Restore MDI file handling (open all files in one window); Kill SDI (each spreadsheet opens in a seperate window)
In the good versions of Excel (prior to 2007) one could open multiple workbooks in the same window. Now, one has multiple instances of Excel (and every other Office app) whenever one opens more than one document / spreadsheet. Quite stupid.
(2016-04-27 Dan [MS] - updated title to fix MDI/SDI usage - they were previously being used "backwards")
Thanks for all of the votes – the team has definitely taken notice of the activity around this issue. We moved to SDI as a result of customer requests, but it looks like we’ve got work to do to really nail the use cases people care about. From a read over the comments, I see a number of cases that we will want to investigate further as we think through MDI vs SDI. We’ll get someone from the team to take a deeper look, and we may reach out to some of you for more clarification as we go. Thanks again for all the voting and passion here!
Michael Burgan commented
Would like to get rid of 365 but it's my companies choice
v2007 was great... v2010 started being ******.... 365.... is the worst user interface, user experience that i have had to use.... how to improve, hire older developer mangers that can combine the latest tech with old school.
Please bring back MDI
Actually you can drag an Explorer icon onto the maximized window for Excel, wait a moment for it to stop saying no and indicate you can drop it and it will open nicely in the same instance. It is still not a/n MDI opening, they have their own ribbons and so on, but it is the same instance and that was with the window maximized. I do this all day long, drag and drop the icon onto the open Excel instance and it is always maximized. Always. I do NOT do teensy little windows all over the screens like MS seems it would dearly love me to.
The hassle here is I used to be able to just click to open the Explorer icon and the above happened. Did not have to jump through so many hoops.
Are you perhaps saying you get a/n MDI opening if you do explicitly what you say below? That would be interesting.
What you can't do is drag a file from some programs, like Outlook, drop it the same way, and get the same instance. Of course, if you open a file from Outlook first off, before any other Excel work, then keep that instance open while opening and closing files, all the others (from inside Excel or via Explorer, even others from Outlook) will be happy to open in that one instance.
But basically, it's broken still, just less inconvenient, because it always will start a new instance if you are not careful every single time, and because you never have MDI.
All they had to do, if they were REALLY doing what they say they were doing, was to make the Shift-Click on the icon technique of forcing a new instance into a command line switch (like the "/e" we use to keep a useless new file from opening when Excel opens). Then those who "needed" SDI could have had seamless, effortless opening as they wished while the rest of us (the other 99%) continued on.
Maybe that one change was why we get so poor response here and in other Suggestions. Not just the turds never replying, never updating, never saying anything that isn't mendacious, but such poor response concerning DOING the Suggestions. Maybe they did that one lickety-split, and it backfired so horribly with their reason for doing it looking so utterly stupid as to seem a flat lie, and it's "burnt their fingers" so now they hem and haw forever before making the least change.
Because that one was so incredibly, pathetically stupid if really done for the reason they've stated in the past. And don't even bother with anymore. So freaking stupid... or a lie from the beginning... not sure which they'd prefer we think. (Partly because I don't think they care what we think.)
Dale Thompson commented
Although an option to open all files in the same instance would be the best solution, I've found this workaround when I open a file from Windows Explorer (I usually open files from Windows Explorer rather than from Excel because I can navigate faster through existing shortcuts and shortcut keys, especially since extra steps have now been added to the browse function inside Excel):
I drag the file to the taskbar icon for the prior Excel file. When a tool tip says, "Pin to Excel", instead of releasing the mouse, I then drag the file back to the main window and drop it on top of the prior Excel file that is now displayed.
(This is the equivalent of dragging the Windows Explorer icon onto the current Excel window except you cannot do that when working in a maximized window.)
Ian Sims commented
There are so many problems with SDI. Many operations that were instantaneous now have an annoying lag. For example, changing windows - you used to be able to press alt-W, W and the menu of open workbooks would open immediately. Not now, presumably because Excel has to trawl through the operating/file system to find them. I used to have workbooks that didn't need the formula bar hide it on activation (and make it visible on deactivation). But again, incredibly slow, so that's gone.
Plus of course the nightmare with userforms. Now that the owner is the workbook under SDI, general utilities and supervisory/controlling use are effectively no longer a practical option. The form disappears once the workbook selection is changed. The form has to be unloaded every time it is used, which is, again, time-consuming, jumpy, and comes with a lag if populating controls from a medium-to-large data source.
The ribbon issue has been addressed many times on this forum, it really is a ridiculous situation, particularly given that the so-called "problem" being addressed by SDI is multiple windows on monitors could be covered either by multiple instances or one large MDI window across the monitors.
I can only assume that MS have decided the way to get rid of VBA is to dumb it down so that users simply give up in disgust and take up Python. Can I have my money back for years of building up a code bank please?
I have found a workaround (not a fix) for this problem on my computer.
As long as I open my first instance of Excel from and outlook attachment all other files I open subsequently use the same window.
Make sure to enable editing (if necessary) before opening a second Excel file.
Hope this helps.
Please add back the option to open multiple workbooks in the same instance.
[Deleted User] commented
The following comment is regarding open Excel workbooks in the same INSTANCE. Sometimes it is convenient for the workbooks to have their own WINDOW. But other times it is necessary for them to share the same WINDOW, with only one visible at a time. The latter is how Excel 2010 and before worked. Please, please bring this back as an option.
Jiri Kotek commented
This is a huge step backwards. Working with SDI is a trash from both user's as well as developer's perspective. I think it's not necessary to mention all the reasons at this point (just read thru all the comments and a lot more on other forums). Just wanted to voice my opinion on SDI.
Doug Reid commented
Dear John. Are you ever going to respond. It has been 509 days without any response from any Microsoft representative. Does anyone there even care?
SDI has some very basic pitfalls:-
1) Takes more time as it no longer remembers each file window size so constant resizing required on opening every file.
2) Wastes precious screen space as several ribbons duplicated.
3) Mishaps occur by inadvertant clicking of the wrong menu bar.
This is just from the perspective of your average office user for home/office. It must be far worse for some of the more specialist users.
It seems from other comments that the fall out adversely effects users at every level from elementary right up to the more complex.
Please give the option for MDI or SDI, The end user (and payer) should make the decision not microsoft!
Salil Gangal commented
Please restore MDI. Or at least give am option to choose how the user wants to excel as MDI and SDI.
I just "upgraded" to Office365 with SDI coding. It's a disaster for me. Multiple ribbons take up way too much vertical space on my screen and I was constantly having to shift my eyes to the top of each window looking for the formula bar and menus. Whoever coded SDI didn't have hardcore Excel coders in mind. I have had to downgrade to Office 2007 to get back the MDI functionality.
PLEASE RESTORE MDI FILE HANDLING OR GIVE USERS THE OPTION OF MDI OR SDI.
It used to be fun to poke fun at the advertising about "use Office whose programs all are built to work seamlessly with each other" failures. They never did more than Windows allowed anyway and they never will. But that's not even bruted about anymore so...
It's still ironic though, that the lack of working together is so deeply rooted that separate instances of the same Office program can't even coordinate better than the chosen program and Jim-Bob's shoe shine app do. Usually, "ironic" usually includes "sad, so freaking sad..." and this is no exception.
16 months... "You wait 16 months and what do you get? Another day older and... "
David Portwood commented
Maurice Lab, focus unavoidably shifts to the newly opened workbook. Best you can do is execute code to "jump back" to the workbook containing the userform that you want to stay on top. You would do this with code like "ThisWorkbook.activate". But that still leaves an annoying and very unprofessional-looking screen flicker.
I'm seeing Excel 2019 books in the local bookstore. Has the 2019 version addressed any SDI issues? Anybody know?
Maurice Lab commented
Macros don't work the same in SDI as they did in MDI. In MDI, the macro User Form would stay in front of all other workbooks opened via the macro. In SDI the User Form is behind every workbook opened via the macro, hence harder to see when the macro is completed on long running routines when a progress bar indicator is present, since the User Form in no longer in the foreground.
Customers who requested SDI are probably not heavy users of excel. I don't understand why someone would remove MDI... should have kept both. This is super irritating...
Martha, the good old Ctl-F4 still works for closing the workbook without closing Excel