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Introducing Spreadsheet Import in Ditto

Jolena Ma
May 25, 2023

One of the biggest challenges of working on copy on a team is that copy is often scattered across a patchwork of tools that are disconnected from one another. One of the most common tools? Spreadsheets.

We often see teams use spreadsheets to track content that’s not mocked up, like error cases or variations. This content can quickly add up and cause overhead, as content in spreadsheets is usually tedious to keep updated, easily gets divorced from the visuals, and adds hours of manual copy and paste work for developers to implement.

At Ditto, our goal is to help teams build a unified copy process that connects copy across all the places where it lives and ensures everyone on a team works from the same source of truth. That’s why we’re excited to announce that, starting today, teams can import content from spreadsheets into Ditto! 🎉 Content and metadata imported from CSV files will get added to Ditto so that it can be worked on and synced alongside all other content.

A Custom Import

Content spreadsheets often contain a lot of context outside of just the content itself, like review status or notes on implementation. When building spreadsheet import, we knew we’d need to support the ability to bring this additional information into Ditto upfront.

In the end, we tackled this with a special “mapping” step in the spreadsheet import flow in Ditto. On this screen, teams will be able to let us know exactly how each component should be configured based on the information in their spreadsheet. In addition to specifying which columns we should use for the name and text values of a component, teams can pull in information for fields like status, tags, notes, and developer IDs.

For example, if a column contains context developers need to know for implementation, those can get pulled into the notes field for each component. If there’s a column that’s critical for categorizing content, that information can get added as to the name of the component, or as a tag in Ditto.

Mapping step

Say Goodbye to Outdated Spreadsheets

Once content is imported from a spreadsheet into Ditto, it’ll now be in a tool that’s built for text, meaning teams will be able to work on, reuse, filter, and hand off that text much more easily. For example, teams will be able to:

  • Reuse that content in any project. Content will no longer be trapped in one-off spreadsheets that are discarded after a project is finished. Anyone on your team can now reuse that content in their projects, saving time and establishing more consistency long-term.
  • Link that content to design and development. That content can now be directly fetched by designers and developers, instead of siloed from other teammates’ processes and manually copy and pasted from spreadsheets to other tools. Designers can reuse that text right in their Figma files using the Ditto plugin, and developers can easily pull any updates using Ditto’s developer integrations.
  • Use features built for text. Because spreadsheets aren’t built for working on product text, teams often come up with specialized notation to indicate key details like dynamic values or variants. With Ditto, teams can work in a tool that’s built to fully support all aspects of text (like pluralization, variables, and rich text), and makes them easy to consume on the design and development side.
  • Get that content reviewed efficiently. Instead of commenting back and forth on cells in spreadsheet, teams can use Ditto’s dedicated text review features to assign text to be reviewed by specific teammates, suggest edits, configure notifications to Slack or email, and more.
  • Automate version history and status tracking. Ditto automatically tracks every edit, so you’ll always be able to drill down into how, when, and by whom each piece of text changed (keeping a clear audit trail). You’ll also be able to mark status and dynamically sync that information to designers and developers instead of asking teammates to periodically open the spreadsheet.
  • Easily search, tag, and filter the content. Content will no longer be trapped in cells that are difficult to organize and search. Content in Ditto can searched and filtered using any property, as well as organized into groups and folders, tagged, and more.

Getting Started

To try it out, just head to your workspace’s component library in Ditto’s web app, click “New Component,” and then “Import from string file.” To learn more, check out our full help guide on spreadsheet import.

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