User’s Guide — Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD

Chapter 4 — Quick Start

Quick Start Objectives

The purpose of this Quick Start is to introduce you to the basic features of Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD so that you can immediately use the program.

This Quick Start should take less than 30 minutes.


  1. AutoCAD 2010 or later.
  1. Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD must be installed on your computer. You can verify this by clicking on the “Axiom” ribbon and then pushing the “Settings” button. If this loads, Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD is installed and running. If you have no Axiom ribbon or you get an error after pushing its Settings button, follow the instructions in the Installation section of your Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD User’s Guide. If the ribbon exists but you get a license error, you probably need a new license from Axiom, which you can request by calling Axiom at 727-442-7774.
  2. You will need the sample files that are delivered with Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD. The default installation will store these sample files in one of the following locations depending on your Windows and AutoCAD version:

C:\Program Files\Axiom\AutoCAD2010\OfficeAC\Sample\

C:\Program Files\Axiom\AutoCAD2013\OfficeAC\Sample\

C:\Program Files\Axiom\AutoCAD2015\OfficeAC\Sample\

C:\Program Files (x86)\Axiom\AutoCAD2010\OfficeAC\Sample\

C:\Program Files (x86) \Axiom\AutoCAD2013\OfficeAC\Sample\

C:\Program Files (x86) \Axiom\AutoCAD2015\OfficeAC\Sample\

You can use the sample Office and AutoCAD files from any of these folders that are on your computer, since all four sets are the same as one another.

DWG Sample File Format

Sample DWG files are saved in AutoCAD 2010 format so that they’ll work in 2010 or any later version of AutoCAD. But please note that if you save a DWG in AutoCAD 2013 or later, you may no longer be able to open it in AutoCAD 2012 or earlier.

Sample Excel and Word files are saved in 97–2000 format (.xls and .doc), for maximum compatibility with whatever version of Microsoft Office you may use.

Demonstration Version

The demonstration version of Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD will replace some words with asterisks. It is not limited by the number or size files it will process.

Quick Start #1 — Restore Factory Defaults

  1. Select the “Axiom” ribbon in AutoCAD. You will see four buttons.

  1. Push the {Settings} button (the last button on the ribbon) to open the Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD’s Settings box.
  2. Just in case someone worked with Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD before you began this Quick Start, let’s restore factory defaults. In the upper left hand corner of the settings box, you will see a “File” menu. Select the option “Restore Factory Defaults….”

  1. An “Alert” message box then displays, click the {Yes} button to accept changing the settings back to their factory defaults.

If you have any questions about Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD’s features, the full User’s Guide is always available from the “Settings” box, using Help | Contents...

Quick Start #2 — Paste a spreadsheet using default options

  1. To begin, start AutoCAD in a new drawing file.
  2. Choose the “Axiom” ribbon tab to display the Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD ribbon buttons.
  3. Open the Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD sample file “Advanced Formatting Sample.xls” in Microsoft Excel.
  4. Select all cells in the spreadsheet. One way to do this is to push {Ctrl-A}.
  5. Copy the selected cells to your clipboard. One way to do this is to push {Ctrl-C}.
  6. In AutoCAD, push {Paste Clipboard} on the Axiom ribbon. You will see a rectangle showing you the area of your paste. You can also change various properties of the paste in the tool settings box that appears. We won’t be changing anything at this time.

  1. In your AutoCAD drawing window, click your mouse where you want the top-left corner of your data to be pasted.
  2. Zoom out if necessary and look at what has been pasted into AutoCAD. Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD will have created a DWG representation of your paste using mtext and line elements inside a block. Great care is taken to ensure formatting of your spreadsheet is honored in the DWG. Here is a picture of the top of that pasted data in AutoCAD:

That’s the end of this tutorial.

Quick Start #3 — Split paste into columns

It is often necessary to split a single paste into multiple pieces (“columns”) in order for it to fit in a sheet’s border at the necessary text size. In this tutorial, we will show you how to have Microsoft Office Importer for AutoCAD split a single paste into multiple pieces (“columns”) in order to fit it inside a border.

This tutorial assumes your settings are as you left them in the previous tutorial, the defaults.

  1. Open the sample drawing file “Concrete Summary.dwg” in AutoCAD.
  2. Open the sample spreadsheet “Concrete Summary.xls” in Excel.
  3. Select all cells in the spreadsheet with {Ctrl-A}.
  4. Copy the selected cells to your clipboard with {Ctrl-C}.
  5. Zoom extents so you can see the entire border.
  6. On the Axiom ribbon, press the {Paste Clipboard} button. A very tall rectangle will appear. Observe that it is too tall to fit inside the red border.
  7. In the “Paste Excel data into AutoCAD” tool settings box
  • Change “Text height:” from “0.01” to “1.0” (without the quotes). And
  • Change “Text width:” from “0.01” to “1.0” (without the quotes). And
  • Turn on “Split paste into columns.” And
  • Turn on “Repeat XLS header of [n] rows in each column.” And set n to 5. This means Microsoft Office Importer will take five rows of header cells from the top of your copied data and repeat them at the top of each of the pieces (“columns”) of your paste it creates.
  • Your box should look like this when you have it set correctly for this step:

  1. Place a data point inside the border, near its top-left corner. This will be the top-left point of your paste.
  2. Move your mouse pointer to near the bottom of the border and about a third of the width of the border to the right. Observe that your single paste rectangle has been replaced with multiple rectangles. By moving your mouse pointer to the right, you control the distance between these pieces (“columns”) of your paste. As you move your mouse pointer up and down (the Y axis), you control the maximum height of these pieces (“columns”) and thus how many pieces/columns your paste will be split into. Move your mouse pointer around for a minute until you understand what’s going on. Once you get it, it’s actually very simple.

  1. When you’ve chosen your desired column offset and maximum column height by moving your mouse pointer, place a data point to complete the paste. With these particular sample files, three columns are needed to fit all the data into the border at Microsoft Office Importer’s default text height and width settings. Here is a zoomed in picture of the first of your three columns with a bit of the border included:

Your sample Excel data has now been pasted into this DWG file in three pieces or columns. When your paste is updated by Microsoft Office Importer in the future, all three of these columns will remain in the positions you chose, but their contents will be updated to reflect the contents of the source spreadsheet at the time of the update. The “Split paste into columns.” setting also works with Microsoft Word pastes, not just Excel pastes. The “Repeat XLS header of [n] rows in each column.” setting only works with Excel pastes.


You have completed the Microsoft Office Importer Quick Start.