How can we improve Excel for Mac?

Will Excel for Mac 2016 utilize multiple cores on Mac?

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    carol wimsatt shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    info needed  ·  AdminExcel Team [MSFT] (Admin, Office.com) responded  · 

    Hi All –
    We would love it if you can test out multi-threaded calculation in Excel for Mac, and send us any feedback about it. To test it, you need to opt into the Insiders program and get the “Fast” updates. You can do this by going to the Help menu and choosing Check for Updates. You need to update to Excel version 16.8 (171111).

    If you find any issues, please use the smiley-face button in the top corner of the Excel window to send in your feedback.

    How to test multi-threaded calculation:
    The calculation mode gets set by the first workbook you open or create after you launch Excel. Multi-threaded calculations will not be enabled if the first workbook you open was last saved by Excel v15.x for Mac. You can enable multi-threaded calculations by using Windows Excel to save a workbook with multi-threaded calculations enabled. If that workbook is the first one you open on Excel for Mac (16.8 171111), then multi-threaded calculation should be enabled, and it will also be enabled for other workbooks that you open in that same session of Excel. It may also be enabled if you start Excel and then create a new workbook prior to opening an existing workbook, but we are still working to resolve an issue that may prevent this from working.

    If you have a sense or know how long it has typically taken to calculate a given workbook, then you can run the same workbooks and see whether the multi-threaded calculation is faster or not. You could also compare the calculation time between Excel on Mac and Windows. There are some cases where multi-threaded calculation is not faster, but in most cases it will be faster.

    Thanks,
    Steve K
    Microsoft Excel

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Aah 667th comment already, I missed to put in the devils comment.

        Ok, so what changed since multi core processing was enabled? We no longer see the 'Calculating 2% using 1 CPU at the bottom task bar of Excel. Instead the who CPU thing is out. So we are hoping there are more than one cores are play since the calculations are slightly better than before.

      • Jack commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Navigating in the spreadsheet doesn't always refresh the view, if I use command-up to get to the top of a column, i have to then scroll a little or use the arrows to get the screen to refresh the view, even though the right data field is selected. same with command-right or -left when it goes off screen.

        VLOOKUP for 165,000 rows didn't seem to calculate much faster with multi-threading on my early 2015 MacBook Air with 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Keeps getting better, but I've noticed the commands to add to the quick access toolbar are not correct.
        The "Paste values and number Formatting" pastes the values and formats of the original cell
        The "Paste Values and Source Formatting" pastes the original formula (not the values).

        I can't find a way to do what, through normal menu, is "edit/paste special/values", which just brings the value and keeps the format of the destination.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Having a lot of issues with workbooks from a shared drive. Resulting in a lot of unexpected terminations of excel. Also a lot of times there are cells displayed blank that do contain values of any sort. Clicking on the cell will show the contents in the formula bar.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Two more comments so far.

        1. This latest version does not always refresh the screen. In one example I can clear contents of a column that is used by others for vlookup, and the columns continue with there old values until I click another worksheet in the workbook and then click back.

        2. Also it often thinks I'm trying to save an .xlsx file as an .xls, and tells me I will lose information, etc. with another long error message after. It seems to work if I save it to replace a file I already have as .xlsx.

        These files originate from a Windows 12 server, in an .xls format, but are normally changed to .xlsx on Windows computers before being emailed to me.

      • Wesley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I installed version 16.8 (171126) and calc is significantly faster, although I noticed that it is slower to open the file.

      • Dezső Mitók commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        What is the estimated release date for this 16.8.171111 version? I cant wait to see it but my office update does not allow me to opt in....enterprise controls I guess.

        By the way it is not true that current xls for mac is using 1 processors. It is using only one thread of the one processor. When calculating it makes 1/8 load on my i7 macbook pro. Wasting.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        One more discovery of this latest version. It deleted all macros in my personal macro workbook.

      • AdminExcel Team [MSFT] (Admin, Office.com) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi everyone - Just to keep you all informed, we discovered an issue with add-ins causing Excel to start with Multi-threaded calculation disabled. If you have the Analysis Toolpack or Solver enabled, this would cause Excel to start with MTR disabled. Other add-ins may cause the same issue. We plan to have this fixed in an upcoming release.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I just installed it and first thing I did was load a spreadsheet that I filter many times a day, with a constant 8 second filter of the 9000 lines. The filter improved to 6 seconds. Certainly not as much as I would hope. The number of processors no longer shows, just the percent.

        Editing one cell on one of the other sheets in the workbook reduces the calculation speed from 5 seconds to 2.4. Again, a good start, but I would like more.

        My 10 second macro is down to 4.85 seconds.

        Hopefully more to come.

        A side surprise is that when opening large sheets I no longer get a big white space that required me to scroll in both directions to fill.

      • Gery commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        i saved a windows xlsx file with multithreading enabled but it did not calculate in multithread mode on the mac (having 12c/24t and 96 GB RAM which are way enough ressources to do the job).

      • Robert commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Upgraded old slow windows 7 laptop to a new MacBook Pro as excel was running slow on a large spreadsheet, only to find out the same spreadsheet is now 3x slower on MacBook...major step backwards.

      • MS commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am having the same rendering problems pointed by Marcin. Looks like we are back to previous unstable versions. It also crashes often.

      • Marcin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I noticed a slight difference in speed, especially during many search functions (ver. 171114).
        But I have different problems with graphics and display. Moving cursor when I compose formula or making selection is weird, border around selected cell appears few ms after. Some cells doesn't renders, they are empty, until I scroll sheet a little.
        Does anyone have similar problems?

      • Jose G Machado commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I was able to enable the cores of my Mac, There have been improved speed improvements in Excel, but the calculations, is that they are still very slow!

      • Jose G Machado commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I was able to enable the cores of my Mac, There have been improved speed improvements in Excel, but the calculations, is that they are still very slow!

      • gav b commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I saved the XLSX on a Windows Machine with mulit-threaded calcs enabled, as Steve K suggested then, opened in a fresh (restarted) Excel for Mac... It did indeed seem to be running 8 processors.

        However, these are the calculation comparisons:

        On the Windows Machine: 20 seconds
        On the Mac with multiple processors (Activity Monitor 160%): 3 minutes, 50 seconds
        On the same Mac single processor (Activity Monitor 100%): 1 minute, 5 seconds

        The Windows machine and the Mac are similar spec (the Mac has 16Gb RAM vs 8Gb on the Dell)

        Sadly, my experience is a significant deterioration in performance.

        Thank you to the Excel team for their efforts in trying to solve this.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Typically I use Excel in Fusion so I can access multiple cores. My spreadsheets include multiple complex array formulas and many thousands of rows of data. Excel for Mac shows a noticeable difference in speed when processing the array formulas. I didn't time the differences however I opened my spreadsheet normally in Windows and waited for the formulas to calculate. I performed the same task on the Mac side and noticed Excel using all 4 processors. Prior to today it would take the Mac version 10-15 minutes to recalculate every time I entered new data. Today it felt like only a couple minutes, which is the performance I need to finally stop using Excel for Windows.

      • Steve commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Another observation - I was able to enable the cores, however processing big calcs are MUCH slower, about 4x's slower on the calc.

        The speed improvements I'm seeing are when copying large data sets, opening workbooks, switching between books/sheets, and scrolling. Those actions seem to be quicker, however not calculating, which is still unbearably slow!

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