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How can we improve Excel for Mac?

Bring back REAL keyboard customization!

It is completely not true, that keyboard customization through OS X keyboard preferences really works. Tell me how to make a shortcut to fill cell with color: for instance CTRL+2? Or how to paste values (without any mid-steps)? Or even do something more advanced than copy/paste with my own combination of inputs.

The fact is that office 2016 for mac lacks this feature and this "workaround" is NOT a replacement. Please bring back the option that was SO USEFUL!

287 votes
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    AlexK shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    58 comments

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      • Joel Lingenfelter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm baffled. This doesn't appear to be anything but keyboard shortcuts for stuff in the ribbon. Those of us that asked for this asked for one reason: to make excel work like it has since the 1980's. But to the best of my understanding here, I can't use this to make a keyboard shortcut for fill down (command-d since the 80's, mapped to control-d since excel 2001 I think), something I use every day. This is not an esoteric command. What else is beyond my ability to correct? We don't need the ability to create keyboard shortcuts for the ribbon, we need a way to keep the speed of our workflows. How is this so hard to understand?

      • Joel Lingenfelter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks Steve, is there a preset for all keyboard shortcuts to revert to Office 2001-2011 defaults? (And by extension, the same keyboard shortcuts (mostly) going back to at least 2.2a)?

      • David Charlap commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I completely agree with the others here. I've got over a decade of muscle-memory built up from using Excel since Office 2004. In 2016, quite a lot of the keystrokes I'm familiar with have changed, forcing me to unlearn all kinds of habits and for no apparent reason other than some vague attempt to align with the Windows version.

        And removing the ability to customize the keyboard is just adding insult to injury. I have been using a shortcut for "paste special as values" for years and there is no way to do this in 2016.

        As for using Alt to navigate the ribbon, that's not very important to me. It may be useful for those migrating from Windows, but what modifier key could you use for this? On a Mac, the "alt" key is "option", which is used for composing accented characters and for entering other non-alphabetic characters. Disabling that capability would be a disaster and would anger just about everybody who doesn't live in the United States. Not an acceptable trade-off unless you also provide a preference to completely disable this "feature".

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Back on excel 2011 I was able to customize and modify the keyboard shortcuts to whatever I use most often, for example I use "Paste Special Value" a lot so I created a simple keyboard shortcut for it. I don't understand why this isn't allowed on the 2016 version since I'm assuming everyone using excel would love to be able to easily customize the keyboard shortcuts to what they use most often, the keyboard customization through OS X keyboard preferences absolutely doesn't work and doesn't make any sense to do it that way. Please return this function to 2016 excel!

      • Rob commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi Steve. This is Rob. You know the one (color palettes, wandering tabs, etc). :)

        I'm not sure I fully understand the suggestion, but I'm with Joel: What's needed is the ability to assign our own keyboard shortcuts to anything in the Menus or Ribbons.

        For example, right now it's literally impossible to assign a keystroke that toggles Trace Precedents on/off. It's possible, through System Prefs, to assign the key to turn them on (although in my experience, it doesn't always work), but using that same key combo doesn't turn them back off, as it did in previous versions of Excel.

        Another example: The same problem exists with Protect Sheet. You can assign a key through Sys Prefs to turn protection on, but once it's on, the menu item changes its name to "Unprotect Sheet," and if you assign the same key combo to "Unprotect," it doesn't work.

        Then there's the problem of Excel having changed the keystrokes for certain features to ones that don't make as much sense, so I want to reassign them to my own choices. For example:

        CMD + OPT + [minus key] for strikethrough (been using for 10 years) instead of CMD + SHIFT + X

        As near as I can tell, assigning your own key shorties in Sys Prefs does *not* override the Excel's hard-coded keystrokes, so we're stuck with Excel's choices.

        So in short, the return of Tools > Customize Keyboard is definitely preferable to any other options.

      • Joel Lingenfelter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Honestly alt/option access to the ribbon is not important to me and I doubt I'd use it. Restoring the ability to use the same keyboard shortcuts I've used for 30+ years is critically important to me. There is no more important feature request for me, period. Anything that slowed that down i would say no to.

      • Mr COSSON HUBERT commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        C'est une très bonne chose de personnaliser le Ruban, utiliser le paramétrage des touches de raccourcis-claviers, augmenter la Taille des Caractères
        personnaliser le mode d'impression . ( en bleu si nombre positif, en rouge si négatif et Noir
        pour valeur Zero . Etc

      • Phil commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The ability for us to program our own key combinations would be best. This is an urgent feature though, now that 2011 is not a happening thing under High Sierra.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The use of the Option key (not ALT, Option !) might help some people, but this has not much to do with Keyboard shortcuts customization (which is really needed)!

      • Joel Lingenfelter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hey guys, my computer is now warning me that Excel 2011 is deprecated. 2016 is unusable with all of the shortcuts being changed and no way to change them. Is there any kind of a timeline we can look for on this? I'm not trying to be impatient, but...well...the option of running 2011 to make Excel functional is going away from us.

        PS - Killing the smooth cell movement animation that slows down excel would be a nice bonus

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Overall I am extremely disappointed in Office 2016 ... as it has increased my workload by over 20% ... because shortcut features are not the same as Office 2011

        I read that you think you have fixed things (as a COMPLETED ITEM) when you say we can now use the iOS system of creating shortcuts ... but it is limited and some shortcuts are not possible.

        There are 2 shortcuts I would particularly like to have fixed:

        1) Paintbrush
        2) Fill Color

      • Phil commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Steve, that is so wonderful. If I can add to it as you work, some of the commands (with or without keyboard) have disappeared too - e.g. Straightforward Paste Formatting and Paste Values instructions. Those and a regular toggle for Light Shading as a keyboard command would be excellent to have back again. (My use of those commands cannot be counted).

      • DP1604 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This will be SOOOOO good; it means I will finally be able to use 2016 for all my work, not 2011 for most of it and 2016 for the basics!

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