Data4Docs User Guide

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User Guide


The User Guide is intended as an aid to help users understand what to expect from the Data4Docs solution. It covers subjects ranging from installation, how to use it, where to use it, and its behaviors, to requirements, capabilities and limitations.


Data4Docs User Guide Revision: 1.0

Welcome to the demonstrator for the Data4Docs solution.  The purpose of this system is to allow you to repeatably get information from a Microsoft® Excel® based spreadsheet into your documents when:

  • Your spreadsheet source is similar; or from the same ‘template’.
  • Your document(s) use the same information repeatedly.
  • There is no need to update the spreadsheet source from the document.

This is not a mail merge application, nor does it cause you to update your links one-by-one.  Recipients of the document do not need to have the source spreadsheet.

System Requirements


Microsoft® Office 2013 or above


Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 or later


Microsoft® Office 2010 or above


Microsoft® Windows® 7 Professional or later

Does NOT work on:

Macintosh, Microsoft® Office for Macintosh


The system does not require installation. Rather, it is copied into a folder of your choice, usually somewhere in your ‘My Documents’ folder, and becomes a master file.
It does not use shortcuts or menus for access because the features are a property of the document, just as it’s title and author are properties of the document.


Once the document is opened in Microsoft® Word (and Macros are enabled), Data4Docs will inform you of its current status; whether it has been updated from its current source, and if it is a Demonstration copy.
You have full editing capability for the document; in fact, you can even copy / paste or delete the transfer fields. Keeping the editing features available allows you to adapt the master document over time to account for changing business conditions or adapt the document for a particular project, customer, or offering.
The features of the Data4Docs system are presented when you right-click on the Data4Docs enabled document. You will see a ‘Data4Docs Source Pair>’ at the bottom of the menu that comes up. When you highlight this selection, you may:Right-Click Menu Display

  • Update Data – this opens the Paired (associated) Microsoft® Excel® based file and refreshes all of the paired fields and tables.
  • Change Source File – Change the Microsoft® Excel® based file that you are getting the data from.
  • Display Source Name – Shows the path and filename of the Microsoft® Excel® based file that was last used to update the document.
  • Ask for File on Start – Requests a user to select a Microsoft® Excel® based file when the document is opened next.
  • No/Update at Start – Allows you to force the data to be updated – or not - the next time the file is opened.
  • Disconnect  - Turns off all Data4Docs features and potential for updating data in the current document so that the current state of the document is kept (preserved).  There is no way to turn it back on after this has been selected.
Use Scenarios

The Microsoft® Word application provides several methods to get data out of a Microsoft® Excel® file and into the Microsoft® Word based file.  The Data4Docs system adds to the existing capabilities to handle processes that are supposed to be repeatable.
The Data4Docs solution is useful when you are consistently using a spreadsheet from a master file (either a template, or just another spreadsheet) as source data and consistently need to get that same data into a document that again is based on a master or template file.  Examples are:

  • An Estimate is created using Microsoft® Excel® and results in Proposal and Contract documents.
  • Lab data is entered into a Microsoft® Excel® based spreadsheet for analysis and the reports is created using Microsoft® Word.
  • A Schedule is created/updated in a spreadsheet and is transferred into a plan document which needs to be edited for expectations and variances.
  • An Action Item list is maintained in a spreadsheet, which periodically is used to generate a status report that needs to have specific actions and comments entered.

The scenarios for the best use of a Data4Docs solution are in the Usage Guide


Your Data4Docs system may have additional capabilities depending on the package purchased.  Typical additions are the ability to:

  • Create one or more documents from the Microsoft® Excel® based file;
  • Use a Microsoft® Word based file as the source document;
  • Use a different ending when displaying error, empty or missing cell text.

Source File:


Uses the open file if the name and path match.  Uses the current values, regardless if source changes have been saved.



‘File Open’ Dialog displayed if



       ‘Update at Start’ is true, OR



       ‘Ask for File on Start’ is True


Name Changed

Same response for when the Source is Missing


Wrong ‘Master’

Shows the ‘ No Cell’ message in the document



Acquires the value(s); does not change the Source


Hidden Worksheet

Acquires the value(s); does not change the Source


Has Macros

Disabled if Data4Docs opens the Source;
If already opened, does not change if macros are enabled / disabled.

Single Value Cells:


Shows the ‘ Error Cell’ message in the document



Shows the ‘ Empty Cell’ message



Shows the ‘ No Cell’ message



Uses the format of the Source Cell

Table Cells:

Extra Rows

Adds or Removes rows to match the Source


Extra Columns

Ignores columns with unmatched headings


Error/ Empty/ Missing

As Single Value Cells (above)



Inserts the value(s); does not change the Protection


Has Form Fields

Inserts the value(s); does not change the Form Fields

Value Destination:

Has Special Formatting

Uses the Special formatting in the destination.


Was Deleted

The Value Won’t be shown as there is no insertion point.


Is a FormField

Does not insert a value.


Types of Fields transferred:

Single Value(one cell)
Tables (more than one cell)

Maximum No. of Fields:

50 of either field type. A table counts as 1

Maximum Table Size:

Columns: > 10


Rows: >100

Demonstration Expiration:

30 Days from when the demonstrator is first opened.


Problems with the Spreadsheet Source
Like it or not, some spreadsheets break easily.  This is a problem when you are trying to get information from a ‘broken’ spreadsheet.
The Data4Docs system tells you when there is a problem with the information it is trying to get from the spreadsheet.

  • Deleted – The cell location or table has been deleted or doesn’t exist in the paired spreadsheet. The value that shows up on your document will end with:
        • – NoCell >>” (Bold is used for emphasis in this document only.)
  • Empty – The cell location exists, but contains no value. The value that shows up on your document will end with:
        • – EmptyCell>>
  • Error – The cell location exists, but it’s value is an error (#N/A, #Name, etc.).  The value that shows up on your document will end with:
        • – Error Cell>>

Why Does this Happen?

  • The spreadsheet source is incomplete, or has errors;
  • You are paired with the wrong spreadsheet;
  • The source spreadsheet has been intentionally changed
  • The source spreadsheet has been unintentionally changed


You should enter required information in empty cells of your source spreadsheet. Often this corrects error cells also.  You will need to correct remaining errors on the spreadsheet as well. 

Once the spreadsheet is corrected, return to the Data4Docs document, right-click and select ‘Update Data’ from the “Data4Docs Source Pair>” item.

You may also be using the wrong spreadsheet file.  To check this, from the Data4Docs document, select the “Display Source Name” from the “Data4Docs Source Pair>” selection list.  The displayed path AND file name should agree with your expectations.  Often the filename is correct, but the path is in error.

The spreadsheet has been intentionally changed.  If  the field is no longer needed in the master Data4Docs document, simply delete it from the Data4Docs master document file.

A simple, painless remedy is not available if the spreadsheet source was unintentionally changed other than 1) undo the change(s) in the spreadsheet, 2) start from a backup copy; 3) start over with a new spreadsheet; 3) delete the field from the Data4Docs document.

Problems with the resulting Data4Docs document

1. The spreadsheet file is always requested anytime the document is opened.

Why Does this Happen?

  • The option of “Ask for File on Start” has been set AND you cancel out of locating the spreadsheet file, or
  • “Update at Start” is set AND the spreadsheet file has been renamed or moved.
  • Both of the above conditions are true.


To see if “Ask for File on Start” has been set, select the “Display Source Name”.  If it shows “<Waiting File>” you must select a valid spreadsheet file.  Use the ‘Change Source File” option to do this, or select a spreadsheet file the next time the Data4Docs document is opened.

The “Update at Start” has been set if the menu selection is “No Update at Start”.  Select the “No Update at Start” to stop this behavior.

2. Data4Docs Features aren’t available or don’t show up.

    • The status screen doesn’t show up, <or>
    • Right-Click doesn’t show the “Data4Docs Source Pair>” selection
    • Right-Click shows the “Data4Docs Source Pair>” selection, but none of the selections work, they are greyed out.

Why Does this Happen

      • Demonstration time has expired,
      • the Document is ‘Disconnected’
      • Macros are disabled, or
      • you have saved the document in Microsoft® Word as a ‘Docx’ instead of a ‘docm’ (Macros enabled) document.


If your demonstration time has expired and you have found the system useful and appropriate for your processes, please contact ToolSleuth, LLC for purchase options.  The demonstration expires 30 days after you first opened the Data4Docs demonstration.

If the document was disconnected and saved or saved as a ‘docx’ in Microsoft® Word, there is no remedy.  This is by design because it is easy to create a new document from the Data4Docs original.  You could also use an earlier version of the specific document.

If you accidentally ‘disconnected’ the document, the “Data4Docs Source Pair>” will be shown, but all of the selections are greyed out (disabled) and you can not select any of them.  Just save the document as a new name, close it, and open the previous version.You will need to add your newest changes, but you can copy/paste from the renamed document.

Enabling Macros (High is recommended)
Data4Docs uses Signed Macros, so you will need to have them enabled at the high level.  This is accessed from the menu bar in one of two ways:

      • Tools/Options/Security & Macro Security button, or
      • Tools/Macros/Security will bring up the Security dialog box.

Settings of medium or low will also cause macros to work.


Macro Security Dialog Boxes
Support The demonstration package is not supported by ToolSleuth, LLC except by guidance in this document or on the website. However, if you are having difficulties, we do want to hear about them. Please use the ‘Contact Us’ page available on our website.