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Data Acquisition from Word?

Who’d have thought that you could acquire data from test hardware from directly within a Microsoft Word document? Who’d have thought that anybody would even want to?

Ethan Woodruff did, that’s who. Ethan has long been a fan of the under-utilized MATLAB Notebook feature, that allows you to execute MATLAB commands from within a Word document. He has found that this is great for academic settings, giving a very friendly way for professors to introduce students to the power of MATLAB while starting in a familiar environment.

Ethan just posted a quick tutorial he developed for professors that is an introduction to the Notebook interface, with examples specifically relevant to Test and Measurement applications. Educational Lab Report Data Acquisition Example paints an interesting vision of how Notebook can be used to enhance the experience of working with MATLAB. I hope that it gives you good ideas to go off and try on your own. Thanks, Ethan.

A few notes as you work through Ethan’s examples:

  • When you start Notebook, it will start a separate session of MATLAB as an automation server. Make sure that all of the files he provided are in the path (or current directory) of this new MATLAB session.
  • While you can run some of the demo with just MATLAB, you need the Data Acquisition Toolbox and the Instrument Control Toolbox to run the entire file.
  • Don’t expect the example “simpleIC” to work out of the box, since it is configured for Ethan’s hardware setup. I’d suggest you use TMTOOL (in the Instrument Control Toolbox) to auto-generate an equivalent file that works with your hardware.
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