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How can we improve Excel for Mac?

Bring back keyboard shortcut customization

Believe it or not, what the vast majority of Mac users of Office are looking for is not compatibility with Windows versions of the software, though keeping the features up to date is nice. After having been able to customize keyboard shortcuts for (how many?) years, we are told that Mother Microsoft thinks its better for us to use Windows Control shortcuts that don't do the job we're used to being able to do. Why would you want to make the software _less_ useful?

I believe this represents a small software development savings relative to the number of customers it will irritate to the point of considering alternatives. Remember: Mac Office is much less of a corporate purchase than Windows Office. Often, it's people buying office for home (where they can decide what platform to use) to be able to open and edit files compatible with the platform mandated at work.

15 votes
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  • David commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    What an absurd change compared with Excel 2011. It is also bizarre that you have decided to limit Excel and not Word, which still maintains the ability to create custom keyboard shortcuts within the application.

  • MY NAME HERE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Microsoft .. the one area you do better than Apple is Microsoft Office but now you've F-ed that up too. Simple keyboard customization is missing and you've take a huge step backwards. Listen to the community that uses your product or we'll be forced to use Numbers instead of Excel. Don't be stupid. Fix it.

  • Andrea commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Why would you create "new" software with less functionality? I don't want to have to reach for my trackpad every time I need to insert a row. Excel in the 90s had a simple keyboard sequence for inserting rows, even Office for Mac 2011 could add in a custom shortcut, but to not be able to do this at all - my preferred shortcut sequence is taken by sort data or some such nonsense - is absolutely absurd.

  • Alex commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Current keyboard customization seems absurdly limited. You can specify a keyboard shortcut to a menu item, but not a sub-menu or dialog option below that. Case in point: Paste Values. There's a keyboard shortcut for "Paste Special..." because it's a menu item, but we've lost the ability to set a shortcut for "Paste Values" specifically. If I could get that back along with being able to set up an alternate shortcut for Paste Values + Transpose then the Mac version would be far more usable.

    As it is, I find myself trying to use Excel on Windows wherever possible.

  • NoD commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    What a compete and utter load of ****...... did Microsoft actually check with any users prior to removing all of these shortcuts. Please drag yourselves out of the 80's. I don't have time to one by one manually 'add-back ' everyday standard features and shortcuts I've been using for years. Muppets!

  • nathan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The removal of such a fundamental feature is incredibly annoying and forces all advanced users to switch back to 2011 version. Ultimately what this will do is set the base for these users to abandon Excel as soon as there will be a credible alternative out there.

    Excel Team MSFT: The OS X keyboard preference method does not allow you to personalize all the shortcuts (as it did the 2011 customize keyboard function); not to mention it doesn't actually work that fluidly even for those basic shortcuts.

  • John commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Paste values is three separate keyboard commands! It used to be one. This is why I am staying with Office 2011 and not paying for Office 365.

  • Neal Sofge commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Almost a decade ago Excel 2008 forced me to re-learn the Delete shortcut, and thus control-K is built into my muscle memory just the way Command-K had been the previous 14 years. Now that I'm running 2016 I find that control-K comes up as Hyperlink about 3/4 of the time, despite it showing as command-K in the menu, and despite my explicitly setting command-K as Delete using the recommended method above. I'm astounded at this bizarre and inconsistent behavior from a flagship application.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    OS X keyboard shortcuts work by matching a string in a menu item. This will not always work with Office for two reasons: 1) The menu commands are not consistent and not always unique strings; and 2) Many commands that I was able to customize in previous versions of Office are not available in the menus (e.g., Excel Delete Row).

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The new default functions for Insert Row and others must defined by product manager who don't use Excel to build complex models on a regular basis. Way back in the 1990s, they decided to bring keyboard continuity with Word, so CMD-I became set italics instead of insert row. Really lame to have Word features in Excel. Keyboard shortcuts let me restore Excels power.

  • AJC commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The loss of this feature and the ability to create a customized toolbar is a major drawback for me. I use about half a dozen actions regularly that are buried two or three clicks deep in the menus or ribbons. I really need to be able to access those more quickly, and I can no longer do that.

  • sunman42 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    By "compatibility," I meant feature-by-feature. Of course we want to be able to read and edit files created on Windows platforms, and to have our file compatible so Windows users can do likewise with our files.

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