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.
Again, here are the issues:
- Stability - I experience ~3X Excel crashes in 2016 (SDI) as compared to 2010 (MDI)
- Screen Space / Real Estate - Drastically reduced screen space when each workbook requires its own Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar and Formula Bar
- Toolbar to Workbook Confusion - One Ribbon + Quick Access Toolbar + Formula Bar to control all workbooks is far less confusing (MDI)
- Navigation Between Workbooks - *a. With MDI, Ctl+Tab and Ctl+Shift+Tab worked flawlessly to cycle (forwards/backwards) through all open workbooks in a single instance of Excel. Using the same key combinations in SDI, I always see a screen “blip” of the last used non-Excel program – why? Even worse, sometimes it cycles a non-Excel program into the mix. When I’m trying to cycle between two workbooks, I do NOT want Windows Explorer thrown into the cycle!
- Links (across workbooks) - Ability to update links between workbooks is less flexible – sometimes you want links to update and sometimes you do not. In the past, we could easily open a new/separate instance of Excel and prevent links from updating between workbooks. Now, it is far more difficult to open a new/separate instance of Excel and it is more confusing to work between 2 instances
- VBA – macro instability - Running macros between multiple Excel Workbooks is not consistent in SDI – sometimes it will choose the next workbook, sometimes it does not. There are a lot of comments on this topic. I can only imagine the countless hours of VBA work that have been destroyed by the forced SDI
- Closing Workbooks - With MDI, you could close and save ALL workbooks with a couple of mouse clicks. In SDI, you must close and save each workbook individually. If you have ~10 large workbooks open at once this will require you to stay engaged in the process as you will be forced to wait for each workbook to save, so you can save and close the next workbook (another massive waste of time/productivity).
- Opening Workbooks - *With MDI, we could count on workbooks to open and be sized where we had saved them. Now, they open in the exact same size and cascade – WHY? How would you like to go to your desk every day, only to find everything in a different drawer? That’s not where you put it last time you used it?… so why keep moving things on us?
- Minimize/Maximize Workbooks - Per post on 6-Aug-2018, working with 12 workbooks, with MDI you could use 3 mouse clicks, but with SDI it now takes 18 mouse clicks. Do you think the customer desires to use their mouse more?
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!
Anonmous also commented
"Hiding but why" has a clear reason, Office 2010 goes EOL 13-Oct-2020:
Another post in excel.uservoice.com was more simple than this one. Many more like it might help, but I doubt it. Questions like "Does Microsoft use excel.uservoice.com?". Any comment from an admin and that issue would be considered closed. I scanned many topics a while back and found nothing from MS in years. I believe Microsoft simply does not read this website, any administrators that once existed have been gone for years
No response since March 2018 from "John, Excel", 1,222 votes, 926 comments - Microsoft do not appear to care about this (originally) excellent software; they certainly show no interest in their expert and loyal user base. Disgusting.
Anyone that has had to buy 2016 should at least get a refund, but at least Genuine copies of 2010 office suite is out there for low prices, but not from Microsoft themselves. (Hiding are they, but why ???)
I hope Microsoft catches the corona
PLEASE go back to MDI !!!
So, from MS... Thanks for your votes but... nothing.
Raymond Gota Toudji commented
we can force M$ to take a look at this thread, ya know.. (at least, that's what i think):
- first, let's start an open-source project for creating addins that mimic the functions added sinds xl2010;
- then, cancel subscription for office 365, and promote office 2010 instead.
you'll see. when the income of that ugly office 2010+ drops, and the manager asks why, and the answer is MDI issues, guess how fast they will fix it!
i may be dreaming of course..
It is extremely frustrating to only be able to switch back and forth instead of being able to view both spreadsheets at once. I kept thinking opening another excel file closed the current one. When I open an excel sheet, it is incredibly annoying that I have to open a new instance of excel just to view both files at once while working on a browser.
I've found that the only sure fire way to avoid the problems with the new Excel is to either go back to Office 2010 when Excel used to work correctly, or download Office Libre which is free and works like it is supposed to.
Mats Samuelsson commented
Well Ax, I'm also one of those extremely frustrated and I fully understand that people are using an agressive tone towards Microsoft! They haven't bothered to reply to the clearly legitimate and numerous requests for nearly 2 years. Microsoft aren't polite or showing good manners, they are extremely ignorant showing the community they don't give a ****. In my opinion, they regrattably lack the competence, there are so many bugs and awkward solutions in Excel since years back, with the usual explanation "it's by design". Such replies are only telling me "we don't know how to fix it"
Hello people, please remain polite, I hope too they remedy to that but there's no point in being aggressive.
(Hey Microsoft, I also think MDI is better)
March 27, 2018
"We’ll get someone from the team to take a deeper look"
FOR ***** SAKE GET ON WITH IT!!!!
We are experiencing issues loading more than a few sheets with Excel 2016. With Excel 2010, it was easy, never any issues, very stable, class product. Excel 2016 is a backward step, and MDI is way preferred for all the reasons given.
Tony Trout commented
I was just "upgraded" to Excel 16 at work. Losing the ability to have multiple windows in one instance is a downgrade in user experience.
I have been using Excel for 30 years (no exaggeration, version 1.5 for the Mac, 1990). For about half that time, Microsoft has been trying to convert a fantastic, all-purpose data tool for professionals into an easy-to-use spreadsheet for light users. Go make a Google docs knockoff for light users and leave Excel alone for the professionals.
Quite frankly SDI is awful with limited screen size, we don't all have enormous screens or multiple screens!
Due to being forced to move to W10 + Office 365 from W7 + Office 2010, the support had to give me a third monitor because running Excel full screen in one monitor was the only way to get it (SDI) under any control.
Donald Nguyen commented
I have not met a single person who prefers SDI over MDI. SDI is horrible. The only advantage is when you have two monitors... but that's very small.
Adding my 5 cents...
My arm is being twisted to move from Win7+Office 2010 to Win10+Office 365, which will have a dramatic effect on my productivity.
I have previously tried Office 2013 and 2016, but the SDI interface in Excel requires me to keep moving and resizing each and every new Excel window all day long, not to mention that I need to remind myself that the last Excel window that I close at the end of the day determines the place where they start cascading from the next day.
I have a two monitor setup, with 8 applications that I open at the start of the day. Each application has its own place and it has to stay there,
The SDI interface is far worse than the enormous icons eating up my workspace.
At the very least, let us stop the new windows cascading right and down and open exactly at the same spot as the previous one.
The ones preferring the SDI approach have always had the opportunity to open multiple instances of Excel, now we are left with a single instance and multiple separate worksheet windows, which do not remember their locations and sizes but for one, and due to all still being one instance of Excel, if one window crashes, they all go down - There is no benefit in the current interface
S Wallum commented
I am sorry to say but Microsoft last major hold in the marketplace will soon diminish. About 10 years ago I looked at Apple and while their platform was extremely stable Office did not support MDI. This was the only reason I chose to stay with Microsoft as my preferred company computers. I have now seen dozens of large corporation converting to Apple computer by the thousands and a few head towards Android. I have also decided that Android platform can provide adequate software (google sheets) for most of my company’s needs (SDI) instead of purchasing Surface computers at a fraction of the cost. I have purchased my last 4 Microsoft Surface Pro 6 computers and will be purchasing Galaxy Tablets to replace all Surface computers as needed. I will continue to look for a replacement for Office 2010 and hopefully one of Microsoft’s competitors will wake up to an opportunity they now have available. Most of the large corporations (Fortune 500) are slow to update because they wait for the bugs to be worked out. Microsoft will not feel the impact of their downgrading of Excel until this happens and at that point Microsoft’s hold on the business computer market will have taken a huge hit.
David Portwood commented
Under SDI, you can't programmatically drill down into detail tables within an Excel database distributed across multiple workbooks. This severely limits the functionality of an Excel database. Yes, I get it - just use Access. Well, Access is not always the desired choice, and I for one resent being forced to use something else (Access) when I was perfectly happy with Excel. Why did MS stop maintaining Excel VBA, anyway? VBA is a wonderful language with great functionality!
Harlan Grove commented
I prefer MDI myself, but I suspect there are more Office users who mostly use Word, and they prefer SDI not just in Word but also when they use Excel. IOW, if MSFT considers requests from Office users rather than those relatively few who use Excel more than Word, most probably prefer SDI in all Office applications.
IOW, as long as Excel remains part of Office, Excel users aren't going to get what they want.