Exporting selected data from the Watch Window for use in Excel or other applications

Exporting selected data from the Watch Window for use in Excel or other applications

Selecting data for export

Once a section of data is highlighted in the Watch Window with Select Mode Tool ww select mode.png, you can export that data to another program using the Export Data button Tool ww export data.png, selecting File | Export Selected Data... in the Watch Window menu, or Export Selected Data... in the right-click popup menu on a selected data area.

Information-noshadow.png Note: Make sure all the blocks with data you want to export are visible. Hide any blocks that you do not want to export data for.

Tool export data view 1.png

When the Watch Window is in Select Mode drag the mouse pointer to select the section of data you would like to export. The area you have selected for export will be highlighted with a blue color.

Tool export data view 2.png

  • Click the Export Data button on the toolbar.

Choosing data export options

The following dialog box will appear confirming the data you wish to export:

Tool export data view 3.png

This window will give you various options for exporting your data. An explanation of each of the options is given below:

Data Export Summary: This area provides essential information on the data you are exporting. Listed on the left-hand side is the date and time range of the data being exported. On the right-hand side, the blocks data is being exported for are shown.

Choose export mode: If Export All Data is selected, every data point in the selection will be exported; if Export into timeslots is selected, one point per timeslot will be exported.

Choose export delimiter: Select whether the file you export should separate values with commas or tabs. Most programs such as Excel can open the file either way. However, if you use commas as a decimal separator, it may be better to separate values with tabs instead.

Specify Export Timeslot Size: If you would like to specify an alternate timeslot size other than the one shown by default you can either choose a standard size from the dropdown menu or enter your own custom size in the box provided.

The default timeslot size is chosen based on the most common minimum interval between datapoints in the dataset you are exporting. For example, if most of your data has been collected with an update interval of 10 seconds, expect this default to be 10. Note that timeslots cannot be smaller than 0.1 seconds. If you select a timeslot size larger than the data update interval, only one datapoint per timeslot will be exported (some will be ignored). The time boundaries on timeslots are round numbers, e.g. 20, 30, 40 for a 10 second timeslot, to make it easy to plot data.

Suppress export of timeslots with no data: If no data is available for a particular timeslot selecting this option will omit that timeslot from your exported data. This will result in smaller export file sizes if there are gaps in the data you have collected.

Open the exported data in Excel: Checking this option will open Excel with your data after the file has been saved.

Suppress export of bad quality and error status data: Checking this box (the default option) causes data which is not "valid," because it is bad quality or has an error status, to not be exported. In most situations, this is probably the desired behavior. If you need to export data that was flagged as bad quality or error status, uncheck this box.

After you click the Export Data button it will prompt you to save your data to a file. The default filename, unless you change it, is in the following format:

WW <GROUP NAME> yyyy-mm-dd hhmm.csv where the date and time correspond to the beginning of the selected data range.

To change the filename you can specify the name in the Filename text box. Click the Save button to save the file.

Understanding the fields in the exported .csv file

Once your data is opened in Excel it will appear in the following format:

Tool export data view 4.png

  • Date: The date field contains the month/day/year date of the start of the timeslot.
  • Time: The time field contains the local time of the beginning of the timeslot where the data was collected, along with its offset (given in the column header) to Greenwich Mean Time.
  • Date-Time: This field contains a combined date-time field. Use it on the X-axis when plotting data with a scatter plot.
  • Value: Each block exported has a value column. The block number, tag name (if present), and user description (if present) are shown in the column header.
  • Status: Each block exported has a status column. Usually the status will be "OK", but it may also be "BAD QUALITY" or "ERROR".

Information-noshadow.png Note: By default Excel does not show the second values for the Date-Time column, although it does for the Time column. To force seconds to be displayed, select the Date-Time column, right-click, choose Format Cells | Custom. Specify this format: m/d/yyyy h:mm:ss. Use XY (Scatter) to plot the data against the Date-Time values.

Exported data files versus automatically saved data files

Important: Read about Managing Watch Window data files and memory use

All data collected in the Watch Window is automatically saved to .csv files in a different format from data explicitly exported. If required, this raw data can be opened in Excel and analysed, but it is preferable to export the data in question for the following reasons:

  • It is possible to export data from multiple blocks into one export file. The default data files contain data for only one block.
  • Exported data is placed in timeslots, to make it easy to plot, particularly when there are multiple blocks involved.
  • The export data format is designed to be easy to import into Excel, and to allow plotting with no format or content changes.

See also