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Tips for formatting spreadsheet (forms copied from Word)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to simplify some forms at work... basically we have 5+ forms that all need the same 10 or so pieces of data. All these forms are in word docs. Well before I started working here they had it set up in excel so that all they needed to do was enter the data on one page, formulas placed that data in the right spot, and print the workbook, botta-bing botta-boom: forms. I found this old one and would like to revamp it - some forms aren't used and some are out of date. This would save a lot of time (= indirectly wasted paper) and potentially save us (one day) from using a stamp machine which each card for it costs almost a $1 and some weeks we use over 10. (small hospital, non profit... it'd make a difference)

I think the best/easiest way to convert doc->xls is copy and paste. Exporting as delimited txt leaves a nasty unformatted mess when imported. Copy pasta just leaves a 10mi wide spreadsheet which is just a bunch of tedious work to fit it all in. Believe it or not I've had 3 classes devoted to Office (mainly excel and access) and none have covered this or formatting this crap to fit in an 8x11 and look good when printed. Any tips? Right now all I'm doing is shrinking cells one by one to get it to fit. These forms may be updated over time and I'd really like someone to tell me I'm doing it the hard way.

Thanks!

EDIT: Late night rambling ^ TL;DR (but still longish)...
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackVenom View Post

I'm basically just looking for a way to convert forms from doc to xls. The overall goal is to have one data entry area that adds the data to the multiple forms. All without having to recreate the forms... I'm doing this voluntarily and in my spare time and these forms are federally regulated to an extent and have to get approval from several people to be edited in any way. So, my current goal is to convert them while retaining their final (printed) look and hopefully find an efficient manner to do so.

Edited by BlackVenom - 12/17/13 at 9:01pm
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IntelAsylum R2.1
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post #2 of 5
What we do is print our Word Documents to PDF and then use some software called Able2Extract that is able to convert any PDF into any format. The software is nice because you can also convert scanned documents to other formatting. I will say with caution that it can be hit or miss for scanned PDF's but one's created directly from a source work great. The price isn't bad for the software.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link! R+
The examples linked on the page show that it can pull data but not the layout? I'm basically just looking for a way to convert forms from doc to xls. The overall goal is to have one data entry area that adds the data to the multiple forms. All without having to recreate the forms... I'm doing this voluntarily and in my spare time and these forms are federally regulated to an extent and have to get approval from several people to be edited in any way. So, my current goal is to convert them while retaining their final (printed) look and hopefully find an efficient manner to do so.
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post #4 of 5
Ah, when I get to work this morning I'll do some more digging as I better understand now the placement issue. I've got to convert a ton of documents each day into different formats all under the eye of DCAA and the IRS so I understand. There's gotta be a way just haven't stumbled on it. I love finding out issues like this. When I figured out how to embed a formula in a pivot table for example it was a great day. I'll let you know if I find something.
post #5 of 5
So I think I figured this out:

1: Open the Word File
2: Go to Save as - Other Formats
3: On the Save as type drop-down choose - Plain Text
4: Save and Close
5: Open a blank Excel File
6: Go to the Data Tab
7: Select from Text
8: Choose the file that you saved as Plain Text
9: Excel will ask you what cell to open the text and it will disperse it according to the formatting as it was setup under the Word File

Let me know if this works for you, seems to work pretty good from what I can tell, let me know if you want some screen shots.
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