information from Excel to Revit. Using these methods allows us to stall information in Revit and keep them in one place.
Table of Contents
In this article, we are going to take a look at how to import Excel data into Revit with two different free methods.
Import Excel into Revit
At present, Revit does not have any feature to support importing or linking MS Excel files. So you might ask what is the best way to import Excel sheets from Excel into Revit? Fortunately, there are several workarounds that allow you to bring Excel data into Revit.
I will describe methods that are entirely free to use in Revit, but they require you to install either Autodesk AutoCAD or a third-party plugin called Diroots. Below are the methods I will explain:
- Import Excel to AutoCAD and Revit
- Diroots plugin
NoteThe main focus of this article is importing Excel into AutoCAD and then into Revit through “Linking” to maintain the connection between files. If you’re interested in learning about the differences between importing and linking CAD files, I recommend checking out this article: How to Import CAD to Revit.
Method 1- Import Excel to AutoCAD and Revit
We start with the first method which is also the recommended method without installing any third-party plugins. However, this method requires you to have Autodesk AutoCAD installed. The workflow of this method is as followed:
- Link Excel data into AutoCAD
- Link AutoCAD into Revit
- Manage and update the files
1. Import Excel into AutoCAD
The first step is to have the Excel data opened in Excel and make changes to the appearances such as the font style, column width, row height, background colors, etc. Note that, when you have made a mistake with the appearance you can also adjust it at a later time and update it. This also applies to adding or removing data.
Follow the steps outlined below to import Excel into AutoCAD:
- Open and adjust your Excel datasheet
- Save the Excel data file in an
Excel Workbookformat (
- Open Autodesk AutoCAD and create a new file
- After you have opened a new file, click the Annotate tab > Tables panel
- Click on Link Data > Data Link Manager dialog opens
- In the Data Link Manager click on Create a new Excel Data Link
- Give the Data Link a Name > Click OK
- Select Full Path in the Path Type dropdown menu (this also allows you to see a preview of the Excel)
- Click the three black dots to browse the Excel file > Click Open
- Choose Link Options, select a Sheet, and range, in this case, I link to a predefined range > Click OK Note that, when you add or remove data you have to update the range as well.
Now that the Excel data file is linked we have to place the table in the Model space in order to link it to Revit later on.
- Go to the Annotate tab > Tables panel
- Click on Table > Insert Table dialog opens
- Choose From a data link in the Insert options section and select the schedule you just have linked in Step 10 > Click OK
- Click to insert the Table into the Model space area of AutoCAD
- Save the AutoCAD file
2. Link AutoCAD into Revit
Once you have finished setting up the AutoCAD file with the linked Excel document, you can continue to link this file in Revit. Follow the steps outlined below:
- Open Revit and open a sheet you like to link the Excel file to
- Open the Insert tab > Link panel
- Click on Link CAD > Link CAD Formats dialog opens
- In the Link CAD Formats dialog navigate to the AutoCAD file and select it
- Change options such as Colors, Positioning as required > Open file
The options set in the Print Screen above are my recommended settings for Linking the AutoCAD file with the Excel document. If you do not prefer the colored table, then change the Colors to Black and White.
- Place the schedule on the sheet by clicking anywhere in the area
3. Manage and Update
If there are any changes to be made to the schedule that you have linked in Revit, you always have to start by editing the Excel file again. The changes I mention are like adding or removing data, column width, fonts, etc. Note that, the changes you make in Excel are not updated automatically in AutoCAD.
Follow the steps written below to manage and update your schedule in AutoCAD and Revit:
- Adjust your Excel file and save it
- Open the AutoCAD file > Select the linked schedule from Excel > Go to the Annotate tab > Click Download from Source
- Go to the Annotate tab
- Click Link Data > Right-click the linked file and select Edit…
- Adjust the range to meet the new criteria > Press Ok
- Save the AutoCAD file after the adjustments
TipIf the schedule isn’t correctly formatted after updating, you can delete the table and re-establish the link. Use a simple line in the upper left corner of the table before deleting. This line can serve as a reference to place the newly linked table.
- Go back to Revit > Go to the Manage tab > Manage Project panel
- Click Manage Links > Manage Links dialog opens
- In the Manage Links dialog open the CAD Formats tab
- Select your linked CAD file
- Click on Reload > Press OK
You should now be able to view your updated schedule in Revit. Note that, this was a manual reload of the linked CAD file. If you close and reopen Revit, the linked files will refresh and update automatically without any need for manual intervention on your part.
TipYou can also export data schedules from Revit into Excel: How to Export Revit Schedule to Excel.
Method 2 – Diroots plugin
The second method is by using the free DiRootsOne plugin from Diroots, which you can download here. This plugin contains multiple functions, but we focus on the TableGen function. Not only can this function help us import Excel data into Revit quickly, but it also enables us to update the Excel data.
1. Import Excel with Diroots
After you have installed the Diroots plugin, you can follow the steps I outlined below:
- Prepare your Excel file > Give the worksheet a name
- Create a worksheet region by selecting the range of cells (with data) and giving it a name > Save the Excel file
- In Revit go to DiRootsOne tab > Data IO panel
- Click on TableGen > TableGen dialog opens
- In the TableGen dialog click on Add Tables
- Navigate to your Excel file > Set Number of Copies > Select the WorkSheet and Region > Choose View Type: Schedule View > Click OK
- Give your view a name
- Click on Apply > Schedule will be created in the Project Browser
- Drag and drop the schedule from the Project Browser onto your sheet
2. Update Excel with Diroots
Whenever you made changes to the Excel file, you can simply update the Excel schedule in Revit by using the same function with the Diroots plugin. Open the TableGen dialog and follow the steps written below:
- Select the Views you wish to update
- Click on Batch Actions > Select Update Views (Alternative: Right-click on the view and select Update View)
- Click on Apply > You will receive a notification stating: “Changes applied successfully to the model.”
TipYou can also use the Auto Sync feature by enabling it in the TableGen dialog and selecting the Apply button. The next time you open Revit, it will automatically update the schedules imported by the Diroots plugin.
At present, Revit doesn’t support linking or importing Excel data files natively. Fortunately, there are some workarounds you can use to achieve this. There are mainly two different methods to bring the Excel data into Revit. The first method is by using AutoCAD and the second method is by using the Diroots plugin. Both methods are completely free of use but require you to install the software.
I recommend using the AutoCAD method if you do not feel like using any plugins that frequently have to be updated. Nevertheless, both methods are very effective and enable you to edit the Excel data anytime.
I hope this article helped you to understand the different methods of importing or linking Excel data into Revit. If you have any questions, tips, or tricks I did not mention, feel free to leave a comment.