How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

Recent Files pane in Excel 2013 was pretty good, but Excel 2016 broke it (Pin pinning recent files no longer sorts alphabetically)

In Excel 2013, you could pin recently opened files to the top of the list, and they would be sorted alphabetically. This way, you could easily get the same file by using keyboard shortcuts. For example, Alt-F-R-1 opened the first one on the list, alphabetically. The order stayed constant until you pinned or unpinned a file.

In Excel 2016, the files are listed chronologically, so Alt-F-R-1 opened the most recently used one. If you wanted to get a certain one, you have to wait to see where it is in the list. This is a TERRIBLE change. I keep opening the wrong file.

(2016-07-11 Dan [MS]: If you're interested in pinning recently used folders, please go vote on this other UserVoice idea, so that we can keep the two seperate: https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/15148899-enable-user-to-pin-folders-to-the-recent-lists-for)

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    Jon Peltier shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    completed  ·  Dan Battagin [MS XL] responded  · 

    = 2016-12-09 =
    Hi all,

    The MRU should be sorting alphabetically again if you’re using build 16.0.7466.2038 or later. You can find your build number under File > Account.

    Cheers,
    Dan [MS]

    = 2016-09-22 =
    Hello,

    I noticed a few reports of folks not seeing alphabetized MRUs anymore so I followed up with the Office team (it’s shared across Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) that owns this.

    Turns out that they rolled it out in July (and then we posted here that the work was completed) but then ran into some bugs and so disabled the feature on the MRU-service side.

    That bug has been fixed, and they are planning to roll it out again in October.

    Cheers,
    Dan [MS]

    = 2016-07-11 =
    Greetings,

    Good news on the recent files front – pinned files are now sorted alphabetically, as they were in previous versions of Office (and Excel).

    To see this new behavior, you’ll need to be running build 16.0.7030 or later if you are an Insider (as of 11 July, all insiders should have the ability to run that build), or build 16.0.7070 or later if you’re not an insider (we’re in the rollout process now for non-Insiders). Note: these build numbers are for O365 subscribers.

    Lastly – if you voted for this idea because of the ability to pin folders – we’ve separated that out (so that this just covers one idea). Please go vote for this idea if folder pinning is important to you: https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/15148899-enable-user-to-pin-folders-to-the-recent-lists-for

    Cheers,
    Dan [MS]

    ===older====
    Thanks for calling this out Jon. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on this, and we’ll talk with the team that owns the recent files list across the Office apps. As always, we’ll spend more time on ones with more votes, so please keep voting for the things you care about most!

    Best,
    John [MS XL]

    157 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        How about sorting the list alphabetically ignoring the case?
        I see files starting with upper case first then the files starting with a lower case.
        (Using 16.0.8625.2121 64-bit)

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, sorting alphabetically is HUGE for us, too. Our file names are appended with numerals before their letter names to keep them in a particular desired order.

        Please bring that back!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yeah, but it has screwed up the numbering in the lastest build.

        ost Recently Used file list has changed with respect to shortcut keys. Instead of being able to use "Alt+F => R => [number 1 to 9]" you have to type "Y3" to get the first file in the list. This is completly useless and in no way an improvement.

        Please bring back the ability to number them from "1" instead of "Y3"

      • Dave commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Just installed Office 365 2016, version 1609 (Build 7369.2120), from 2010. Unfortunately, all my files that are pinned (like Favorites) are listed chronologically, not alphabetically. According to the above article, shouldn't this have been fixed by now?!?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        What about version 1609 (Build 7369.2038) is there a fix for alphabetical display of pinned items.

      • Chris Kelly commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        How is this completed??? I'm using 1609 (Build 7369.2120) and this still remains an issue... What is the point of this platform if it fails to deliver fixes that address the concerns of users in acceptable periods of time???

      • Paul commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Absolutely asinine that someone felt this was a good decision in the first place. That it is still not resolved 17 months later indicates the programmers clearly don't use the software themselves. It seems we are going through a period in software usage where programmers have no compassion for intuitive and usable features. Almost like the industry thinks humans should work for the software rather than having software make usability as easy as reasonably possible.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is NOT completed. I am using the latest version with Version 1609 (Build 7369.2118). Please bring this back. For those that have a lot of pinned sheets, this is terrible to sort through!

      • DJS commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My company just changed to Windows 10 and Office 2016. Recent files are NOT sorting alphabetically which is a REAL annoyance. If this fix was to roll out in October 2016 it's not working. Agree that sort by most recent is a TERRIBLE idea. Sorry for YELLING but it is very frustrating :(

      • BV commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, sorting the pinned files alphabetically is very important. These are so hard to navigate by recency!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I cannot find how to see all files or at least 50 files in default folder when I click open and I must select "this PC" what other PC would I want? Home PC no Server and NO ONEDRIVE!

      • Randy Akins commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Just downloaded and installed Office 2016 64bit, sorts recent files list by most recently opened. Need it sorted alphabetically (which is what I'm used to in 2013) or let me create my own file order. If and when it's fixed, will it be fixed in both 32 bit and 64 bit?

      • Sam commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Your statement about this being fixed in later builds is a lie. I'm running the latest build and I still can't pin a file in a consistent place. PLEASE FIX THIS PROBLEM!!!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi Dan,

        Sorry, but I am not seeing it. I am running Excel 2016 MSO (16.0.6925.1044) 32-bit and storing my files on my HD. I keep seeing messages like yours that say the Pinned list has reverted to an alphabetical listing, something I would love. However, as you can see below, nothing has changed since I logged the original ticket years ago. What am I missing?

        Best,
        Jim

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