Merlin can import lots of file formats, here a list of the currently supported formats:
- MS Project (.mpx, .mpp, .xml)
- OmniOutliner (.ooutline, .oo3)
- OmniPlan (.omniplan)
- NovaMind (.nmind)
- MindManager (.mmap)
- Merlin 1 (.merlin)
- Merlin 2 (.xml)
- Text files (.txt, .csv, .tsv)
- OPML files (.opml)
So you look at the list above, have project WBS saved in MS EXCEL and don’t know how to proceed?
Import from EXCEL is also possible, it cannot work however seamlessly. Merlin cannot know where project related information is contained in any particular EXCEL file, which EXCEL columns contain which Merlin column information or how contained values are to be interpreted in each and every case.
An MS Project, Merlin, OmniPlan, Mindmap file contains data in a predefined way. That means, a developer know exactly where to find the value of task’s title or task’s duration and map it to Merlin title and duration of a newly created task. So when considering importing EXCEL files into Merlin to create tasks out of the sheet, you have to keep in mind that you will perform some additional configuration steps. EXCEL is not a project management software after all, isn’t so?
So, first step is to open your EXCEL file in Microsoft EXCEL and save the sheet as a text file. It can be a comma separated values (.csv) or tab delimited text (.txt) file. As next you open this file with Merlin, select correct separators, quotes, line endings, map your information to Merlin columns and let Merlin create the new tasks for you.
Step 1: You open your EXCEL file in Microsoft Excel, and save as ‘Comma Separated Values (.csv)’
EXCEL creates a file with the file ending csv, separated by semicolon (;)
- If your EXCEL file contains more than the WBS you want to use in Merlin (for example some commenting text on the first or trailing rows), copy the cells with the column header and the data, paste into a new worksheet, and select this sheet when saving into a text file.
Step 2: You drag the csv file onto Merlin’s application icon, or use Merlin’s menu File > Open
Merlin will show the import assistant dialogue
Step 3: First things first…configure the import
– Select at the bottom of the dialogue the correct separator: Semicolon (;) most probably.
If you are not sure, just open the csv file with a text editor to see the separator symbol
- If you are not sure, just open the csv file with a text editor to see if your text is quoted
– Select the correct Line ending.
- If you are not sure change between Mac/DOS/Unix and select the one which lets Merlin interpret the correct amount of columns and records contained in your CSV.
– Select the correct encoding. Change between Western (Mac OS Roman) if the file comes from a Mac user and Western (ISO Latin 1) or Western (Windows Latin 1) if the file comes from a Windows user and see the values in the records. Do they show valid texts and values or do they convert into gibberish?
- If you are not sure what is correct, just open the csv file with a text editor like TextWrangler (free) or BBedit showing the encoding.
– Leave Outline levels to 1, as you are not using any levels.
– Do not include first row. It contained the headers remember?
Step 4: Now you can map csv fields to Merlin columns…
– Click onto ‘Show all import fields’
– Now drag your headers from record 1 on the left side of the dialogue to Merlin columns on the right side. That means; ‘Title’ to ‘Title’, ‘Work’ to ‘Given Planned Work’, ‘Responsible’ to ‘Assigned Ressources’, ‘Note’ to ‘Notes.
– Click on ‘Ok’
– Check your created tasks in Merlin.