I am trying to place a linked Excel file into InDesign where information can be updated on my Excel file and then update automatically in my InDesign file by refreshing the link. My Excel file has active functions that pull data from other Excel files. When I try to place the Excel file, that has the correct info listed, in InDesign the info is replaced with -1 or -1.00. Some of the missing info that is listed as -1 or -1.00 is text and some are numbers. I have added an example of the info is being placed below. My Excel program is closed and in InDesign I have changed preferences file handling to create links when placing text and spreadsheet files. I also choose show import options when placing the linked excel file in InDesign. I have tried changing the size of the text along with making the cells bigger in InDesign. Is this possible to place a linked Excel file with functions?
- Correct info that is listed in Excel that is being pulled from another Excel file.
- How the info is being placed in Indesign.
What OS and what version of InDesign? Do you have the latest?
I am on a HP and have InDesign 2020 and Excel 2016.
Nic said: "…Is this possible to place a linked Excel file with functions?"
No. Best "flatten" your cells so that the right values are there without using any function.
( ACP )
So InDesign can only imput/place data from Excel that is listed without functions or formulas?
What does -1 mean in a placed excel chart? I keep getting that instead of my info when I try place the linked excel file in indesign.
This potentially could be a bug. There was an issue with the numbers importing as 0 in earlier versions of ID 15:
What's your OS and ID version?
Im using a hp. My Indesign version is 2020 and is updated. Does that answer your question?
Can you paste the excel file here and identify the cells that are importing as -1? I would attempt to change the formatting of the problem cells in Excel from whatever format they are to Text, or if they are formulas, to convert them to values only.
Pretty much all the cells are importing as -1.
Excel wont allow me to change the fromatting since I am pulling this data from another Excel file. I pulled this data from the master list ( Excel file 1) that has more info than I need. I then created another Excel file( Excel file 2) that pulls the data from the master list (Excel file 1) that represents the data/layout I need for my chart that I am designing in InDesign. I want InDesign to automatically update my design chart that is pulling data from Excel file 2. I want Excel file 2 to automatically update the info that is being pulled from Excel file 1 that is manually entered.
My goal is to be able to have a person that does not have InDesign to be able to make changes on the data in the master Excel file. Once they hit save on their master Excel file, my Indesign chart links will then need to be refreshed and all the correct data is listed in the correct spot because the data is being pulled from the design excel file that I created (Excel file 2).
Master Excel file(1) > Design Excel file (2) > InDesign Charts > Refresh Links
Right now when I do this, my data comes in as -1 for numbers and text.
Excel file correct layout. Datat being pulled from master list
InDesign File. Placed the excel data and data comes in as -1.
Settings I have for placing linked files
my assumption here is that value -1 is always used when InDesign's import filter discovers a value that cannot be interpreted.
A standard procedure developers do to enforce a default value. That is going wrong here, because -1 instead of the default, the calculated values from your Excel formula, is used.
As I said, best do not use formulas.
( ACP )
same here on Mac with InDesign 2020. So I cannot use Excel with formulas.
Import with Formatting only it looks like
I see this as well with my Excel 2010 and InDesign 2021 on Windows 10.
 Save the spreadsheet file as *.xls from Excel and place the *.xls file.
*.xlsx will not work.
 Select the cells in Excel, copy, select one cell in InDesign, paste.
( ACP )
unfortunately, resaving to .xls is not an option.
I have found the following workaround for InDesign 2020 (Mac).
Since, the "-1" shows only when importing WITHOUT formatting,
I imported WITH formatting and then converted the table to text.
This way the content for linked content in Excel will show also in InDesign.
thanks for the next workaround!
Hm. I'd prefer to save to *.xls as interim format, because placing with formatting could spoil my styles and swatches panels.
All in all this is not an acceptable situation.
I'd look for a bug report at InDesign UserVoice and start supporting a fix there or do my own report:
( ACP )
There is 1 other work around not mentioned here that is relatively simple. (Although you wish Adobe would just fix this).
Basically keep 2 sheets (or however many you need). Label the first "ABC - Forumlas" and the second "ABC - Production"
Keep to two sheets exactly the same. Except keep your second sheet where you copy and paste the values only. Whenever you need to update, just open up the excel and do a quick copy and paste over.
Not an ideal solution, but could be depending on what your use case is.