How Do I Open OLE in AutoCAD?

Opening OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) files in AutoCAD can be a useful feature when you need to work with different types of data within your CAD drawings. OLE allows you to link or embed files from other applications, such as spreadsheets or documents, into your AutoCAD drawings. In this tutorial, we will explore how to open OLE files in AutoCAD and leverage their functionalities.

What is OLE?
OLE is a technology developed by Microsoft that enables you to create compound documents by combining elements from different applications. With OLE, you can incorporate objects from other programs directly into your AutoCAD drawings while maintaining the ability to edit them in their original application.

Opening an OLE object in AutoCAD
To open an OLE object in AutoCAD, follow these steps:

Step 1: Insert the OLE Object

  • Launch AutoCAD and open the drawing where you want to insert the OLE object.
  • Navigate to the “Insert” tab on the ribbon and click on the “Object” button under the “Linking & Extraction” group.
  • A dialog box will appear. Select “Create New” if you want to create a new object or “Create from File” if you want to insert an existing file as an object.
  • If you choose “Create New,” select the desired application from the list, such as Microsoft Excel or Word.
  • If you choose “Create from File,” click on the “Browse” button and locate the file on your computer.
  • Once you have selected your desired options, click on “OK.”

Step 2: Adjusting Object Properties (optional)

  • After inserting the OLE object, you can adjust its properties to suit your needs.
  • To modify the OLE object’s properties, right-click on it and select “Properties” from the context menu.
  • A properties dialog box will open where you can change various settings like the display options, source file, or update options.
  • Make the necessary changes and click on “OK” to apply them.

Step 3: Interacting with the OLE Object

  • Once you have inserted and adjusted the OLE object, you can interact with it within your AutoCAD drawing.
  • If you inserted an Excel spreadsheet, for example, double-clicking on the object will launch Excel and allow you to edit the data directly.
  • If you embedded a Word document, double-clicking on it will open Word with that document ready for modification.
  • Changes made in the source application will automatically update in AutoCAD when you save them.

Tips and Considerations

Supported File Types

AutoCAD supports various file types for OLE objects. Some common examples include Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (.xls/.xlsx), Word documents (.doc/.docx), Adobe PDF files (.pdf), and images (.jpg/.png). Ensure that the application required to open the file is installed on your computer.

File Size and Performance Impact

Large OLE objects or multiple embedded files can impact AutoCAD’s performance. If you experience slow performance or increased file size, consider linking to external files rather than embedding them. This reduces the file size while maintaining access to updated information.

Updating Embedded Objects

When working with embedded objects, it’s important to keep track of any changes made in the source application. AutoCAD does not support live updates for embedded objects.

To update an embedded object, right-click on it and select “Open Source” or “Open Link.” Make the necessary changes in the source application and save them. Then return to AutoCAD and right-click on the object again, selecting “Update” to reflect the changes.

OLE provides a powerful way to incorporate data from other applications into your AutoCAD drawings. By following these steps, you can easily open OLE objects in AutoCAD and leverage their functionalities seamlessly. Remember to consider file types, performance impact, and updating embedded objects for a smooth workflow.