I do not mean to import data eh, of that we talked totes; Now I'm talking about importing a complete table with text adjusted to cells, inserted images and particular features of Excel, with ranges of different sheets and at the same time can be updated in both ways.
Previously, to make tables in AutoCAD, simple vector objects, lines and single texts were used; torture that we all suffer more than ever, from the 2005 version AutoCAD integrated the ability to work dynamic tables.
The most frequent uses of this are usually in owner's listings for maps, exploded sheets for structural plans, materials lists, or details in plans that require tables with a lot of data. The advantage of being able to do this in Excel and keep it updated from there is extremely valuable.
I want to show you AutoTable, a tool that not only works with AutoCAD from 2000 to 2008, but also exists for MicroStation V8.0 or higher, Bricscad, ProgeCAD y Cadopia. Seeing it work reminds me of when Lotus 123 implemented its WYSIWYG before Excel came, AutoTable promotes "What you see in Excel is what you get in CAD".
Let's see its characteristics:
Since AutoCAD already does that, it would be interesting to know what AutoTable does that AutoCAD 2008 does not do:
1. AutoTable works faster
The buttons are already made for it, so import is immediately; it can be upgraded from Excel to AutoCAD or vice versa. Also "update" is faster and relative path control works better, as is the case when data is stored within an intranet.
2. AutoTable allows the option to import ranges
Not only does the whole table come, if you prefer to import only a range of cells and they can be on different sheets of the same Excel file.
3. AutoTable maintains better control
You can define the option that the table comes with no borders ... ah, supports all types of borders as double, dotted or diagonal lines.
You can also control the characteristics of the cells such as fill color, border color, text type, size etc, you can even put different type of font letter within the same cell. This does not do very well AutoCAD, I also find it valuable that you can configure the characters table (unicode) and it even supports mathematical symbols.
When you do this with AutoCAD 2008 everything comes in the same characteristics, the characters are a bit tinny and it is not possible to control the exact width of the columns or the height of the rows.
... you can even choose the layer where to bring the contents of the table and the scale to which you want to import.
4. It brings everything !!!
If there are basic shapes in the table (figures made in Excel) they are brought to them and to surprise us ... also brings the images and graphics that are inserted in the table.
5. As if it were Excel
To modify a text inside the table, you can do "F2", just as if we were in Excel. You can even import different sections of worksheets into a single Excel workbook.
I think it is a very practical tool and can improve productivity, prices vary according to the type of version of AutoCAD, Microstation or IntelliCAD and it is possible to use it as a floating license ... that is, it is not assigned to a single machine but can be installed on a server and is used by different users.
I think that a company, if it invested more than $ 3,000 in AutoCAD, would have no problem considering it if it is going to profit from it. For that matter, a license for AutoCAD LT costs $ 149, with a discount if more than one is purchased.