Layout Tables Bug

There seems to be a strange bug related to Excel (I’m using 365) linked tables in Layout where certain cells in the linked table will not retain their layout formatting when the reference is updated.

I’m not 100% sure what causes it but it seems to be something to do with having an empty column before a data column with a merged title across the top of both columns. Example:

Column A Column B
Merged title across both A1 & B1
data in B2
data in B3
data in B4
data in B5

When this type of excel formatting is imported into a layout table and formatted the column B data points will not retain their layout formatting when the link is updated (import excel formatting is unchecked). Instead they seem to pick up the formatting of the cells in column A

Not a hard fix (change column A formatting) but still a bug you might want to look into.

If someone manages to recreate this issue I would like to know!



Edit: Updated to say formatting is coming from column A

I haven’t been able to duplicate it yet… Could you share your files with me? Check your PMs.


Hi Marc,

Thanks for your reply.
I’ve attached a cut down version of the layout file.

Layout File.layout (52.1 KB)

As i cant upload the Excel file you will have to edit the reference from layout, resave the excel and then relink to the layout file.

The excel reference file has a 2 column table, the 1st is blank the 2nd has a set of data points. There is a merged heading & footer across both columns. All cells between the Heading and footer are left justified.

In the layout file you will see the corresponding linked file. The text in the 2nd column has been set to left justify, however, the empty cells in the 1st column have been set to right justify.

When you update the table the text in the 2nd column will switch to right justification.
Whatever changes you make to the cells in the 2nd column will be overridden by the settings of the cells in the 1st column, when the table is updated.

This seems to apply to all font settings: type, size, typeface, underline etc.

My excel version is office 365 and I’m running Windows 10.

Let me know if you can recreate this issue.



Edit, check next post for updated info on the issue. This one isn’t relevant apart from the bug splat.

I’ve done some more investigation.
It seems to be something to do with using partial sections of an excel sheet. For example if I create a table from all the cells in a sheet I don’t get the formatting error. However, if I edit that table to only reference part of the cells in the same sheet the formatting error occurs.

The unusual thing is that I already have a table referencing a partial sheet in the same layout & excel file where the formatting issue doesn’t happen. However, if I change the working table to reference a different sheet the errors start to happen.

I’m also starting to get bug splats where all the tables on the sheet go haywire. All the text in the tables spreads out all over the screen. Ill try to screenshot it next time it happens.

Ok, final update before I sign off for the night.
I think I have narrowed down the problem to a single factor.

It seems to be caused by having merged cells on the bottom row of the referenced tables.
If the bottom row is merged you get the error, if it is not merged the table works the way it’s supposed to.
Sometimes you have to update the table twice for the error to show up but it is always present when the bottom row is merged.

Hope this helps you guys to pinpoint the error on your end and issue a quick patch for it. I would like to be able to merge the bottom row.


Thanks for sharing the file!

We’re looking at the problem, I’ll keep you posted.



We’re having a bit of trouble seeing the behavior that you describe. Any chance we could get a video of your repro steps? Or potentially we could set up a brief Google hangout and you could show us directly?

Thanks for your help!

Hi Marc.

I’m a bit strapped for time at the moment for a face to face, plus i live in New Zealand so time zones are a pain. Intead I’ve made a silent video for you.
Here’s the link:

Link To Video

It shows the cell formatting problem that occurs when you merge the bottom row of an inserted table.
It should be fairly self explanatory.

I’m using Windows 10, office 365, and the original Layout 2017 (I haven’t updated it to the latest update yet)

Hope this clarifies things a bit.


Hi Brendan-

Thanks for making the video, I see exactly what the problem is now. Stay tuned.


Yup, I see the issue in the code. Very nice find.

This bug is going to affect any table that has a merge row at the bottom of the table, or a merged column on the right. You’ll see odd style effects like this during “Update from File” and also if you sample/apply the style from one of these tables to another table.

No guarantees about when a fix will be available, but I’ll get right to it. Keep an eye on the release notes for any future maintenance releases.


All good Marc,
Glad to help.
No rush on the fix I’ve adjusted my table layout to compensate and i like it better.
Would rather you guys were spending your valuable time working on some form of layer/scene line weight control system in layout :wink:


Hey Marc, it seems as if that also when I create a rule to highlight every other row with a colour for example in excel that Layout does not recognize that formula to create the colouring of every 2nd line. This is the formula I have used in excel and layout does not recognize the colouring at all… " =MOD(Row(),2)=1 "

Layout also does not see any text that is oriented on it’s side e.g. vertical text, when I apply vertical text to a cell or cells in excel and than update layout reference with formatting reference there it just turns the cell blank and removes the text with the layout to excel update reference option… Just confused why it’s doing this. Trying to get some work done and seems like a simple bug that has been missed maybe?

Yea and also another test on this just now, applying conditional formatting to colour only cells that are blank for example within a selected range also does not show up as formatting in linked layout table. It seems like the developers in layout somehow forgot about the formatting options or? I thought this was maybe because I made a rule for the entire cell range in the entire document but I just tried this simple formatting rule with a selected cell range of around 30 cells and layout still does not recognize… Oh the good days of using layout in 2020. Hoping to get some ideas as to what’s going on. Thanks