Excel spreadsheet update not updating in PRO

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06-03-2020 02:09 PM
JeanetteHarlow1
New Contributor III

When I update and save an xlsx sheet, the changes are not reflected in Arc GIS PRO.  Does anyone else have this problem?  Has anyone  found a specific method to making the changes reflect?

I usually have to turn off PRO and then restart the program for the changes to be reflected.  That said, recently I noticed that even turning off the software and restarting that the changes don't reflect in PRO.

Please note, I make the change in excel.  I save the file.  I close Excel.  

In PRO I remove the old sheet from the Contents pane and refresh the homefile the spreadsheet is in.  I also refresh the folder the spreadsheet is in.  And I do this in a variety of order.  

It also seems that just being patient does not work.

I have had this problem for many PRO versions and currently am running 2.5.0

11 Replies
DanPatterson
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Jeanette Harlow  From

 Work with Microsoft Excel files in ArcGIS Pro—Excel | Documentation 

under Limitations

Excel tables are read-only in ArcGIS Pro; however, they can be edited in Excel while you have a worksheet open in the Contents pane (stand-alone table layer). The layer will only display the updated (saved) values for edits made outside of ArcGIS Pro when ArcGIS Pro has been closed and reopened.


... sort of retired...
rburke-bsrc
Regular Contributor

Strange, this is no longer in the Limitations, but it is still true.

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JoeBorgione
MVP Esteemed Contributor

It also seems that just being patient does not work  Nothing is more true when working with Excel in ArcGis Pro...

That should just about do it....
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BarryKronenfeld1
New Contributor II

Yes I have this problem too. It's not just that Excel files are read-only, the problem is that ArcGIS Pro won't reread an excel file once it's been read once. One would think the "refresh" command would do this but it doesn't work for me. I have to close Pro down and open it again every time. Very frustrating when I'm working through a large Excel file with lat/lon values and using ArcGIS Pro to find typos.

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JoeBorgione
MVP Esteemed Contributor

If I may make a suggestion: unless you have a compelling reason to leave your data in the excel format, convert the excel worksheet into an ArcGIS geodatabase table and perform your edits there.  Excel is a spreadsheet; ArcGIS is a database management system.  You'll have far less headaches if you treat your data as a database.

That should just about do it....
BarryKronenfeld1
New Contributor II

Sure, I know. But I have reasons for keeping the data in Excel (will be using it as an exercise in a class where students don't know GIS) and I have this naive idea that maybe somebody from ESRI is watching these message boards and will fix the actual problem. It would be a really easy programming fix, the functionality is already there just need to call the function that reads the Excel file whenever the user hits the refresh button in the Catalog pane. 

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DanPatterson
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Work with Microsoft Excel files in ArcGIS Pro—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation 

Excel tables are read-only in ArcGIS Pro; however, they can be edited in Excel while you have a worksheet open in the Contents pane (stand-alone table layer). The layer will only display the updated (saved) values for edits made outside of ArcGIS Pro when ArcGIS Pro has been closed and reopened.

One simple reason that the "refresh" would be a bad idea is when the student enters a piece of text in a numeric field... what should happen? should the whole field be turned to text? or an error message tossed up? 

There are many other scenarios where a lot more than a simple "refresh" won't help.

Use the opportunity to show the students that working with gdb tables is very similar in some respects to working with spreadsheets... but different... they won't rely less on the familiar and be able to apply their skills to a new environment.


... sort of retired...
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BarryKronenfeld1
New Contributor II
Use the opportunity to show the students that working with gdb tables is very similar in some respects to working with spreadsheets

This is just my own prep work. No students involved (yet). 

One simple reason that the "refresh" would be a bad idea is when the student enters a piece of text in a numeric field... what should happen?

The "refresh" option is in the Catalog pane not the Map pane, there's no data entry going on in Pro when this happens.

As I understand it, the "refresh" option in Catalog should show any changes to files, folders, etc. made outside of ArcGIS Pro since the Catalog pane was last refreshed. That's exactly what's happening here, the Excel file is being edited outside of ArcGIS Pro. So shouldn't a Catalog "refresh" clear any old memory of the file?

So let me walk through my case in a bit more detail, I wasn't very clear the first time around:

1. From catalog, I right-click on the Excel file to create a point feature class from lat/lon. The resulting point feature class (but not the Excel file) then gets added to a map.

2. On the map I notice a mistake in one of the point locations.

3. I remove the point layer from the map, save the map, refresh the catalog pane, etc. Pretty much do everything I can think of to make ArcGIS Pro "forget" the excel file (which again was never added to the map anyway) short of closing Pro down completely.

4. I edit the excel file (in MS Excel, not in ArcGIS Pro) and save it.

5. Back in ArcGIS Pro, I repeat step (1) to create a (brand new) point layer from the Excel file and add it to the map. 

So when I create the point layer in step (5) I expect it to be "as if" I were reading the Excel file for the very first time. Why wouldn't it be? But somehow ArcGIS Pro "remembers" the Excel file the way it was the first time around, and doesn't read the file with the new edits I've just saved. The lat/lon mistake, which I fixed in Excel, is still there on the map. No, I should say it is there AGAIN. Why? To me, this is just odd behavior...

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DanPatterson
MVP Esteemed Contributor

I think you need to remove the excel file from Pro in catalog as well, save the project, edit outside Pro, then re-add.  The 'refresh' should occur when the excel file is removed and the project is saved.  When you remove it from the map, there is still a reference to it in the Standalone Tables section in the map's Contents pane.  It needs to be removed as well.


... sort of retired...