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Hi I'm working with some web scrapping and the data on my csv files will be constantly changing. I want to open these files on Excel to view and also have it refresh whenever the csv source changes too.

Is this possible?

I have the 2013 Excel version.

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Doesn't Excel give you the option to refresh data from the source file if it was imported properly at some point before? – slhck Jan 12 '13 at 9:19
@slhck yes it has. He has to use import external data and click through the windows. On the last one is little button down left for extended options. Thats the place to go – nixda Jan 12 '13 at 9:40
@nixda When I right click on the imported cells, I get a "Refresh Data" option —I don't have to go through any menus to do that. (Excel 2011 for Mac though) – slhck Jan 12 '13 at 10:07
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Here are the steps to get an automatic refresh from the csv file:

  • From a blank work select "From Text" in the "Get External Data" section of the Data tab
  • Use the Text Import Wizard to set how your csv file will be imported.
  • After you select Finish to exit the Import Wizard, a dialog box titled Import Text will come up.
  • Select the Properties button on this dialog box.
  • An External Data Range Properties box will come up.
  • In the Refresh Control section of the box, you should uncheck the "Prompt for file name on refresh" selection, set the frequency of refresh in minutes, and make sure there will be a refresh when you open the workbook.

You can return to the Properties box anytime by either right-clicking on the imported data in the worksheet or selecting "Connections" from the Data tab.

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If you only want to look at (i.e., monitor) the file, rather than edit or calculate stuff, you'd be better off with a more lightweight solution. Take a look at nirsoft's freeware CSV File Viewer. It gives a much simpler way to open the file & view it - and includes an option for auto-refresh. It also can be invoked by command line, so you can create a batch file with exactly the options you want.

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