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Checking MX String Labels (v8i)

Checking to see if Surveyed string labels are valid can be done within an Excel spreadsheet.  The process is to create an output file containing a report of strings of the Topo model and importing this file into Excel for checking.  Excel will check each label against a predefined list of features and identify any that are not included in the list.


  • Generate an MX report by opening an output file (File -> Open Output File ...)
  • Enter a name for this output file
  • Report the string names (Report -> Standard Reports -> String Names...)
  • Close the output file by hitting the stop button on the toolbar

In Excel

Open N:\cadd\cadd\Excel\mx-strings.xls file.  This file contains 2 sheets; Topo Input and Valid MX Labels.  If there is any data on the Topo Input sheet, delete it by first hitting the button in the upper left corner of the sheet (the spot left of the column 'A' label and above the row '1' label).  Hit the Delete key on the keyboard.  It is very important that the Delete key on the keyboard is used for this action.  DO NOT use the Delete command on the File menu.

  • Select cell A1.
  • Start the import wizard to bring in the MX report (Data -> Import External Data -> Import Data...).
  • Navigate to the project directory, select the MX output file and hit the Import button.
  • Make sure "Fixed width" is selected.
  • To eliminate the file header, change the "Start import at row" value to 20.
  • Hit the Next> button.
  • Field widths do not matter so hit the Next> button again.
  • Field properties will be fine, hit the Finish button
  • When prompted for the location to import the data, make sure this field is set to $A$1.  If it isn't, place the cursor in cell A1 and click the mouse to select it.  The panel will probably display "='Topo Input'!$A$1".
  • Hit the OK button to complete the import.
  • Run the CheckMX macro (Tools -> Macro -> Macros...).

The macro will modify column B and sort the data in column A.  You will see string labels in column A (plus page headers and dates from the output file) and numbers in column B.  Any cell in column B that has a value of #N/A instead of a number is an invalid string label.  If there are valid string labels that were identified as invalid, switch to the sheet marked "Valid MX Labels" and add them to the end of the list.  The "Topo Input" sheet will update immediately.

Once invalid strings have been identified, exit Excel without saving the sheet.  That way the data will not have to be deleted the next time a model is checked.

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