An Overview of Unito’s Integration for Microsoft Excel Online

Ready to start syncing Microsoft Excel spreadsheets from your browser with automated updates? Here's what you need to know.

In this Excel integration article:

Unito's integration for Microsoft Excel enables you to pull crucial data out of your other tools and into a spreadsheet, or vice versa when you create a flow.

To sync Excel with Unito, you'll also need to add Unito's add-in for Microsoft Excel. This add-in tells Unito which columns to sync and must be added to each spreadsheet you'd like to sync.

Which version(s) of Excel can I sync? Unito's connector supports Excel Online with spreadsheets stored in OneDrive; files stored in SharePoint cannot currently be synced.

How does Unito sync data fields to and from Microsoft Excel?

To connect Microsoft Excel and/or another tool through Unito Sync Platform, users create flows. Flows represent the connection between Excel and other tools comprised of four steps:

Any text or number field(s) in your other tools will appear in Excel Online synced to your columns. That’s why the first row of your spreadsheet (also known as a table header or header row) should clearly identify the data in each column.

Excel Header Row for Unito Sync with field names populated

Unito syncs rows as individual work items. So if you were to sync tasks to a spreadsheet, then those tasks would become rows, while the task fields would become columns.

Tip: We recommend freezing your spreadsheet’s first row by clicking on View then Freeze Panes. This will prevent potential issues with your flow. 

You can also hide the two columns created by Unito: UnitoID and Last Modified. Don't delete these columns though, or else your flow will stop syncing.

What counts as an item in sync?

For Microsoft Excel, Unito counts every synced row as an item in sync.

How to install the Unito add-in for Microsoft Excel

To use this integration, you’ll need to install the Unito add-in for Excel. Add-ins let you do more with your spreadsheets, and you need to install this for Unito to work. 

  1. Start by going to the top of your spreadsheet. Click on File, then Get Add-ins.
  2. In the next screen click STORE and type Unito into the search box.
  3. Click Add and follow the on-screen instructions to install the Unito add-in. 

Three small screenshots showing how to find the Unito Add-In and install it for Microsoft Excel to sync spreadsheetsHow to use the Unito add-in for Excel

Once the Unito add-in is installed, you can access it at any time.

  1. Select Home
  2. Click the ellipsis (three dots) on the right-hand side of the ribbon and select Open Unito.
    1. Note: you'll need to be using a single-line ribbon. If you're using the classic ribbon, expand your window first until you see the Open Unito button.Accessing the Unito add-in for Excel
  3. Now, select Insert Two Columns Into This Sheet.

Unito will automatically add columns called UnitoID and Last Modified. Without these columns, your data will stop syncing with Unito. If you'd like, you can hide them, but don't modify or delete those columns.

Quick summary of best practices for this Excel integration

  • Use the first row as a header. Give each cell descriptive names to match with fields in your other tool (e.g., title,  priority, due date, etc.).
  • Freeze the first row and hide the UnitoID and Last Modified columns created by Unito to prevent issues with your synced data.
  • If you update cells in your header row (e.g. cell B1), the data in the matching columns (e.g. column B) won't sync unless you also change the field mappings in Unito to match these updates.

Setting rules in Unito to manage your Excel spreadsheets

You can set clear rules in Unito to filter information out of your flow. For this integration, you can build two types of rules:

  • Sync column if it has a value: e.g., create a rule in Unito to only sync rows with "any value" in a column you've called "Priority." This would mean only rows with text in that column would sync. 

  • Sync column if it's empty: The exact opposite of the previous rule. Taking that Priority example again, a row will not sync if it has anything in the Priority column.

Read more about setting rules in Unito.

Finding workbooks with a URL

When it's time to connect your Excel spreadsheet, all you have to do is paste the URL to your workbook, then pick the sheet from the dropdown.

Excel url screenshot

Excel url screenshot 2

What this integration doesn’t support (yet!)

Since this is a lite connector, Uniot's Microsoft Excel integration doesn’t do everything a full integration can. Here are some of these limitations.

  • Live sync: Due to limitations in Excel’s API, there can be a bit of a delay in sending information over once created in Excel. If your row is taking a bit longer to sync, try manually saving your spreadsheet.

  • Syncing workbooks that use desktop-only features: A limitation in Excel's API means that workbooks and spreadsheets that use features only available in the desktop version of Excel can't be synced with Unito. Not sure if you're using these features? Check Microsoft's documentation here.
  • Attachments: Not currently supported for this integration.

  • Rich text: That means bold and italic text won't sync over.

  • Hyperlinks: These are considered rich text, so they're not supported by this integration. Note: If you try to sync a hyperlink from one spreadsheet to another, the link might get deleted in the destination spreadsheet.

  • Webhooks aren't supported yet. This means that an Excel flow will check for changes every few minutes rather than syncing changes in real-time.

  • File storage: Unito's Excel connector currently only supports Excel Online with spreadsheets stored in OneDrive. SharePoint storage and desktop Excel files are not yet supported.

Watch a video demo of Unito's Excel integration with Jira

Got feedback? Submit a Unito feature request to let us know what you'd like to see in the next update to our Microsoft Excel integration.