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How to Create a Web Query in Microsoft Excel


You create a web query in Excel when you want to pull data from an internet page and pop it into a spreadsheet. You can retrieve text from a web page, data in tables, and data that is preformatted on the web page.

To see how all this works, do the following:

  • Open a new Excel spreadsheet
  • Connect to the internet, if you're not already
  • When you are connected, click inside cell A1 of your spreadsheet
  • From the Excel menu bar, click on Data
  • From the drop down menu, select Get External Data
  • A sub menu appears
  • From the sub menu, click on New Web Query
  • A dialogue box pops up like the one below:

the Web Query dialogue box

There are three sections to the dialogue box. The first section is where you type in the address of the internet page that you are trying to pop into Excel; the second section is where you specify which part of the web page you want to insert into your spreadsheet; and the third section sounds a bit technical, but basically you are choosing the type of formatting to use: do you want to keep the colour scheme, or strip it bare?

In the first section, you need to type in the name of our internet page. The internet page contains a table with some product information and some prices. By all means, load it into your browser and have a look at it. But first, you need the address. So:

  • In the text box right at the top of the dialogue box, type in this internet address. Make sure you spell it exactly as it is below:

  • When you have typed the address in the text box, Select "The entire page" from section 2 of the dialogue box.
  • From section 3 of the dialogue box, select "None"
  • Click OK when you're done

When you click the OK button, another dialogue pops up. This time your are asked where in your spreadsheet you want to put the data. You only need to specify the starting cell. The dialogue box looks like this:

The dialogue box is already set up to put your data into the spreadsheet starting at cell A1. But you could change that, if you wanted. Cell A1 is fine for us, so just click the OK button.

Excel will now look for the internet address you typed. When it finds the web page, it will then take the text and the contents from the table and put them into your spreadsheet.

If the Web Query seems to be taking too long, you can Refresh it. To do that, click on View > Toolbars > External Data. A toolbar pops up on your page. Click the Refresh icon, as shown below:

If everything goes well, you should have a spreadsheet that looks like the following one:

As you can see, Excel has imported the data from a web page on the internet into a spreadsheet. You now have a way to get the latest prices from Head Office!



In the next part, we'll import a web page with better formatting.

Web Query Part Two -->

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