How to make an exhibit from a spreadsheet

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You should follow the Getting Started Tutorial first. This tutorial is just for getting data out of spreadsheets and into Exhibit's JSON format.

Using Babel

(1) Carefully select just the text in the following table and copy it to your clipboard:

label type favorite-color homepage:url
Stefano Mazzocchi Person blue http://www.betaversion.org/~stefano/
Ryan Lee Person red http://ryanlee.org/
David Huynh Person blue; eggshell http://people.csail.mit.edu/dfhuynh/

(2) Then browse to Babel. Hold down the Ctrl key while you click on that link so that you get a new window and don't lose these instructions.

(3) Select

  • "Tab-Separated Values" from the "from format" list, and
  • "Exhibit JSON" from the "to format" list.

(4) Pick "the data is text I can paste into this web page" in the "data to convert" column.

(5) Paste the table you copied into the big text box.

(6) Click on the "Upload and Preview" button.

You should now see an exhibit of 3 items. This "trick" works with data copied straight from Excel spreadsheets or from Google Spreadsheets, too.

Note that the first row must contain the property names, which must include "label" in one of the columns. And the first column must be the unique identifier for each record (hence called "label" in the example above).

Also note that you can store the type definition for a column by appending a :type to the end of a column name, such as homepage:url, and babel will add it to the schema at the end of the json output.

You can now click on the Download Raw Data button in that Exhibit to get the Exhibit JSON data. Note that you could have gotten that data from the Babel page, too, by clicking the "Upload and Convert" button. For more information, refer to Babel's documentation.

Other Methods

Jon Bogacki has written a macro enabled Excel Spreadsheet to convert Excel spreadsheet data into Simile Widgets JSON format: JSON Maker for Simile Widgets. The spreadsheet provides a simple interface to set your data Types and Properties.


Now that you have the data, following the Getting_Started_with_Exhibit for how to make the HTML page.

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