In Today's article I'll walk you through how you can bring Allen-Bradley Programmable Controller Data into Microsoft Excel 2016 using RSLinx Classic.

NOTE: The below procedure works with any licensed copy of RSLinx Classic, including Single Node, OEM, and Gateway shown below. However, it will not work with the free “Lite” version.

Step 1) Locate the Programmable Controller you'd like to get data from in the RSLinx Classic RSWho window, then right click on it and choose, “Configure New DDE/OPC Topic” as shown below:

Step 2) Now give your Topic a name. In this example I name my new topic “L61”:

Step 3) Next, select the Data Collection tab and review the default settings:

Step 4) When done reviewing the default settings and making any changes, click on the Apply button. Note that in this example I changed the Polled Message rate from 1000ms to 50ms:

Step 5) When prompted, select Yes to update the topic with your changes:

Step 6) Now select Done to close the Topic Configuration window:

Step 7) Now from the Edit menu (only available in licensed versions of RSLinx Classic as noted previously,) select Copy DDE/OPC Link…

Step 8) Then browse for the address or tag whose value you'd like to display in Microsoft Excel:

Step 9) And click on OK when done:

Step 10) Now in Excel, right click on the cell where you'd like the data to appear and select Paste Special:

Step 11) Then choose Paste Link:

Step 12) And select OK:

Step 13) At first you may see “#N/A” as the data is being fetched from RSLinx:

Step 15) However, after a few seconds you should see you Programmable Controller's live data appear:

Step 16) This procedure works for ControlLogix, CompactLogix, PLC-5, SLC-500, and MicroLogix as shown below:

Step 17) If you'd also like to learn how to create a button to upload or download many tag values, search RSLinx Classic's Help on the word “Excel” for example macros:

To watch a video demonstration of the above, check out Episode 41 of The Automation Minute Season 4 below:

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your colleagues on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Goggle Plus!

And if you know anyone who would benefit from Allen-Bradley PLC, HMI, or SCADA training, please let them know about my affordable courses over at TheAutomation School.

You can also share your own thoughts and opinions on this subject by clicking on the “post a comment or question” link below.


Shawn Tierney
Automation Instructor and Blogger (post views: 3,102 views)

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Forum Comments:
  1. Does this procedure allow you to store data or is it real time only?
    My client wants to perform 5 task, storing 3 data points for each task and the once a week download the spreadsheet.
    Is this possible
    I'll let the article and video speak for themselves 🙂
    If you decide you don't want to write Excel VBA code to automate data collection, there are lots of products out there that will do this for you, plus you can also write PLC code to store data in the PLC and then use a button in Excel to read that stored data into Excel.
    Best of luck,
    Shawn Tierney,
    Instructor at The Automation School

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