Data Management Capabilities > Using Excel to Export and Import Data > Action Items in Excel
Action Items in Excel
This topic describes how you can work with action items in Microsoft Excel.
Actions items do not use the same import and export functionality described previously for parts and product structures.
Actions in My Tasks and Action Items tables allow you to work with Windchill PDMLink action items in Microsoft Excel. Specifically, they allow you to perform the following tasks:
Capture action items in a single file to be imported into Windchill PDMLink.
Download action item data, edit it offline, and import changes to Windchill PDMLink.
Download action item data for use outside Windchill PDMLink. For example, you might download action items to be printed, included in an email message, or embedded in a report.
Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office version 2000 and earlier are not supported.
When you perform the Download Template action, Windchill PDMLink generates an XML spreadsheet based on a template. The template determines the format of individual cells and pre-populates drop-down lists based on the context from which it was downloaded. The template itself cannot be modified. The Microsoft Excel XML spreadsheet generated upon download contains the following instructions and guidelines for use in the Instructions worksheet:
The spreadsheet contains pre-populated drop-down lists for some fields such as Assignee and Status, based on the context from which the template was downloaded. In those fields, select an option from the drop-down list.
If the spreadsheet contains action items downloaded from Windchill PDMLink, it will contain the Number column that links to the action item information page in Windchill PDMLink. For new action items, leave the number blank. This is a system-generated number that is assigned upon import.
You can create a new action item by copying an existing one. However, you must clear any previous action item number from the Number column in the new action item row. The number is generated upon import.
If you want to change the file name, enter it inside quotation marks (for example, "My Project - Action Items.xls"). The quotes indicate that the file is not in the native Microsoft Excel format, even though it has that extension.
Do not change the file type. You must save Microsoft Excel files in an XML spreadsheet format to import into Windchill PDMLink.
To create action items for a particular context, download the template from the Assignments page for that context.
When you download existing action items from Windchill PDMLink, the file generated is not intended for editing. You can edit the data in the spreadsheet. However, if you edit action items that you do not have privileges to modify, the import fails. If you are not sure which action items you have privileges to modify, download a new spreadsheet using the download action items for editing icon.
When you download existing action items from Windchill PDMLink using the download action items for editing icon, only the action items you have privileges to modify are downloaded.
When you download existing action items from Windchill PDMLink using the download action items for editing icon, some fields, such as Created and Created By, cannot be modified.
If you leave the Assignee field blank for any action items, Windchill PDMLink assigns them to the user who performs the import.
Any information added to system-generated fields, such as Number and Created, is ignored.
Any changes you make to cell formatting are ignored when the spreadsheet is imported into Windchill PDMLink and are not reflected in future downloads.
You can disable protection of the spreadsheet so you can sort, filter, or otherwise manipulate the display for viewing or printing. To disable protection, go to the Tools menu and select Protection > Unprotect Sheet. However, if you want to make edits and import the data to Windchill PDMLink, you must protect the spreadsheet again using the Tools > Protection > Protect Sheet with no password. If you import an unprotected spreadsheet, all action items are treated as new upon import and may result in the creation of duplicate action items. Even if you protect the spreadsheet again, if you have made updates, such as changing the column order, the import fails.
You can rename, reorder, designate as required, and expose or hide customizable attributes that will be reflected in the spreadsheet when the template is downloaded. See the Windchill customization documentation for more information.