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Insert Link command (Edit menu)

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Creates one or more new curves or a new 3D surface with data from a DDE server application and establishes a link with the server. When the source data changes, the DPlot plot reflects those changes.

To create a link between a source document and a dependent plot in DPlot

Both applications must be Microsoft Windows applications.

1Open the source document in the server application.
2Switch to the dependent document window in DPlot.
3Select Insert Link from the Edit menu.
4Type the name of the application in the "Application" box (e.g. Excel, WinWord, or MsAccess).
5Type the name of the DDE topic in the "Topic" box. For most DDE servers, the topic is the name of the source datafile. If the file has not been saved to disk, the topic name may be the caption of the window containing the data (e.g. Sheet1 in Microsoft Excel or Document1 in Microsoft Word). For Microsoft Access, the topic name will typically be a database name plus a table name, separated by a semicolon, as in ‘mydata.mdb;TABLE Table1
6Type the name of the data item you want to link to in the "Item" box. Check the documentation of the server application for valid item names. In Microsoft Excel, items should be cell references in R1C1 format (e.g. R1C1:R100C2 refers to the first 2 columns of 100 rows). Please note: A1 style cell references will not work correctly.

For best results with Microsoft Word the linked item should be tagged with a bookmark, and the item is the name of the bookmark.

Microsoft Access supports a wide variety of options for the DDE item. To retrieve the entire contents of a table including field names, use Item=all. To retrieve all table data without field names, use Item=data. Please note: Unlike Excel and Word, changes to data in Access do not normally cause immediate updates to links. The refresh interval for updating links is controlled within Access on the Advanced tab of the Tools>Options dialog in Access 2002. Other versions may behave differently; check your Access documentation.

Recently used links

This box shows up to 20 of the most recently used links, in the form Application|Topic!Item. To re-use one of these links, select it from this box and click the Copy button.

Current links

Shows currently active data links for the active document. To remove a link, select it and click the Remove button. This action does not erase the associated data, it simply removes the association with the server application so that changes to the data in the server will not be reflected in DPlot. Links are not saved in undo files for a variety of reasons; if you remove a link in this manner it cannot be restored with the Edit>Undo command.

Class entry

This entry is generally not important if the server application is already running. It is only used to find the path to the application within the registry if the server application is not running. When you link data to DPlot using the Link option of the Paste Special command, the Class value is retrieved from the Clipboard ObjectLink data when available (e.g. Excel=Excel.Sheet.8, WinWord=Word.Document.8).

Saving links

Link information is normally saved to a DPlot file, so that when you reopen the file the link will be automatically established if the source application is open, or you will be prompted for whether you want to launch that application if it is not open.

Link information only saved if the link is still active. Links are deleted when the source application is closed. So if you want, for example, to save a link to an Excel spreadsheet within a DPlot file so that the link is reestablished when you reopen the DPlot file, save the DPlot file before you close the Excel spreadsheet.

Data organization and Format

Data should be organized and formatted as described under the Help topic for the Paste command.

NOTE: All Edit menu commands below Insert Link are disabled if the currently active document contains linked data.


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