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

Disable time grouping

The new automatic time grouping in PivotTables should be an option within Excel. Users should not need to make a registry edit to disable this feature, and the time grouping should not be on by default.

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    AndyAndy shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    completed  ·  Dan Battagin [MS XL]AdminDan Battagin [MS XL] (Admin, Office.com) responded  · 

    Hi all,

    This ability to turn off time grouping from the UI was recently added to the O365 version of Excel. File→Options→Advanced→Data→“Disable automatic grouping of Data/Time columns in PivotTables”.

    We’re considering adding this back to the perpetual release of Office 16. Until that’s available, you can also turn it off manually using the registry, outlined in this article: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Turn-off-time-grouping-in-PivotTables-in-Excel-2016-for-Windows-6be5afed-348c-4db2-9f87-5ac262d67b3f.

    Regards
    Ashvini Sharma [MS]

    51 comments

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      • igsyigsy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        While we are on the subject of dumb changes to pivot tables, a couple of versions back it was possible to expand a report filter/old pagefield selection box and it would stay expanded for subsequent use. Now you have to resize the **** thing every time. Fine if you have half-a-dozen items, but extremely tedious otherwise, which is most of the time. OK, you can insert a slicer, but the slicer doesn't display on a pivot chart. So when I use pivot charts for non-trivial analyses, I spend much of my time resizing selection boxes. Water torture comes to mind, particularly when not using a mouse but a laptop touchpad. Can you fix this please?

      • AA commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This was a completely unnecessary change. There was literally no reason to make this change and, if this board is any indication, the majority of your user-base hates this change. I can't believe this ever got through the QA period. How did someone come up with this brain-dead idea and not realize it was the stupidest idea excel has ever had (and that's a very high bar for stupidity).

      • BenBen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I completely agree with the complaints. There is no reason to default to grouping.

        Try looking at invoices by month. The suggestion to turn off the grouping in the options menu doesn't work. I cannot change the registry.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        As a part of my job I've heavily utilized excel every day for the past 8 years. This is one of the most annoying and useless 'features' I've ever seen in excel. 99 times out of 100 I need time/dates represented exactly as they are in pivots. In the off chance I need them grouped into some category, I will gladly do that myself. My company also uses a fiscal calendar. I cannot imagine how this 'feature' passed any sort of muster. I'm guessing the people at Microsoft responsible for Excel don't actually have to use the program. Stop trying to be cute. If it ain't broke.....

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You must have too much time to spare to make unnecessary things like this one... come on !!

      • DKSDKS commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        neither editing registry nor checking “Disable automatic grouping of Data/Time columns in PivotTables” worked for me...what I did do was select "Show Hidden" under "Home" in the Power Pivot window and deleted the offending columns. It seems to have worked.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This has to be one of the dumbest changes MS has ever done with Excel. Breaks hunderds of thousands of existing spreadsheets worldwide, and few people will understand what went wrong, and most won't have the admin privileges to make registry changes.

      • Jay TesterJay Tester commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        No, all of us aren't overreacting. No, you aren't smarter than the user community. No, you do not understand financial periods or quarters. No, you didn't vet this functionality properly with a decent user group. Yes, you did influence that user group by 'selling' them on this functionality. Yes, you shouldn't receive your bonus this year. Yes, you can wipe that smirk off your face, developer. Yes, you should be demoted. Yes, you need to work around the clock in your Agile sprints or equivalent to fix this for all users. Yes, you can shut this off in O365 but there's still a bug...any date already brought into the pivot prior to shutting your ridiculous time grouping is tainted...it will not revert back to a standard date. Yes, you failed miserably.

      • Instructor NortonInstructor Norton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree this is beyond annoying. Please consider Thing's suggestions:

        "This seems a very good idea, but clumsily implemented [or] rolled out. It seems the principles for a breaking change like this should be:

        1. Preserve the existing behavior
        2. Put an easily discoverable control to show the new feature. Eg, a right-click menu item like "Group by period"
        3. Make sure that configuration changes apply without a save/reopen"

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think this has to be the single stupidest thing Microsoft has ever done. I really didn't need this today.

      • Unhappy UserUnhappy User commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Wish you would hurry up and do this for Office 16. Changing things via the registry is not an option in the majority of companies (like mine) as they lock down things like registry editing. I really wish you would make new "features" like this optional until your users have a chance to provide feedback. It is really a problem when grouping is not needed.

      • ThingThing commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This seems a very good idea, but clumsily implemented rolled out. It seems the principles for a breaking change like this should be:

        1. Preserve the existing behavior
        2. Put an easily discoverable control to show the new feature. Eg, a right-click menu item like "Group by period"
        3. Make sure that configuration changes apply without a save/reopen

      • Thomas McCallaThomas McCalla commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks for the new "feature". I need to arrange a pivot with actual dates as columns to track daily KPIs. The disable feature isn't available in my excel 2016 and i do not have the ability to regedit or even request that level of administrative authority. Remove this yesterday.

      • JasonJason commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Infuriating that I have to opt out of this. Please disable by default. At bare minimum you need to notify the user of what you've done and prompt them to leave the data grouped or allow one click to ungroup when they are adding fields to their pivot table.

        1) add a date field
        2) Excel prompts, do you want to group by year/quarter/month/week? Options for [Yes/No] [This time/always]

      • Anon.Anon. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hate it. Please quit trying to 'out think' Excel users. Overall Excel is amazing, but things like this are super frustrating. It was already possible to group by date, why make it difficult to ungroup (which is truly a pain in the rear). My company 'upgraded' to Excel 2016, now my existing files make it difficult.

      • WatsonWatson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, this is an annoying feature, and the above fix does not work for me. Most of the new "features" in Excel seem to exist solely to justify someone's job. They don't help us at all. And the support is awful.

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