Can't Effectively Copy and Paste from Excel to Layout 2020

Hi, I recently purchased Sketchup/Layout 2020. I formerly used a 2018 version, but I’ve since uninstalled that version.

When I copy and paste a table from Excel to Layout, the table loses its formatting. Merged cells are no longer merged (it will shove all my text into a single cell, and leave the others that were once merged blank), I can’t scale or change the dimensions of the table once it’s in Layout. The font looks different.

This worked fine in Sketchup 2018. A simple control+C in Excel, and a control+V in Layout did the trick. I’ve also tried to use File --> Insert, and insert the Excel file, but it doesn’t seem to work properly either. When I try to insert the file, it “thinks” for a second, but then nothing happens. Inserting won’t work for my multiple sheet Excel files, but it does for my one sheet Excel files. So strange.

Is there something I don’t know about this new version? My business used this feature extensively. I have a client who needs work done but I can’t deliver the product until I figure out what’s going on here.

I can’t answer the why question. But what about printing to PDF and importing that? If you need to update the spreadsheet, print to PDF again in the same location and with same name and then update within Layout.

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Copying and pasting into LO isn’t a great idea because that act creates a temporary reference which will be deleted by the operating system. Why not insert the XLSX file into LO instead?

Hi DaveR, I like that idea because it creates a solid reference. However, I noticed something strange. With some Excel files, Layout “thinks” for a second when I try to insert them… but nothing happens. No prompt, no nothing.

However, when I try to insert another random Excel file, the appropriate prompt pops up and I’m able to insert the cells I want to. Any idea what’s going on? They’re all .XLSX files, so I don’t see anything ostensibly different about them. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to like the Excel file I’m trying to use.

I’m not sure what you are missing. Maybe if you share the .xlsx file?

For demo purposes I made a multi sheet .xlsx file. Two tabs, one called Firewood Shed_Cutlist and the other, Sheet2

When I select the file to insert I get a window, thus:
Screenshot - 10_13_2020 , 11_21_08 AM

The drop down list lets me choose the desired sheet.
Screenshot - 10_13_2020 , 11_21_17 AM

Once it’s in the LO doc with one sheet chosen, it can be copied to another page or another part of the same page and a different sheet selected.

And in case someone comes along and isn’t clear on this insert thing, using Insert to add the spreadsheet and maintaining the link with the original file means that changes to that file can be made and the LO project updated to reflect those changes.

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Hi again DaveR, I had edited my reply, but I realized you were already “replying” while I did it. It doesn’t seem to be a multiple sheet problem. It just doesn’t like the Excel file I’m trying to import, I guess. I can’t really share it because it’s my proprietary tool :frowning:

That “Excel Reference Options” prompt you show in the photo above… that doesn’t even pop-up when I try to insert it. Layout just “thinks” for a second and gives up. But it works with other random Excel files.

I wonder what’s in the .xlsx file that LO can’t handle. Could you share it privately?

Sure. One moment. It’s a 25 tab Excel file. It could be that.

Maybe but I wouldn’t expect that. I’ve not heard of a sheet limit for inserted .xlsx files. I’d be more inclined to wonder about macros that might be included.

Dave, do you have an email I can send it to? This forum won’t let me send you an .XLSX file. It says it’s not supported. PM me if you need to.

Just put it in a zip file. You should be able to upload that.

I got the file and I do see what you see. There seems to be a lot of VLookUp formulas and I wonder if they have something to do with it.

Perhaps @adam might have some insight as to what is going on. You might send him a PM including the file you sent me. He may give you some information I don’t have as an outsider.

That is the technique I use. It works well and is simple. Formatting problems from using Excel inside Layout disappear.

When you say “Print to PDF”, do you mean turn the Excel workbook into a PDF? Can you describe the process a little more for me?

Simon use Mac and can import PDFs like other image files. Not an option with Windows, though.

That’s very useful to know, for future reference.

Thank you


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I would prefer to have a more direct way of importing a spreadsheet file as seems possible on a pc. I use Mac Numbers but can export to an Excel file. Would my Mac version of SU allow me to import that just like on a pc?

Simon, if you save the spreadsheet as .xlsx you should be able to insert it into LayOut with no problem. Have you tried that?

I don’t use Excel, either, but it’s easy enough to save out the .xlsx file and the spreadsheet app will open them just as well. It’s the same for text blocks, save out as .rtf or .txt from the word editor and import.

Just tried it and it works a treat! Amended a cell and then used Update option in LO to show the amendment.

Obviously, as a Mac user, you do have the extra step of having to remember to export as an Excel file, though I suppose if you have Excel for Mac you wouldn’t.

Not sure this works quite so well for word processed documents as you need high end software to create columns. It’s the text wrapping facility with columns that is often lacking (as in native LO text).

The same goes for me but as I wrote, that’s not really been a problem because I’m thinking ahead to what I need to do with the file after it’s created.

Unfortunately .rtf and .txt don’t support multiple forum formatting so you need to do something different to get the columns.