I am currently having a bit of a delima importing excel spreadsheets into InDesign.

The spreadsheets in question use formulas to pull data from other spreadsheets on the network (using vlookup) - currently set as, Part Number (Alpha-numeric, Description (Paragraph), case qty. (number), Price (currency).

When importing the spreadsheet (using File > Import), it imports everything correctly, including the headers; except for the description paragraphs.

I am currently using ID5.5 and the spreadsheets are .xlsx

Is it a bug with InDesign? Am I doing something wrong?

2 Answers 2


After doing several tests, I had a hunch that ID5.5 might not be compatible with new excel files (with the .xlsx extension). So I saved my excel spreadsheets with the earlier 2007-2013 version (.xls), and long and behold, it imported the data as desired. I hope that this little tip might help someone who might be having a similar issue. TIP OF THE DAY: Always check for software/document compatibility.

  • This problem still persists, even in CC 2018, and I ran into an issue with .xls files, they are A LOT bigger than .xlxs (mine was like 22 mb instead of 2 mb) and was REALY slow importing. While .xlxs was really fast (and i had many sheets). I mean, .xlxs is now standard for Excel so ideally Adobe should make this work! Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 12:25

Try this

Select "Place" from the File menu. Select "Import Options" and double-click the Excel file containing your spreadsheet. The Import Options dialog box opens. Click the "Sheet" menu and select the worksheet from the Excel workbook that you want to import

  • The issue is not how to import it, but rather that I'm importing a spreadsheet with formulas in them. If the formula results in a number, the number is imported, but if it text, the cell will be blank. This is where I have the problem.
    – elrayyes
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 19:53
  • Right, but importing a document is essentially like embedding it. Placing the file makes it a linked object which can be subject any live modifications. The threads I read through used 'place' instead of 'import'. Sorry I couldn't be more help. Good luck.
    – ddrt
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 20:21

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