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Scott McGee

My feedback

  1. 1,947 votes
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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    There are many points of pain with Excel. This is one very longstanding one.

    I wonder if I'll be able to retire before they fix this?

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    Still no resolution, but worse than that is zero updates! In more than two years.

    The "started" button should be a progress indicator or something, if they can't be bothered to at least give periodic updates of some kind.

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    @Roy - You use chips to get the dip.

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    My pain has diminished significantly with the maturation of Power Query, the application stupidly re-branded at "Get & Transform" in demonstration of the utter incompetence of some at MS. With Power Query, I can import data cleanly, with the native datatypes intact, and I can fix just about any problem with the content within the fields (so far, anyway).

    The big, big, 10,000 foot view is that you can never, NEVER, ***NEVER*** - never, never, never, never, NEVER - NEVER - never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, ***NEVER*** assume you know what the user wants to happen on a data import better than the user knows. Never. You must, must, must, must give the user CONTROL and not assume - tho allowing the user to say "yeah, go ahead and assume as a default" and then have the OPTION of clicking that assumption off, cleanly, easily, simply, clearly - THAT would work.

    There should be some "mantras" or sayings that are embedded deeply and permanently into the cellular structure of each member of the Excel development team, and one of them should be to always give the user control. Another is to recognize with crystal clarity that a fundamental design flaw today can potentially cause immeasurable user pain for years and years and years. Don't be that guy!

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    My work around is to paste the data, and let Excel change it. Then I select each field and change the data type to "text", and then do a Paste Special --> Values. And then my leading zeros are protected along with other stuff.

    @thomas -
    HOW DARE YOU QUESTION THE ACTIONS OF THE GREAT AND MIGHTY OZ!!!! We absolutely know more about your data and what you want than you do!!!

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    Jon -

    The problem is that MS does not give the user control. MS knows better what's good for you!

    Pretty much anytime the user isn't given a choice, it's gonna be a point of pain.

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    Heavenly days... Work was started on this in July?? How long does such a change take?

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    THANK YOU FOR THE INFO ON THE UPDATE!!!

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    I'm actually okay with MS trying to save us time. But you've got to allow us to set a default that bypasses or turns off the time saving idea. Kind of like getpivot. D'oh! Yeah, I've heard some in Redmond thing that's cool. But - you're the only ones that do! LOL

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    @MATT - Lamest thing ever, but so very typically Microsoft! Assume what the user wants and make it difficult or impossible to change... (Whatever you do, don't allow users to choose their default settings!)

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    @zak - I'll agree and broaden the statement a bit. Excel should not assume ever that it knows what to do with a user's data. I can suggest, but there have to be settings the user can control, and defaults that can be user selected.

    Most casual users don't "get" the difference between a number stored as text and a number stored as a number. I think Microsoft tends to play to casual users rather than hardcore business users, at least historically, with Office. For example, the entire "ribbon" conversion only goes a coupla layers deep before you're right back to some of the ugly, inconsistent, kluged dialogs from, what, Excel 4.3?? (It sure would be nice to have the Histogram Wizard's cell referencing protocols fixed, for example!)

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    We've found it easier to use SQL queries within PowerPivot for most stuff, rather than Get & Transform. But we don't really work with .CSV data. I get like a single file once a year in .CSV format.

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    @Ed - I figured he meant PowerQuery, which doesn't actually exist anymore, since the braintrust at Microsoft decided that functionality should be renamed to Get & Transform.

    I don't think I'd want to use Get & Transform (the application formerly known as PowerQuery) to prevent Excel from altering my data for me without even asking. Too cumbersome. Plus I'm already struggling developing DAX skills. And now I'm supposed to add M Query to my repertoire??

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    @zak -

    I think the overall issue is that Excel assumes it knows what the user wants, and makes the change automatically. I think the better approach would be to allow users to select their preferred default method of handling numbers on copy-paste.

    I never use scientific notation. And nearly always, I would prefer numbers be imported as text. Losing leading zeros is a major pain.

    My practice is to paste twice. First I paste the data, then I format all of the columns in the fashion I need, and then paste special values the second time.

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    @Corin Dennison - Oh wow - this is such a fundamentally good idea!

    > My ask is simply for a "DO. NOT. LET. EXCEL. MAKE. ANY. ASSUMPTIONS" setting.
    > Why their would be no setting to ask Excel not to change any data for me is beyond
    > words, and at a minimum a setting to disable this behavior seems like a no-brainer
    > for me.

    That's certainly step 1.

    Step 2 would be to allow the user to set their default actions.

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  2. 4 votes
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  3. 63 votes
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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    Agree that the create table window should prompt for the name of the table. It's a pain to have to navigate to change the table name, and if you forget, then doing it after the fact is counting on a bunch of things to happen in the backend - and that's risky.

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  4. 2 votes
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  5. 1,521 votes
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    Thanks very much for your votes. And to those who took the time to fill in the survey, thank you! This is a brief update to let y’all know that we’ve started work on this feature request along with the one on changing numbers to scientific notation.

    - Urmi [Msft]

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    @Michael Hutchinson - As a default, a software company should not change the user's data, or assume that they know better than the user how the data should be formatted. As a default, the software should allow the user to make a choice, rather than decide for the user.

    This issue is a major point of pain for many, many users in business settings and has been such for many, many years, with cumbersome work-a-rounds and gyrations to maintain data in its original format.

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    @William Roberts - this already is done, but you have to have Office 365 to get it. If you have a one-time-fee license, too bad, so sad.

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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    Not sure why this all of a sudden is getting so many hits, but I *DO* hope there is some listening now, two years later!

    The bigger issue is ASSUMING you know what I need/want done with any kind of data I'm bringing in from elsewhere. Best practice IMO is to assume NOTHING and offer the user a choice on how to handle the data, ideally with an option for the user to SET the default.

    I frequently copy/paste data from SQL to Excel. This is convenient, quick, and relatively easy. But it could be better!

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  6. 12 votes
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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    I came here to suggest something related to #REF! errors. I changed a name or two in PowerPivot and updated some SQL calls in the PowerPivot sources and updated, which is what I think caused the #REF! errors in my XLOOKUPs to appear. But I really don't know exactly what caused the errors, because I've done several hours of work on my data model and it could be lots of different things.

    I would prefer to be notified about the error differently and agree - replacing the formula with "#REF!" is horrific! My thought was to just put a red squiggly though the invalid reference. I also liked someone's idea to give warning about creating #REF! errors...

    Regardless - you can't replace the invalid reference! Thank goodness I had the "always create backup" option turned on, so I can figure out how these multiple heavily nested XLOOKUPs with the #REF! errors worked. Because looking at the formulas with the #REF! errors, I probably would have just started over and taken the several hours it took to create the formulas, rather than try to guess what broke...

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  7. 124 votes
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  8. 1 vote
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  9. 2 votes
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  10. 2 votes
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  11. 2 votes
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  12. 5 votes
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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    You need Office 365. There is exactly such functionality in O365. But ONLY in O365.

    As Bill Jelen put it: the Excel team loves you enough to add this feature. But MSFT Marketing despises that you paid $400 up front (for Office Pro 2016) and will withhold all goodness from you.

    Check out the feature here: http://youtu.be/9NeXHc2MI0c

  13. 14 votes
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    Scott McGee commented  · 

    You can get this functionality for free with a COM Add-in named Power SQL Update. I've been testing it for a week. Documentation is pretty bad, but functionality is great as is flexibility and options.

    The free version will run forever, but you're limited to one file to update. But you can install it on every machine running PowerPivot and update 1 file, as many times as you want! So if you have a bunch of machines, you can update a bunch of PowerPivot models. Otherwise, if you want to update multiple files, it's like $600...

    Microsoft should pay for the rights to this code and incorporate the functionality into 64-bit Office Professional and O365. After all, professionals are the only ones that would use it, and professionals EXPECT this kind of capability in professional quality apps.

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  14. 8 votes
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  15. 9 votes
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  16. 16 votes
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