How to Use Excel's RTD Function

By Contributor

Updated December 13, 2019

Microsoft Excel has many financial and mathematical functions that make calculations easy to accomplish with just a few clicks. Most only use Excel for simple tasks; however, Excel has a function called RTD the enables a user to update a spreadsheet with real-time data.

Open the Microsoft Excel software application. Click on the "Start" button of the main operating system menu. Then, choose "Programs" from the start menu. Next, click on "Microsoft Office" in the programs menu and finally select "Microsoft Excel" from the Microsoft Office menu.

Create an RTD server to deliver the real-time data to the RTD function. The real-time data server contains the topics that the RTD function relies upon. See the resources section for more information.

Identify the Program ID that is associated with RTD server. The user usually establishes this COM add-in during the RTD server setup.

Establish the topics for the RTD function. The topics are the individual categories of information that the RTD server delivers to the RTD function. The user defines these topics by what information the user needs to display on the spreadsheet from the RTD server.

Select the cell or cell range to contain the information and then click on the "Insert function" button located on the formula bar. After selecting, the function dialog box appears. Locate the RTD function and click "OK" from the dialog box.

Input the necessary information in the function arguments box. In the first text box, type in the "PROGID" of the registered COM that was created in Step 2. Enclose the name in quotations. Then enter the name of the server where the add-in should run from and be sure to put the name in quotations. If the computer hosts the server and the spreadsheet, then simply type in empty quotations. Finally enter topics that are to update from the server. The maximum number of topics is 38.

Click "OK" when each of the parameters is correct. Double-check the original syntax of each input. If the RTD is not working then check the COM add-in and the RTD server setup and check to make sure the user employed quotations correctly.