oh I see now
well, not exactly what I was looking for
but it is a good suggestion to replace the index from an xls file to a html file
1) I don't understand how the html file is produced from the excel file
2) Also, I don't understand, how the Href tag works.
3) And how the html file can 'know' its url and thus search for the specific files in that directory.
Can you explain these things to me please?
Also, couldn't we embed that html file into an excel document, so that when I download the excel file, it will display inside the html index?
Or isn't it possible to make an excel file that will open the html index and convert the links into the correct ones? ie. the filenames with the path of the current web folder?
Let's look at those in slightly different order.
The html file source looks like this: (Modified for this post!) (And that URL tag is not in there!)
<A Href="a.txt"> Top important file for Kalos!! - a.txt </A> <BR>
<A Href="b.txt"> b.txt </A> <BR>
<A Href="c.txt"> c.txt </A> <BR>
So for #3, because it is in the same folder as the files, it "just knows" because it's assuming it's in the same folder, and it is. A slightly fancier way to say it is that it is just what basic spec web behavior is - look in the same folder until you tell it to look anywhere else.
For #2, "Anchor" is the A letter, and that too "just is" - it's the raw command to produce a link. It basically says "look here for the file" but then "display the link like whatever comes next". The middle half is basically any text you want to put there.
Then it just closes the link so the computer knows it's done.
BR is a line break.
I didn't spend any time putting any fancy header text on there, but once the basics work, you can fiddle with that later.
For #1, How it is produced, it's basically the right couple of columns of the excel file copied wholesale and pasted into the text html file. Notice for later you can put other things in the excel file you don't need to copy over. That's for another day.
So once you get going, you just paste the list of files in the left couple of columns, and the right side is supposed to automatically concatenate them together to produce your index file.
"Also, couldn't we embed that html file into an excel document, so that when I download the excel file, it will display inside the html index?
Or isn't it possible to make an excel file that will open the html index and convert the links into the correct ones? ie. the filenames with the path of the current web folder?"
These make less sense. You were saying a big restriction was you couldn't load a lot of stuff up on that server. So the excel file is down on your machine where you're working on it. So you're not downloading it anywhere - you already have it on your machine. And you really can't try to embed the excel file inside the html one - that starts to get way out of hand. The production flow runs the other way. Your excel file is your "engine" that does all your work, and "12 clicks later" you have a simple html index. As long as that html index is in the same folder as the files, it shouldn't need a full path - that's what you wanted earlier, flexibility to move the files and not break the index.
And don't try to "super optimize it" to save 1 step - that just makes it get all messy! Once you get the proof of concept working like tomos was saying, it really is as easy as "drop file list into excel, copy right few columns of excel, open text file, control-v paste and save" and it's done. Fast and ruthless.
The other guys are right that later you'll want a parallel investigation into content systems, but this was supposed to get "this month's problems" solved in under a day once you get the idea, and then you can grind out a more thorough review of a few different content systems and maybe even get your IT guy or someone to engage a thorough test.
Does that help?