How to set up and export a cutting list to an Excel spreadsheet.
In this video we will look at how to export a Polyboard cutting list to an Excel spreadsheet, a transcription of the video is shown blow.
If we look at a simple kitchen project, to export the cutting list into a spreadsheet, or any other program that can read a .txt file, we click on the Cutting Lists Menu and then >ASCII Export.
However, before exporting the cutting list, it’s a good idea to set-up the export so that it will be imported into your spreadsheet in the correct manner. For instance, if you want to import the cutting list into a pre-formatted spreadsheet where the columns are already set-up into Cabinet, Part, Material, Thickness, Quantity, Length, Width, and a 1 or 0 which will indicate which side of the parts (Top, Right, Bottom, Left) requires edging.
In order to set-up the Polyboard ASCII export so that we can import the cutting list directly into the pre-formatted spreadsheet, we begin by clicking on the Cutting Lists menu and then >Cutting List Options. In these options we have an ASCII option which includes a Format option. If we click on the three dots … to the right in this menu, we can then click on >Format.
This will open a dialog box with 2 lists. The left side has the Available Items and the right side has the items that will actually be written into the ASCII file. To begin, you can clear everything that is included on the right side list so that we have an empty list. To do so, select the item you want to remove and then click the double arrow facing left << which will move the item to the left side list.
Once the right side list is empty, we can open back up our pre-formatted spreadsheet to see which columns we need. We can see that the first column we need is the Cabinet column. If we look at the Available Items list we can find one called Cabinet. To move it over to the right side list we can select it and click the double arrows facing right >>, or we can hold and drag the item over to the Format list with our mouse. This means that the first item in our ASCII file export will be the Cabinet information.
The next item in our pre-formatted Excel sheet is the Part list. In Polyboard, the part list is called Reference. So we can drag Reference over to the right side. Next is the Material that we are using to create the project, so let’s select and drag Material over from the left to the right. Next is Thickness, then Quantity, then Length (which is called Height in Polyboard), then Width, and lastly is our edging parameters.
We want a 0 or 1 to show which edge needs edging, and to show this in our Excel sheet we will first drag over the parameter called Top Edge present, then Right Edge present, then Bottom Edge present, lastly Left Edge present. We now have all the data present that we want to export, and in the correct order. We will double-check that the Separator option is a semi-colon ; and then we can click OK.
Now, let’s export the cutting list in the ASCII format. So click on the Cutting Lists menu and then >ASCII Export, and choose a place to save the file, with the extension of the file being .txt, and click OK. The program automatically creates an Extension, and we’re going to get rid of each extension by deleting the text and clicking OK, as the extensions will actually add the cabinet name onto the part name, so it will make the part name a bit longer which we would prefer it not to.
The next step will be to export the file into the spreadsheet. Depending on the spreadsheet program that you are using, the import process will be a bit different. In our case, for an Excel spreadsheet, we will begin with selecting the cell that we want the input data to begin on, usually the top left corner of the first column. Then click on the Data menu and then >External data, then >Import data. Next click on the ASCII file that you previously saved and click Open.
When importing into Excel it gives the option of how to import it, and the files we are importing from Polyboard are called Delimited, so select the Delimited option and click Next. You will then see a dialog box where you are able to select which character you’ll be using to delimit the different fields and different items in our list. We had selected the semi-colon when creating the ASCII file so we should click on the semi-colon option here.
We can see that the program shows you in the dialog box how it is going to create the columns and separate them in the list. If it looks like what you are wanting, then you can click Next. In the next set of options we will click the Advanced button to find more options to make sure that the Decimal separator is set to a . point. This makes sure that the program will know that when there is a point in my .txt file, it will treat it as a decimal separator. Click OK and then click Finish.
In Excel, there is an option where Excel can automatically format the width of the cells according to the data, but we don’t want this because we’ve already pre-formatted our spreadsheet table. So to remove this option we can click on Properties (from inside the Import data menu box we opened in the beginning). In the properties menu we can unclick the box to Adjust the column width. Click OK and OK again to finalize the import data action.
You will now be able to see all of your cutting list data inside of your spreadsheet, and with the correct formatting.
Once the cutting list data is inside the spreadsheet, you can easily manipulate the data to create quotes, invoices and other management documents.
If you need help setting up Polyboard export, don’t forget that you can buy one of our training packages from our 1-2-1 training page on our website and we will help you set-up Polyboard and your spreadsheets so that it all works smoothly together.