Tinderbox Forum

Import student list from excel

How do I import a list of student names from excel into Tinderbox. All of the “similar topics” assume that I already know how to import. PLEASE HELP - I HAVE TO TEACH TOMORROW!

Helpers assemble! First take a look at these notes:

Too much? let’s tear that down. Take a look at your Excel file. A key point here is the your Excel file’s column headings will/can/should(!) map to Tinderbox attributes.

I’ll post this just so you know the Universe is listening. morefollows…

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As you are in a hurry, let’s skip some detail:

  • Make a copy of your Excel file. Why? So if we mess up (never happens, of course :roll_eyes: we can recover quickly).
  • look at the top row of the spreadsheet. Are these heading or the first set of per-student data.
  • if the latter, add a new top row, which we will use as heading to help Tinderbox with the import, and more importantly you with the task at hand.

If you read the links I send earlier and in case they didn’t make sense the next steps are enlightened self-interest; helping our future self.

In the Excel file. Edit the heading (or add one if missing) for each Excel column. Set it as a Tinderbox type attribute name. Most obviously, Tinderbox attribute names don’t use spaces so “Student name” might be amended to “StudentName”. But why…

The receiving Tinderbox file. We could just drag in the data, but a very small amount of mis-en-place will save time later. Take a look at the columns. what sort of data are they. Basically, you are looking for one of a few basic types:

  • text, i.e. likely a ‘String’ type attribute in Tinderbox.
  • numbers, i.e. no text, so likely a ‘Number’ type attribute in Tinderbox.
  • dates, i.e. a ‘Date’ type attribute in Tinderbox.
  • yes/no, or true/false, or 1/0 data i.e likely a ‘Boolean’ attribute in Tinderbox.

So a column in Excel ‘Started’ with the date the student started might best be headed ‘StartDate’ in Excel and there in no work in Tinderbox as that column will map to the built-in StartDate Date-type attribute.

The point of the process its to set-up attributes of the right (pertinent) type for each column and give the column in Excel the name of the attribute. If you can use existing built-in attributes ($Name, $StartDate) all the better but don’'t feel forced to do so; make attributes of the name and type you need. Two naming exceptions: title ($Name) and text ($Text). One column will likely obviously be the name of each Tinderbox note (record) once imported, for instance the student’s name. The column you should label ‘Name’ and it then maps to the Tinderbox attribute Name, i.e. the note’s title ($Name). Similarly, if there is a column of general data that might best be used as the note’s text, make the Excel column ‘Text’ so on import Tinderbox will put that column’s data into $Text.

This all makes sense. I’ll try it now. Thanks. Carolivia

If that is overload, than please post a zip of the XLS here, our—as some data will be private/personal—a spreadsheet with the column heads (if name and the first couple of rows with things like student ID or name altered. But if, for example, the student ID is number use the same number of digits but just one that aren’t their ID. Why? Then we here in the forum can take that, and help with the above steps and set up a TBX ready for import if you’re unsure how.

Does that help? :slight_smile:

Okay, I have an excel column with $Name at the top and 25 student names. How do I get Tinderbox to create a separate note for each name. When I copy and paste I get one note with 25 names. I want 25 notes.

I think my problem is even simpler . . . what do I click on to tell Tinderbox to import a file? I don’t see the word “Import” on any menu. Do I just click OPEN for the file? What kind of extension does the file need for Tinderbox to import?

No, don’t copy paste the Excel file’s contexts. Drag the xls file onto your Tinderbox window. You should get a note per student. If you’ve, followed the suggestions above, everything should arrive in the right place format. If you didn’t it should all import OK, but to you may have to do that same work, just after import.

Let us know if it imports OK. If it fail, please post link to a cut down version of the XLS file so we replicate the issue (noting my earlier point about possible personal/sensitive data therein).

Nope. Just drag the XLS file from Finder onto the view pane of your Tinderbox file (which, in fairness, is quite normal import behaviour in macOS).

I’m doing something wrong. I dragged the xls into the Tinderbox pain, but it still creates only one note. The column header is labeled $Name. I’m sure there’s something simple I keep neglecting to do. SIGH!

Please post your excel file or private message it, will get it into a Tbx project for you.

Also - when labeling the headers - don’t prepend with the “$” sign. Tinderbox will do that.

Oh dear, sorry to hear that. But I can’t see the the example file (as per above) . <hint>

One thought, you say you have an Excel column head called “$Name”. Sadly, by calling it “$Name”, not “Name” you are (inadvertently) asking Tinderbox to find the title of that column in an attribute called $Name that doesn’t exist.

Don’t feel bad. A convention in the forum is to refer to the names of attribute by using a $-predefined name. This is because many posters can’t or won’t look up method for mark-up in posts. So, usually, the context is enough to explain whether $Name means the value of attribute Name' or an attribute called ‘Name’. But much scope for confusion, no worries.

If any of your Excel file headers include a ‘$’ prefix, delete the ‘$$’ and try again. Even better `, upload a zip of your XLS so be can see how it behaves.

†. If lost, sent me a forum direct message, ideally with a link to the file (in confidence) and I’ll try take a look. I quite appreciate the nature of looming deadlines.

I have a sample file now - but I’m told that the excel file is not authorized. it has to be jpeg, etc.

As already noted above, you can’t upload an XLS file. So, Zip it (Finder, right click, Compress) and upload the resulting .zip file. :slight_smile:

Here it is zipped.
ASOSYSOS001.tbx.zip (15.2 KB)

That’s the wrong file!! Hold on!

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Here’s the right file, zipped.
TBXTrial01.xlsx.zip (7.7 KB)

got it.

Oh, dear. No data!

One column called $Name. But even if it was called Name it won’t help as there is no data apart from 25 cells in column A from “OA” through “OZ”.

There is no student data I can see. My hunch is you are downloading a report from some admin system that is malfunctioning and not retunring any data (if this is the actual output). I’f suggest perhaps ringing departmental IT support (if anyone’s in on a Sunday) and ask if they can fix the report so it returns actual data.