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A.C. WILSON

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  1. 7 votes
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  2. 139 votes
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    A.C. WILSON commented  · 

    Like Sandy Vasquez, I too sometimes have to edit Excel and Access formulas by using Word, in which it's much easier to do (temporary) indenting for visually ensuring that the parentheses are all in itheir correct places.

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  3. 699 votes
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    Great suggestion – thanks again for taking the time to put it on this site and for the thoughtful followup comments. This is pretty related to some other work we’ve got going and already has a fair number of votes, so we’ll work on getting plans in place now and hope to get started on this soon.

    Thanks,
    John [MS XL]

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    A.C. WILSON commented  · 

    Dear Microsoft,
    "So tired
    Tired of waiting
    Tired of waiting for YOU"
    (written by Ray Davies, by/of/for The Kinks)

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    A.C. WILSON commented  · 

    Dear Microsoft:
    It's been almost FIVE YEARS since Jon Peltier (for whom I have great respect, and you should, too) suggested this, and you responded favorably. In Access, you have already had this functionality for years/decades. So, WHY NO EXCEL ACTION YET?

    While you're at it, you could also actually clarify - DOCUMENT FOR US USERS - how Excel's four (apparent) "states" operate (unless you are too scared/embarassed to expose just how "kludge"-ey Excel's innards might appear). As I wrote in this thread several years ago:

    'It appears to me that each Excel cell has four possible [undocumented] "states" [my own imperfect term, not Microsoft's]:
    '1) BLANK [Default null; cannot (yet) contain any value or expression. All cells in a new empty worksheet start out in this "state". A cell can NOT (yet) be reset to BLANK/null via an Excel cell formula. [In Microsoft Access, and perhaps also in Excel VBA, formulas CAN be used to force to "NULL".] Depending on how we choose to conceptualize "value", a "BLANK" cell either cannot contain any value in it, or can contain only one possible value, which we conceptualize as "blank".
    '2) TEXT [Can be of zero length, as ="" , or equivalent value.]
    '3) NUMBER [I don't know whether NUMBER is always "floating-point" or sometimes "integer"]
    '4) LOGICAL [In many respects, behaves like a variant of NUMBER]'

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    A.C. WILSON commented  · 

    My primary reason to NOT call this thing "EMPTY()" [nor "BLANK()"] would be that my life is simpler when the same functionalities in Excel and in Access have the same names. But, this would not be a deal-breaker for me.

    What to name this thing is a problem primarily because Microsoft's writings have been very vague about both the vocabulary to describe, and the behavior of, a cell's "state" [my own imperfect term, not Microsoft's].

    It appears to me that each Excel cell has four possible "states":
    1) BLANK [Default null; cannot (yet) contain any value or expression. All cells in a new empty worksheet start out in this "state". A cell can NOT (yet) be reset to BLANK/null via an Excel cell formula. [In Microsoft Access, and perhaps also in Excel VBA, formulas CAN be used to force to "NULL".] Depending on how we choose to conceptualize "value", a "BLANK" cell either cannot contain any value in it, or can contain only one possible value, which we conceptualize as "blank".]
    2) TEXT [Can be of zero length, as ="" , or equivalent value.]
    3) NUMBER
    4) LOGICAL [In many respects, behaves like a variant of NUMBER]

    When any Excel functionality, including a cell formula, "tests" a cell, how that functionality responds depends in part on which of the above 4 states it is in. Therefore, some of us users would find it very helpful to able to control that state, via the proposed function.

    [I note that some programming languages such as COBOL, [but not Excel,] have other special functions to indicate implementation-specific constants. A common one is "HIGH-VALUE()", which indicates a "pseudo-infinity" - the highest value that can possible be stored within a numeric field [variable]; this is immensely preferable to arbitrarily hoping, and specifying in a formula, that one cannot possibly exceed "99", "99,999", or similar.]

  4. 2 votes
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  5. 4 votes
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    A.C. WILSON commented  · 

    Use these text functions:
    UPPER()
    LOWER()
    PROPER()

  6. 4 votes
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  7. 2 votes
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  8. 2 votes
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  9. 5 votes
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  10. 2 votes
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    A.C. WILSON commented  · 

    You can create an Excel custom format for those cells, in which the format for a zero value is blank.

  11. 1 vote
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  12. 2 votes
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  13. 3 votes
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  14. 3 votes
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  15. 2 votes
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  16. 5 votes
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  17. 2 votes
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  18. 1,441 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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  19. 5 votes
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  20. 3 votes
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