Searching through prior threads it seems that this is the case. It is baffling that Autodesk hasn't included a simple way to do this. It seems that their excuse is that this defeats the purpose of a BIM model. Excel is a very powerful calculation tool, not to mention just a very efficient way of presenting data, until REVIT can do the same things, Excel will continue to be necessary.
Autodesk people, do you do ANY market research to determine how people in the real world actually use your software? It seems that you have absolutely no understanding of the need to do things quickly.
I agree it's frustrating at first, but give Revit schedules a chance. They use the same formula formatting as Excel, and they're just as powerful, if not more so once you get them down. That being said, getting them down does take a while, and we still combine AutoCAD drawings with Excel schedules on them with our Revit plans.
Tens of thousands of users should not need to re-write perfectly functional macros, formulas, etc just because Autodesk refuses to provide an appropriate solution to Excel. Not to mention there are just too many things that Revit schedules simply can't do as well or at all that Excel does. If Autodesk had any competition they would be forced to do stuff like this.
Hopefully one day Google will create some BIM or CAD software.
I'm a heavy user of Excel and feel the pain when dealing with Revit's amputated formula's and functions, which is one of my top issues with Revit currently. (See my posts in this thread for specifics). I create a network database for our electrical panels/systems in Excel which works very well, and is imported into AutoCAD via a script that is written by the program. When we first began using Revit this was a major issue for us. We would create an AutoCAD drawings and create our schedules there, and then link that .dwg into Revit.
However, now that we are moving forward more and more into Revit and it's systems, the scheduling power of Revit is (for the most part) eclipsing the use of the excel spreadsheets. Why? Because Revit's schedules directly interact with the elements with a Revit Project. If fact, one of the more powerful features is that if you make changes directly to a Revit Schedule (could be a single element or even all elements), that change is carried on to all applicable elements in the Project instantly. Revit's schedules directly interact with the database, rather than simply report data. At this point, our longing to be able to link Excel files into Revit has greatly diminished.
Again, as mentioned above, I WISH that Revit has even the most basic functions of Excel, but this Revit program is in continuous evolution (albeit extremely slow) and perpetual development. I doubt that it will ever reach Excel's potential, but there is evident of advancement, notable with the addition of the ROUND functions.
I know this question is ages old, but I was looking for a solution to the same thing. I'm in a small firm and running its first Revit project alone. There simply isn't time for me to develop everything (namely schedules that look like the principal wants) the first time around. So for the pricing set, I imported an Excel sheet as a data link into an empty AutoCAD file and then linked that file into my Revit sheet. It's absolutely backward, but it works! Hope this helps someone.
Nice, good tip. I've also recently found an add-in that has some neat Revit to Excel and Excel to Revit functionality. Check out Excel 2 Revit. We've used the trial version, and it works pretty well.
I link EXCEL into AutoCAD as a TABLE, then Link AutoCAD into Revit. Long Process but works.
Update EXCEL File
Then Reload/Refresh TABLE in AutoCAD,
Then Reload your LINKED AutoCAD File in Revit.