Dynamic links to cell content in Excel workbook file?

Jun 23, 2016

Is it possible to create DDE links to the content of Excel spreadsheet files in Storyline? I'm working on a course which includes a lot of financial data, which will change periodically. We don't want to link to the spreadsheet file as a Resource. Instead, we want to embed specific cell content within the course text; there are several instances throughout. Rather than manage this data with variables, it would be more efficient to maintain it in a spreadsheet and have Storyline pull in the latest data each time the course is republished. Anyone know if this is possible? If so, how?

3 Replies
S.  Dyson

Hi Christie!  Thank-you for your quick response! I may not have explained it properly. I don't want the course to change any of the information in the spreadsheet file. Instead, I want to insert a kind of link or variable into the text of my Storyline project, which references the information stored in a specific spreadsheet cell or range of cells.

Right now, we have to manually put these numbers into Storyline and republish the course every month. Although it's do-able with variables, it's cumbersome; there are many sets of numbers that need to be updated and it takes a long time to do this in the Variable pane.

We'd prefer to maintain all the data in existing spreadsheets and have our Storyline course pull the data from the spreadsheets. If this were possible, then a simple re-publish of the course would automatically pull the current numbers from the spreadsheets without requiring anyone to edit the course in Storyline.

For example, my client has monthly sales figures that change every month. These are actually a large series of numbers, by department, which are referenced throughout the course modules. It's important that the learners know the current information as part of their training certification. The spreadsheet reference in Storyline could look something like this:

In %SalesTeam01%, the current sales figures for this month are:  %FileRef=['Spreadsheet.xl',B4]%

In this example, the %SalesTeam01% is a Storyline text variable and %FileRef=['Spreadsheet.xl',B4]% would be a reference that looks at a spreadsheet file on disk and inserts whatever information is stored in cell B4.

The ability to insert a spreadsheet reference into the Storyline course would greatly simplify the process of updating many instances of data without the need to revise the entire course. Also, client personnel who aren't trained in Storyline could maintain and update the data that appears in the course without costly consultant fees. DDE links are possible in other Windows-based applications, but not sure if Storyline supports them. 

So, it seems like this isn't possible in Storyline-- unless you know of a way that it can be done?

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