Feedback by UserVoice

Roy

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  1. 1 vote
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    Roy commented  · 

    Someone WANTS that horrid thing. No one NEEDS it.

    Roy commented  · 

    Someone WANTS it. NO ONE needs it.

    Roy commented  · 

    No.
    No.
    No.

    And GOD NO.

    No one needs that horrible creation from WORD.

    NO ONE.

  2. 3 votes
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    Roy supported this idea  · 
  3. 2,226 votes
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    Thanks everyone for all of the passion about this suggestion! The number of votes has increased greatly in the last couple months and we’re taking notice! We’ve got a bunch of other Excel endpoints behaving this way already and we’re evaluating getting it done in the Windows versions sooner based on the number of votes it gets – so keep the votes coming!

    Eric Patterson (Program Manager – MSFT)

    Roy commented  · 

    Indeed sir, you have the right of it!

    I have often noticed MS paying more attention to those who act grown-up and... oh...

    Never mind...

    (If only it were so though... that the secret to getting everything in life were to just act all grwon-up... "Act" that is, ain't bein' no sell-out! The man may have the power but he ain't got my soul!)

    I mean, you know, for anything north of, say, a couple million dollars, he could but I hope he never offers... Bend-over money isn't too far north of losing your soul money, and that might be a slippery slope (ba-RUMP-BUMP... had to capitalize RUMP there, right?), and I sure don't want to go that far north!

    I agree, we can't be eating each other. That's Divide and Conquer done by the dividees and conquerees. But some humor, hard to see how that hurts. The truth in it... well, the truth hurts sometimes Jobo, but MS has lots of tissues to mop up the tears.

    Say, wonder if MS likes us having a place to vent and he's now a [Deleted User] 'cause they thought he'd hurt that? Though that WOULD require paying attention to us enough to notice...

    Roy commented  · 

    @Anonymous:

    That's uncalled for!

    Experience has shown me politicians are esssentially all ******** verminous scummy bottom feeders from whom I should have NO expectation of anything valuable or thoughtful of my needs.

    Microsoft on the other hand, has... oh...

    Never mind sir. Carry on.

    Roy commented  · 

    Guys...

    Careful now... some lines should never be crossed...

    Are...

    Are we saying... User Voiice needs its own User Voice suggestion site?

    I don't know if I can be that Meta... I wasn't that Metal back in the 80's, not sure I can be that Meta now...

    Roy commented  · 

    @Futski

    Indeed, Spot on. SPOT on.

    There are even MS moderated sites, though with volunteers (I understand) doing the authoritative answering, which literally say this is the only way anyone using a spreadsheet could actually want it — gosh, a spreadsheet is cell-centric by definition, who could ever want it to scroll up a partial cell instead of a whole one?

    Granted, that WOULD be aggravating, if one couldn't and got fooled thinking the whole cell is showing and it's not... but then, if your material forces a cell over what, 409 pts is it?, then you might easily think you're seeing the whole thing when you're not... but THAT'S all right, that is, that's just something different you understand... 'cause then that'd be an unreasonable maximum cell height limit and it just isn't!...

    Hmm... maybe hoping to always be able to display a full cell was how that limit got hard coded in to begin with. Yay.

    Needs fixed! 'Cause it ain't a good thing now.

    Roy commented  · 

    @Sean Rosario

    It works on the Mac because the Mac OS offers a smooth scroll feature that Excel taps into.

    For whatever reason — whatever stupid reason — they can't or won't get the Windows OS people to produce the same feature so they can tap into it.

    So we suffer.

    You'd think developers would have been braying for a similar feature for decades so they wouldn't have to write it themselves for their programs. Apparently not, or it's been as ineffective as our hopes here have been.

    Roy commented  · 

    The built-in bias to using Excel has to be overcome. For us really old folks, the rough equivalent was pushing buying toward Compaq (and then Gateway, then Dell, largely) ratheer than costly and underpowered IBM PC's. It was summed up for folks thinking of attempting it as "No one ever got fired buying IBM."

    1. There has to be a reason to do it or there's no point in broaching the subject at all. So list out the reasons you and others have. Pick the compelling ones. "Excel don't care no more than Honey Badger used ta" is not compelling to the bosses.

    Compelling reasons include a noticeable cost or degradation of efficiency that results in identifiable monetary losses OR not being able to satisfy a customer or to even offer a service due to Excel.

    2. There has to be an alternative. Maybe more than one, but more means confusion for them. They will get "the bottom line" on alternatives as they apply to the compelling reasons, but are looking to YOU for the decision on what to offer them. To be fair to them, that's their job, not doing the original work.

    So go in with a full decision made on one, maybe two alternatives. Connect directly to all the compelling reasons. Show the cost vs. their costs. The bosses think Excel is free. And a huge number of people do come with Excel experience and skills. Yes… "um, to a degree..." but it is Excel high schools teach, and Excel with a lot of Google hits when searching on a problem. They are aware of this, and training has a cost. Ignore it and they'll have to wonder what else you're ignoring.

    3. Be clever regarding alternatives. They don't have to be spreadsheets. You might have six compelling cases that DO need addressed but the solution might be to take them out of the spreadsheet world. Could off-the-shelf software address one or more? Would MS's PowerApps or similar solve things? Perhaps a real database? A program written for you? Just a front-end for the Excel data store? Perhaps breaking the problem into parts. Is data acquisition and low-level use is suitable for Excel but the analysis needs PowerApps or a front-end. Does it really require some things be mixed together? Maybe just change the literal problem areas leaving the main body in place.

    YOU must figure that out for your presentation and present proper costs and difficulties. Show how your chosen solution not only directly saves money, but is the basis for efficiency that will present opportunities in the future, either altogether new ones, or enhanced current offerings. Avoid utterly correct "it'll pay for itself in 9 months" points: no one believes them anyway, and the costs you will often be looking at here are going to be labor costs. Those people are still going to be working there, just on other things, so the bosses know that money will still be spent anyway. Perhaps show how they can spend the time saved on a particular new capability or two.

    Along with front-ends and other bespoke software, off-the-shelf software, and such, consider environments. Not just SharePoint and its ilk, but, as an example, there are programs out there which use regular programming tools and languages, then create spreadsheets for you that accomplish your programming. They might support the 300 most used Excel functions, but on the other hand, reporting of data is usually incredible compared to Excel's capabilities, not to mention bringing together disparate sources. Reporting, by the way, is simply presentation of data and usually can be offered for use as if the user were in the spreadsheet data itself. No need to look for smooth scrolling, data validation, user rights and access... the list goes on. And changes are written back so... Many multi-user problems just go away.

    So I'm saying make it a real project to push your point. Do it right, remember bosses are there to approve the well-thought-out work of their subordinates. Not do it themselves. So do it, be right, and a large part of convincing them is accomplished.

    Final thought: AVOID offering to trial your solution, especially in bits and pieces. You have the entire overhead of learning the solution well enough to even decide on the best approach, the entire overhead of learning the tools you will use, and then turning all that over to the person who will do the nuts and bolts of it. A nightmare that will have some bug in it that everyone frets over. Showing it working at a colleague's place of employment perhaps, but don't go down in these flames.

    Roy commented  · 

    Cool. MS doesn't even have to divide and conquer since we are perfectly willing to eat ourselves.

    By the way, Excel's purpose is to be an easy and general interface to programming a computer to solve your non-huge needs. (Like it or not, a spreadsheet is a programming interface.) Things that one cannot or for whatever reason, will not, bite the bullet on and have a purpose-built program written for. Then, like most things of any value in life, they grow.

    So for a webiste with this one's (stated) purpose of asking Excel for new features or imporvements, it is wrong of folks to step up on a soapbox and preach to all around about how certain things simply should not be done. Find a website for that kind of thing. Well, find several, maybe several dozen: people who like that kind of thing tend to be utterly religious about their "thing" and you will be thrown out and purged from the sites soon after some tiny opinion that is at odds with the master ("little Hitler") of the site.

    And all of that has no place here. This is for what one would like to see added, removed, or improved. Not for hassling folks for the things they must do (you know, at the places that do have lots of Indians instead of all chiefs?).

    Excel is cell-based and MS has been clear about that and some of the things that means. Of course, that does not mean things must be done one way and never another. My most common use, for example, that is affected here is plowing through data that has poor input controls. So, like 10,000 rows in a column might have 745 oddnesses to chivvy into shape, not just 13 main ones and another 10 or so here and there ones (think street addresses or names). Moving down the rows, visually, looking for new ones to automate a fix for works best when the rows click along smoothly so my eyes can keep focus on the same point (like an old-time astronomer comparing telescope pictures side-by-side to see if anything moved). If a row somehow has two or more lines when most have one and it leaps into view rather than smoothly bumping up, that flow is shattered.

    Another big use of this idea is I prepare things for others to enter data into. It's a simple fact that they seem to prefer, and do better with, forms that scroll up smoothly so the labels for each data entry cell do best when they are all the same number of lines:

    Today's date

    not

    Today's
    Date

    if they are mainly one line, or the latter if they are mainly two lines. Then things scroll up "smoothly" visually, no jumping 2-3 lines sometimes. This is a human thing. You design something like Excel, or a public park, making the best choices that occur to you and then take input and make changes as possible to better suit what users really turn out to want. Which can evolve too. No one ever (should have) said it's simple. Even the preachers in here don't seem to disagree with the basic desire here.

    But guys... the preachers are welcome, just not the preaching. There's no place in a site with a purpose like this one's for "well, you shouldn't be doing that anyway": people are, people will continue, it's often not theirs to choose, and they are Suggesting improvements based on their realities.

    Roy commented  · 

    4 I have a fever:

    The behavior you hate in #2) can be turned off. Go to File | Options | Advanced. The very first choice there is to turn Enter's movement off completely, or to assign it ANY of the four basic directions. You'll want to set the first six of Advanced's options every time you get a new computer with a new installation of Excel.

    If you occasionally do desire Enter to work that way, you can always turn it back on for however long it is needed.

    Or highlight the cells you wish to move between (doesn't have to be contiguous either) and pressing Enter will move you from cell to cell in the highlighted area. Until you forget and press an arrow key... Experiment with that if you use it for multiple row/multiple column blocks at the same time to make sure it goes as expected. HOW the cells were highlighted can make a difference, and ALWAYS makes a difference if things are not contiguous.

    If you define a range, you can select IT and only move between those cells. Useful for both data entry and data flushing (choose the range and hit Delete, your data entry cells are fresh again). Especially good for widely separated cells. Again though, how they are selected (order, whether highlighting on the fly, or typing the cell names when setting up the range) will make a difference in what order you move through them and that funny thing Windows does with filenames where one enters a string of, say, four filenames and it does them 2-3-4-1, not 1-2-3-4? Same thing happens here so put the cell you want to start in after selecting the range LAST when setting it up.

    Weird, eh? But mostly, just shut that horrid behavior off with the first option in File | Options | Advanced.

    Roy commented  · 

    Live in the shallow waters then my friend. Your offspring will evolve into sentient life while mine will still be sharkbait. I guess. Reading more than one or two lines without an insult in them to liven up the mood is a chore.

    Live long and prosper y'all.

    Roy commented  · 

    I have LITERALLY never touched, nor even seen a Mac in my life. Unless I saw something from the corner of my eye passing the one Apple store sort of in the area while walking in that mall. IPads and so on, sure, but never a Mac. I did use a 2e back in 1983 for a few weeks one summer but that was not a Mac.

    In any case, the Mac OS allows pixel by pixel scrolling of anything on the screen. MacOS Sierra, version 10, as an explicit example according to the last last answerer to this StackExchange question: (worth reading all the answers here for tips on how to get some of the needed functionality)

    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7200000/can-i-make-excel-scroll-smoothly-without-using-middle-click

    "user3524289" last answer, 9/12/2017

    So instead of having to live with Excel's "snap to a cell, always" approach, Mac users can scroll in the way desired here. Because the operating system has the functionality and Excel doesn't override it. They see a good thing and ride it, not override it.

    As to Excel's institutional concept, the following is a volunteer moderator whose base reaction is "I'm afraid this is not how Excel works. The anchor point is always the top left corner of a cell." which reads like "So it is written, so let it be done." to paraphrase a little.

    Lower (open the replies, and go down toward the bottom, not the couple repeats along the way) and she... well, you have to read it, the circle of pointlessness won't close until you do:

    https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2010-excel/how-can-i-change-the-scroll-bar-in-excel-2010-to/967abb36-a0d9-4156-be15-ac154b1d6dc9?auth=1

    As to Mac users, from all I have read here and elsewhere, they do get this one thing, but suffer the absense of a bunch of functions() and more. So I don't really envy them.

    As to Macs again, since computing has moved to the "buy and use a toaster" stage, or at least significantly closer, many of my reasons for hating Nanny Apple are just "so yesterday"... but they are still a vile company with a vile corporate culture and that never changes. I will never own or use an Apple product. It's a sacrifice, no doubt, they are nice pads and phones and pods and so on, but someone has to draw a line and suffer if it brings suffering.

    Excel internally uses a tiny base measure for sizing everything, one that according to Allen Wyatt (no citation from his site, search there is pretty whack) is something on the order of 1,880 or so units per inch. But not exposed to us via any aspect of Excel, not even VBA. They have the internal measure in place to enable programming that references it, but are not interested, it would seem, in taking advantage of that.

    A workaround, a bit beastly, that few mention, would be to copy the cells one needs to examine against each other to a word processor and examine them there. Too bad no one has written an IDE to write Excel formulas in, complete with at least coloring of text in a better way than Excel does, the ability to indent and so on, all the lines you need, not three, all the possible IDE bells and whistles, then to let you click a "copy" button that collects it all and let you put it back into Excel with "F2, paste, and be happy."

    (Mac or Apple fanboy? Even Lot's daughters weren't more wrong than that.)

    Roy commented  · 

    No doubt.

    Got that.

    I comprehend.

    Excel uses the Mac's operating system to do precisely this. How or why is not the real point. That's how it does it. It is not written into Excel.

    Ergo my conclusion.

    Make your own. It's a free country.

    Roy commented  · 

    @David Filisan:

    It works smoothly on the Mac because the operating system provides for such smooth, small increment movement.

    Windows does not.

    Excel uses operating services for scrolling rather than its own programming for it. Hence, smooth on a Mac, obnoxious on Windows.

    There's no likelihood that (relying on the operating system rather than programming for it as a feature) will change, so until Windows provides the smooth, small increment movement required, Excel on Windows will continue as is.

    Roy commented  · 

    (Sigh...)

    Roy wishes... IF PowerApps was as easy as Excel, and IF it were a one price for all, like Excel, and IF it didn't have its own amateur limitations (apparently, most database sources are not handled properly and have a limitation of about 5,000 records...)... well, IF all those things, especially the second, I might be...

    Two things though, one new and possibly of use sometimes:

    1) A reminder that this works nicely on the Mac because the OS provides the service. There's a very good chance this will never happen inside Excel, but rather depends upon the Windows folks adding fine scale movement to Windows. Not only would that be a different programming interest group to inflluence, but there could be legal issues, or worse, to get around legal issues (given the monster Apple is, the monster MS cannot just "Disney" this competition by besetting them with dozens of lawyers attacking or defending, depending) Windows might end up with a less graceful feature. Still, better than this!

    2) New thing... I came across a Stack Exchange Super User post last night that has some interest for me, and maybe others. The gist of it is that Excel jumps the screen based upon the height of the row that the cell selector is in. How does that help?

    Well, if you have religious type feelings on the subject of merged cells, this cannot help you. If you have the tons of practical reasons to hate them, this probably can't help you.

    But if you can live with them, and can use a merged set of cells without a lot of trouble, AND you can navigate with the cell selector NOT in merged cells, you could be in business.

    Picture a five column table, A-F, and the big row maker is in column A, if it matters. When you enter any big row, the screen jumps. But if the big row was whatever, say 23 rows, and the big cell was a merging of all the rows in that cell, say A101:A123, AND you insert a narrow column that will not have merged cells (I figure the other four columns would have to have their cells merged too, to match the offender cell), and you navigate using the narrow inserted column, it will work naturally, going up a little by a little. The navigation can also be done by mouse and goes row by row as one clicks, like it does now. I cannot test it fully because I live in a happy world where my monitor is too tall to let 409.50 points (546 pixels, 1 pt = 4/3 px, What? Why is that?) take the whole height. Looks like it solves the jumping, and the never seeing the bottom material (without F2-editing the cell to see it).

    Obviously, hugely limited, and who wants to go about making all those cells (ALL columns for proper display, probably) to make it work. Not to mention how formulas would work and propogate... And could it even work right with Tables? And all the other difficulties merged cells bring.

    But maybe someone can use it. I might point out the Super User Answerer was bringing a technique from Google... seeing if it would work in Excel... and then reporting it.

    First sign in the wind of the, oops... "AN", not "the", surely?... intellectual shift from Excel?

    Roy commented  · 

    Folks, this is not "the" place where they come for things to do. Nor is it "a" place. 99% of the things that do end up happening happened because they were going to anyway, had some other internal motivation (like how to push you to PowerApps), or...

    because large enterprise users, who blithely pay subscription fees without any real critical attention at any level outside accounting, and who might decide one day to just walk away, and use something else. (I don't mean other spreadsheets necessarily, alrhough it could include that, but rather biting the bullet and properly programming a function removing a swath of their need for Excel which could lead to big drops in subscriptions — the last thing MS needs is for their business here to become a churning, roiling mess like cable companies ended up having: that doesn't play well with financial markets, or pride.) Eventually that might mean subscription revenue loss, but even more, those folks will never be forced over to PowerApps and a tripling of their subscriptions.

    So the last poster has a HUGELY good point, not just here, but for all the popular Suggestions here:

    Make it an Enterprise argument. NOT 1,904 users out of 800,000,000 million users worldwide, 1,904 representatives of enterprises of all sizes, arguing for this on the basis of dollars and how they represent 5 or 58 or 2,847 users via their enterprises.

    By the way, for just the price of $8 or so dollars a month, for every possible user plus each designer, for every important shared workflow spreadsheet you currently have for every month of every year, forever, you could have a PowerApp for each one... PowerApps don't have this scrolling problem, nor does it have any other of the problems we find at this site! It's just money folks...

    Roy commented  · 

    The Mac solution is not in Excel. That's why they have a solution and we don't in Windows.

    The operating system provides and Excel just rides along for free, so to speak.

    I'm perfectly happy for Windows to solve the problem...

    Instead, all 12 people who use touch screen monitors are given new "Ink" things to do. Priorities, you know.

    Roy commented  · 

    By the way folks, consider how you ever found this "forum." WHEN you even learned it existed.

    I've used Excel for 28 years now and only learned of it a year-ish ago, have to look at my posts and votes, maybe two years?

    Consider there being 750,000,000+ users of Excel around the world and how many of them each of our votes represents. My estimate is in the 10,000-100,000 people are represented by each vote we make here. Willing to allow down a factor of ten if folks insist, but... I don't think I'm off by too much and it may be on the high end, nearer to the 100,000.

    I understand MS would say, no, we have 749,998,200 happy, content sheeple, but that simply isn't true. Why do they count sheeple anyway? We are all people, with hopes and dreams, favorite football teams, children and other pets, to consider us sheeple is insulting, at best.

    Ahh, mendacity and talking about things that neither matter or exist... I have a future as an official response guy in here!

    Roy commented  · 

    You don't have any neighbors in vans or rivers nearby do you?

    Handmade is always best though, try to see this as an opportunity to let your artisanship shine in an increasingly factory-made world! You will see this as a blessing, someday, really...

    Hopefully not a big blessing though, 'cause with BG's benevolent monopolies happenin' (find it on YouTube), Ms will soon be running life itself andif you have a BIG blessing, you could jump scroll right past it and never experience it all...

    C'mon MS, that "oh we're on it NOW" post above is, sadly, now a year old and I'm still seeing it and not the solution...

    Roy commented  · 

    @Anonymous:

    Lol, yep, a joke, no doubt. To slightly adapt Roy Clark (RIP man), if it weren't for bad jokes, we'd have no jokes at all... Gloom, despair, and agony on me...

    Just yesterday I was starting a bit of research on another SORE point getting the same mendacious treatment and at a MS site (Answers.something.or.the.other.MS.com), the MS person charged with responding to the question cheerfully suggested the asker go to this site and weigh in his vote in the other SORE point's main line...

    And of course, it has no meaningfull response, just mendacity like the above (same cut-and-paste source?), from the same kind of year, year and a half ago time period.

    As if. Ah well, first world problem, right? If I were in Rwanda, someone would've been along already to cut off my arms and legs with a machete and r*pe my children next to me as I laid there dying. So I DO understand my fortune in having this complaint vs. other complaints I could have. But it still does not excuse this treatment by MS.

    Even a simple, straightforward message of "Get bent" along with the closing of the suggestion's comment ability would be a step forward, to somewhere, which would be better than limbo.

    Roy commented  · 

    What is quite surprising about the lack of response by them is that they love to trot out the

    "Excel is not presentation software like Word, Power Point, Publisher, etc. It is for and about serious work with numbers."

    line they use so much. Usually hesitation with that line only comes when asking why I can't make a cell 1.08" wide in normal editing. Then, of course, it somehow IS all about presentation.

    Their internal measurement system, used for presenting things, apparently has about 1800 units per inch. Clearly such a granular control could easily offer true scrolling, not "Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! (Every screen jump)"

    (Sorry House of Pain, had to change a word there.)

    Oh, and MS guys and gals... it ain't hard for a couple CPU cycles to be used for checking monitor resolution. Even with multiple monitors.

    Roy commented  · 

    I used to paste long, long formulas into tall, wide cells so I could see the whole thing. Once upon a time. Since you can't see more than three lines in the formula editor.

    Gave up on that years ago when they often pushed other cells off the screen and once in a while were bigger than the screen so became a nightmare to get any value. I've used Notepad since.

    It's not even that though, just so obnoxious that they jump all over the place and leave you in a worthless situation.

    And the Mac lets you do it right because the operating system has the required pixel by pixel feature, apparently. Yay. Everything else of use has been copied back and forth by the two companies, so why not this one? I don't care if it's Windows that fixes it or Excel, but it's a mess.

    We're all wrong though, right? All we have to do is reduce size... go to say 50%, right? If one could even read the cell then the way text is butchered when downsizing. We're all just whiners... Wanting special treatment when there's already a feature no doubt planned just for this... All smoke, no fire. I fell so ashamed.

    Roy supported this idea  · 
  4. 2 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Go brother, you finally found one that will happen in a very short time! Like nect 1st of the month. Then the next first of the month. And as the Teletubbieis used to say" "Again!"

    Roy supported this idea  · 
  5. 146 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Thanks Majid Mj.

    I'd be more outgoing with my appreciation if it actually worked, but...

    Roy commented  · 

    Be sure to vote here too:

    https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/9095062-give-us-a-proper-null-worksheet-function

    The good news is that even after 3½ years, they STILL plan to do it, that hasn't been downgraded! Talk about slim threads but... Hope Lives!™©℠®♪

    (Maybe that last one♪ will get the RIAA to take our side. Tenacious folk! Even Disney, the original Lawyers-Я-Us™©℠®♪, doesn't try throwing lawyers at THEM.)

    Roy commented  · 

    Rather than changing 50 functions, or only someone's half dozen leaving the others to hobble on, we need a true NULL.

    Just that, and it's all done.

    If I will populate a region using formulas, then PASTE|SPECIAL|VALUES to clean the formulas out, but need cells to really be empty (NULL's), I currently have to use a string the data would never contain like "MMM" instead of "" and Find and Replace afterward with nothing. THEN I finally have a true NULL back in the cells. (Ugh, don't even get me started on how, when first doing this, decades ago, I figured the string "***" would NEVER be in any of my data... great, never was, but then the boss sent one of my spreadsheets to someone outside the company...)

    I have needed this for DECADES now. Plural. I am not interested in tinkering with a function
    or two, maybe half a dozen popular ones. I need this for sorting. I would have used more dynamic formulas a LOT earlier if this had not been an issue, but it's mainly for sorting.

    Do you have the least idea how much time I've spent over the years JUST answering and explaining to users of the spreadsheets (bosses mostly) why sorting did not work out as expected, how to solve that, etc? Every second wasted and often left a suspicion in their minds that the spreadsheet was flawed, so it could be VERY flawed.

    Not to mention the time wasted with the "MMM" and F&R.

    But it's NOT limited to sorting something you've done and maybe could have done differently (somehow, when it's YOU telling ME how I should choose a different method, that's all fine, but if I tell YOU some other way is better, there might be a million reasons you would offer why not, but usually people settle on "I don't want to do it differntly, I want to do it this way," and that is sufficient... but it just meant I was stupid when I used it — not pointing fingers at anyone here!, just sayin').

    No, not limited to those at all: Importing data. Nulls in, say a CSV or TXT file, come in as "" type entries. So EVERYONE importing anything in which that can occur, then adding data, ends up with the problem. Again, the sorting issue. Cell counting issues. How many items in a column. And so on.

    Unless the import is sorted, column after column, the collection of NOT NULL's found, and deleted so you have true blanks, true Null's. Up for a little bit of work today boys? Importing 38 columns with this one. Sort and so on away me hearties!

    So I need a true NULL available in formulas AND in the data import process. Once I have it, no function will give me any trouble. For anything legacy in all the spreadsheets out there, until it is upgraded (or until forever, eh?), there's still good old "". It is ALREADY in ALL those legacy works, so nothing will be broken.

    Now, from that angle, I do understand the let's tinker with my favorite function approach. Instead of upgrading one's work, which admittedly might never happen, I imagine lots of folks would like their favorite don't-work-functions to suddenly work. Nice, for that I guess. Nightmare for most of us and not on point for the sorting and data import aspects at all. But I guess I get it from that slightly askance viewpoint.

    Give me a real NULL, available in formulas, and as a value for a NULL in imported data. Give me PRECISELY NOTHING. That's all I ask for: PRECISELY NOTHING. And lots of it.

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    Roy commented  · 

    You know, things should just simply be there as entered. Whetehr hand entered, dragged and dropped, imported, whatever, simply recorded as entered.

    Then I write a formula that references it and Excel reads it... and does whatever it can. If I use it as a number and Excel can't figure out how to use the character string as a number — AT THAT MOMENT AND FOR THAT USAGE ONLY — it simply gives an approriate error. And continues to leave the underlying character string, in General format if I didn't choose to apply some other, ALONE.

    Period.

    If it's the equivalent of "82happysanta9" and I try to add it to something, well, my bad. No errors simply because I had to format it as text to keep the whole thing. Simple, straightforward.

    I might also point out a niche advantage one would have here: since all the entered characters would be present, I, or Excel, could easily (relatively easily) calculate correct significant figures, ALWAYS. It would be so easy, they could easily program a format symbol to add to any numerical format it could work with that would literally, not just display-wise, change a result to only keep the proper significant figures. (I guess a second symbol would have to be available to mark some entries as constants so they get used properly in that.)

    With that, everyone could use their own silo's standards about significant figures and rounding to give the results they need.

    It's ridiculous... they say Excel has engineers in mind and then one of the most basic engines in it whacks characters from start and end of entered data with no workable way to prevent it. "Su data es mi data," sayeth the Excel.

    Roy commented  · 

    And that's a lie. You read it.

    Ciao. Forever.

    Roy commented  · 

    It wasn't a rant. And it responded to the question raised herein about wasn't the one of the two functions enough.

    Further, just don't comment in a mean way about it then. If someone does, I reserve the right to respond back from a position of having been insulted.

    They taught basic people interaction in kindergarten in my day. Sad you need a reminder or short course on this.

    Also, if someone doesn't care, they can say it. If they find it boring, they can say it. Or, of course, just keep it to themselves. They don't have to imply the issue was there being more paragraphs than they can bring themselves to read on any given topic, or just mine.

    Response from a position of having been insulted is perfectly appropriate when having been insulted.

    Meanwhile, rant on for no real reason since YOU haven't been insulted. I doubt MS minds when we eat our own instead of concentrating on their products.

    Roy commented  · 

    @i just:

    No problem. No need in this life to read things for comprehension. That's a primary school concern, right? Who cares after 2-3rd grade.

    Gosh... those hopeful "when will..." questions are really complaints? Who knew? (Those 3rd graders I guess.) Wow, that must mean the passive-aggressive epidemic is out of control. Soon it will rival the tl;dr epidemic.

    I'm not sure that as a people we deserve decent product features from MS. (Whew! Just three paragraphs this time!)

    Roy commented  · 

    @Patrick, et al (should be "et ALL" in this case): Not to be a Debbie Downer, but... remember when they first touted the new Array functions? Ooohhh... "Spill" fucntions... Remember how they went on and on and let websites show them in use... oooohhh... and said only special people had them for now, but they'd roll out soon and change the world?

    Yeah, like at least six months ago, a half year ago. Got them yet? Nay.

    So, (VERY) sadly, even if they told us this was done and would roll out immediately, I a'gonna have to say I'd expect an utter minimum of the same half year Spill functions (oooohhh... Spill functions...) have taken. And EVERY day longer they take, gotta add that to anything claimed about this.

    And...

    Ain't nobody claiming anything here is being taken seriously enough to be, well, anywhere on a path to the day when they can announce it is done and will roll out immediately. Not even six-months-immediately.

    So it looks like I shall die without seeing it happen. (The truth hurts.) So be careful with that name Patrick. Don't get pushed into a stance you have to live with because 'If this be worthwhile spreadsheet programming, golly, I'd make the most of it: Give me the numbers I typed or give me death!' could go badly. Definitely slowly either way.

    Roy commented  · 

    @i just: There is indeed a SEARCH(), probably because 1-2-3 had it, or had FIND(), and they were stealing everything Lotus did... I mean, they had to have Lotus' version for compatibility or business people whose bosses were paying for 1-2-3 wouldn't even try Excel for free. (That's a chilling thing for the economists... won't even try it for free, really free, not like internet or physical store free. I loved free Excel though till they killed all competitors and begfan to charge a ton. Sigh...)

    Actually, I WOULD value a SEARH() that could search a range of cells. (And that could begin with "instance 4" of the value being searched for!) My problem... I mean "use case" right?... is an idiotic software vendor whose idea of Excel export of their reports is spreadsheets that LOOK LIKE their reports. Not ones with a simple row and column presentation of the data. Worse, they are not in any way consistent about how the material goes into the report. So a value I need that is somewhere relative to another value that is unchanging... find it that easily?... nay... the two values could be in any of 10+ cells in one report, and not consistently either so I can't find the one and move consistently to find the other. Contortions are needed. If I could search a block, I could easily specify the range of cells (3-4 coluumns, 3-4 rows, but easy to define for each block) and get the value I really need. So a real Search function, not just a clone of FIND() would be NICE. Or if one used the "instance number" approach so you could specify, say, the 3rd instance, while the other kept the "starting location" approach so we would be able to do whichever was best suited.

    No, FIND() is not sufficient.

    Imagine my aggravation when the idiots led me on, then showed me their newest idea to create a lot of fake hits on Bing. "We got market share... we do!... what do we call our product again?... oh yeah, Bing... Bing has relavence! It does!"

    And then again a week ago after half a year had passed since I looked at that useless bit of garbage... 'cause I'd forgotten that's what it had presented before... only to find that was STILL the new and shiny special thing to excite us with. So never doing that again, not 40 years from now, if I live that long, 'cause it's just garbage.

    Roy commented  · 

    @Futski:

    Just tried that, out of some interest, eh? Edited the CSV file, saved it with NotePad, opened in Excel and it completely ignored them.

    Roy commented  · 

    @orgen:

    Actually, for that problem, the TEXT option is precisely what you DO need.

    Base changing functions for anything "past" Decimal require your input to be text. So being imported with that option set for the column will accomplish exactly what you need.

    Suggestion's point is still very, very desirable.

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    Roy commented  · 

    Does NOT exist: he'd like it to be immutable and even LG DES believes it to be changeable via VBA code.

    Actually, it's harder to change than that: must use the VBE tool, not code. But still, easily done if anyone wishes. WHY anyone would wish to mess with it when they can juist change the tab name and satisfy whatever their urge was would be unclear, but they still can dynamite your work. Not immutable if not unchangeable, so... does NOT exist.

    (And... users are insistent about that kind of thing sometimes. Boss-type users. Like the old David Letterman bit about "Stupid Human Tricks" where he tried to make sure you knew he meant stupid tricks by humans, not stupid humans doing tricks, wink, wink... bosses seem to be that latter sort all too often.)

    But like everyone says, the Code Name is the closest there is now.

    Be real nice if it could never be changed though, and you could count on that fact, writing your code using it so the code would never suffer from user-touch.

    Roy commented  · 

    As JanR says. But also, using the same VBE tools, one can change it so long as the new Code Name begins with a letter.So if a user wants to change it, the user can.

    Also, not usable in formulas and it would be pretty nice if it were. And if immutable, your formuals and macros would never fail. For that matter, if it displayed in a formula with the Tab Name, there'd be no screwing around.

    Be nice if one could set a property, a formatting, that could be protected so that things showed in formulas as they result, so build a sheet name when building the spreadsheet, change the setting, then see the resulting name from then on, perhaps differently colored to let you know a formula underlies it. Nice for understanding your workbook's logic. Hmm...

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    Roy commented  · 

    Ah, that is wonderful. Very nice.

    I encourage everyone to vote on Bill Jelen's idea. This is a once in a lifetime upgrade, or three times a century anyway, so let's help them get it right.

    Roy commented  · 

    @Ed Hansberry:

    That's awesome to read. The absence of any press on the subject was very worrisome. The absence of blog type applications of them to real world problems, answering real questions if only from those who had them already was exceedingly worrisome, especially as so much time passed. Doing this is bread and butter, literally, for quite a few folks, at the minimum as advertising for how good their training offers are likely to be. And nothing!

    Remember when CONCAT() came along, oh boy, and then really just didn’t do what was needed? And we let it mainly die while waiting and hoping for a miracle which finally came with TEXTJOIN()? It felt a bit like that: that MS was way off plan because the spill functions were turning out to be pretty flawed, or at least nothing special, and they were limiting their spread in the wild so they could improve them. Seemed like that, maybe, and that they would die like CONCAT() and in some years’ time a new version would rise, really work, and then be really rolled out.

    Maybe I should write dark fiction of some kind, but to me that’s how it seemed it could be going.

    And… I feared for XLOOKUP() too. As you say, it clearly dips into the spill functionality at the very least, and MS kind of implied that the spill engine would actually come to underly everything so it seemed likely it was based in it, not just tapping into it, and then, well, and then refer back a couple paragraphs and I feared it could be sucked down if the spill functionality had issues.

    Contrarily, I feared, and still do, that it might actually be “special passengered” through the early roll-out stage with no improvements really allowed before release to the wild. Bill Jelen already has one suggested add to it (an error handling argument so no need to wrap the search in something to handle errors) which had 27 votes already this morning. And I, among others, would still like to see it do things like take multiple lookup values (like a first name column, a last name column, even 3,4,5 columns for the lookup value), return more than one column’s contents, see it definitely be able to be applied through ad hoc tables created with CHOOSE(), and very important to me, return a “table” (spill range being the likely physical presentation) of results from ALL the “hits” in the lookup range—so, say, all 147 instances of a customer ID presenting in a spill range that I could operate further with as a subset: replacing filtering capabilities with formulaic filtering.

    But your news is GOOD NEWS regardless! I can hardly wait!

    And just when I was getting used to the idea of changing over to Index-Match… whew! Dodged that bullet!

    Roy commented  · 

    Well that's almost awesome. Almost everything one could want.

    No complaint. Frankly stunned to see something is actually happening.

    But... I was told about the new "Spill" functions a year ago, almost, and that they would reach regular monthly updated people like me early in 2019.

    So... I'll hold off the palpitations until the day I type =XLOOKUP( and the function help appears instead of nothing. Been checking on the spill functions that way for a long time. And honestly, I can't remember EVER seeing that those have made it out of the hands of the "some in the Insiders program" they were initially rolled out to. All the sites that gave gushing notice... that's all that ever happened.

    I have a question though. I'll keep using this for the next year or three I guess, but I wonder why I could never find anything about the INDIRECT-MATCH combo. JUST them, not combined with VLOOKUP or OFFSET. Could go left (biggest point really). Only picked one column and a cell, so no extra calculations when something in a range/Named Range/Table's other cells changed, except, you know, INDIRECT is volatile. Simple, straightforward. Just never read anything about it.

    Say the lookup column is h3:h7, the target column is G, and the lookup value is in 10. Then:

    =INDIRECT("g"&MATCH(F10,H3:H7,0)+ROW(H3)-1)

    MATCH looks in F10, searches H3:H7, "0" is aking for an exact match, so sorting doesn't matter. That returns a row, then INDIRECT pairs that with "g" to give a cell to look for a value in and return it.

    You know the column you want, so the "g" isn't a mystery and somehow unfair. You'd enter something like G3:G7 in an INDEX-MATCH formula so really not unfair. (Adjust accordingly for one of the 27 horizontal lookups ever done in history.)

    I suppose it's because INDIRECT is volatile. But I've never been slowed by it.

    Oh well. Back to hoping for a really short wait on XLOOKUP! Yay!

    (The above is just me getting a first reminiscence in, you know, the "walked uphill to school and uphill back home" kind. "For the kids" who just look at us blankly in five years when we talk about life before XLOOKUP.)

    Roy commented  · 

    Oh, and to Mr. Wyn Hopkins!

    That Autocorrect idea is shear brilliance. It can clearly be useful in quite a few instances. I will use it myself and teach it to others, especially those who find Microsoft function definitions and help somewhat... abstruse... and therefore hard to figure out if one does not already know what each element is already which rather defeats the purpose in most cases. Expert "speech" ≠ Expert "teach" in quite a bit of their support site help.

    Just brilliant. Simple, complete, brilliant.

    Roy commented  · 

    Related, but no longer explaining those requirements, conceptually a formula is all about Excel providing building blocks with which one can nimbly piece together functions to solve one’s UNIQUE need of the moment. One needs general functions that do not attempt to solve world hunger on their own, but rather are small, exact, building blocks. HOWEVER… some things turn out to be more general and are needed often by everyone with just small, easily defined refinements to match the unique needs they of their moments. Lookups are one of these. So then a function of broader scope than, say, SUM(), is needed. Yes, just as there are workaround for summing, there are workarounds for lookups. But workarounds are hard to learn for many, and very hard to adapt to their needs because they do not understand them. They usually are not extensible for the same reason. If MS wants to sell to a wider audience, a simple function is needed. People who have a solid handle on the workaround can sit all as smug as their characters dictate and keep using their workarounds. Everyone else would use the new simple function. I can “go left” with VLOOKUP() using a negative number for the column (and in string functions as well). It takes some work, a wee more than INDEX/MATCH, but it’s not unbearable. I don’t use it often. Workarounds are a pain. I just want to enter a simple function modelled on the current VLOOKUP, mostly, and be done with it. So does literally everyone else I personally know.

    Lastly, and this is why Apple does so well with so many products, almost no one in the world wants to intimately know how their car works and to then tinker with it before, during, and after every use of the car. They just want to drive it. MS has to provide this “toaster” simplicity if they want their products used 10-100 times as much and as widely as they are now. A universal lookup function that takes easy care of all possible lookups would be quick to learn for 90% of its usages, and if one had to learn to use some of its features better to take advantage of its more advanced capabilities, one could do it that time, perhaps forgetting afterwards. It would, in a clear and obvious way, handle the basic, simple VLOOKUP() work we see so much of. And if you wanted to do more, you could just by widening your thinking about its parameters: “OHHHH… not just go over 3 columns, but to another sheet too… ohhhh… I never thought of that before…” No new function to learn and explain to anyone validating your spreadsheet, just a tweak to your usage of an old parameter friend.

    Roy commented  · 

    Folks, we simply need one function, fully enabled, to seek and find for us. Not limited by defining a limited, structured, lookup need, and then created but rather created to seek and find, then return a desired result.

    So, a function that

    1) Takes an input value
    2) Hunts in a given range for it finding all occurrences of it (either reporting a list of them, or evaluating further from the list)
    3) Allows one to choose a value OFFSET from it (or each) and return that value (or values). An allowance for returning an ADDRESS instead would be useful.
    4) Allows one to select one of many results (instance number) including a provision for “last” and counting back from “last.”
    5) Provides for a defined “error” result in the manner that IFERROR() does, or Excel’s own error result if that is not defined.

    To further explain the above:

    1) Pretty obvious, but included should be taking any result from a formula for this but “cleansing” the physical form of the formula’s return so that it does not itself cause an error as invalid input. (Ever use F9 to evaluate portions of a failed formula and found that the failure point (when the formula evaluates on its own does not cause failure when you F9 that portion and then hit Enter? That’s because the F9 process cleansed it somehow while Excel did not as it stepped through. The other way around happens too.)
    2) ANY range given it. Period. Single cell. A “Table” or a block of data we plebs think of as a table. A range built of subranges using the various joining methods available. Something CHOOSE() creates. And folks… 3-D ranges. “4-D” even, if one thinks of different files providing the 4th dimension.
    3) So, conceptually, picking the column to find a result in is currently a very simple, single value offset. And probably the offset almost always desired, honestly, but the function should not inherently limit itself to this. A single value, like 3 or -4, should default to a column 3 to the RIGHT or 4 to the LEFT, but a full 3-D offset should be available (or… 4-D).
    4) It should internally locate ALL occurrences of the lookup value. It should make this list available for output. It should use this list as a table for “sub-lookup” to return values (or their cell addresses if desired) quickly. One should be able to specify the “instance number” desired, or one chosen from a range of instances, the literal “last” instance, and of course, counting back from the end as well as forward from the beginning.
    5) One of the huge performance hits in Excel is the double evaluation inherent in a huge number of IF() usages. You know, IF “some long formula” is not an error then “some long formula.” IFERROR() improved that, though not useful for all instances since it just handles error results, but the idea here is to enter the lookup with any “some long formulas” involved as its sub-parts, and if it returns a null (as in “no instance of the lookup value was found” rather than one was found and the lookup location it returned was an empty cell), then return some defined result if one chose to define one rather than some Excel error. This way one need not wrap the lookup in an IF() test for this, evaluating it once for the IF() test, then returning it as a result if that returned TRUE and so having to evaluate it a second time.

    Call it ULOOKUP() (for Universla lookup.)

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  15. 863 votes
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    Thanks again for all the passion on this issue – we hear you and we’ll get someone on the team to dig in to the issue. I’ve seen a few related sub-issues while scanning over the comment section for this one, so we may reach out to a few of you for clarifications. Thanks again for all the votes, and keep them coming for the issues you care about!

    John, Excel

    Roy commented  · 

    Now you can be confused since I began and ended with opposites. Hint: I voted for this quite a while ago.

    Roy commented  · 

    Against. Period.

    There's this thing called sarcasm. I may not have been deft with it, but even poor sarcasm is usually recognized as sarcasm. Perhaps a clearer version would "Hey, MS just solved the single Undo stack issue. They withdrew Excel from the market..."

    In any case, in general, I like to try to understand how a thing came to be and to give "props" when due. I think many do. But it doesn't in the least let me live happily with this sad situation.

    To be fair to my point, I was pointing out that the single-sheet version of affairs was similar to our world of single but multi-sheet spreadsheets. And that for the last 26 years there's literally no reason on Earth why the shared Undo stack would have been kept.

    It sets the sitch in stark terms. A lot of people don't even live 26 years. And this drags on. With no excuse or reason ever presented. Since I haven't sunk to the misery of not thinking on it anymore and just building hatred and resentment, I occasionally speculate. Not asking for forgiveness either. My life will go on with or without this. A part of it will suck, but that's all. And I'll still want individual Undo stacks the whole while. (Sorry, I couldn't fit "whale" into that.)

    Roy commented  · 

    Rob... my man... MS DID solve this already, made sure each file has its own Undo stack!

    It's called (the horrible and monstrous forced shift to the world of) SDI. If you don't fight Excel, it will open a new instance for each spreadsheet and those instances are almost as unaware of each other as Spotify and Quicken are of each other.

    Including individual Undo stacks. Oh boy!

    Of course, fight progress and open your spreadsheets in ways that open in a single instance and those spreadsheets that are completely separated from each other via SDI (which operates regardless of single instance or multiple Excel instances) are suddenly still joined together via, amongst a few other things, their single, shared, Undo stack.

    But you really can have separate Undo stacks if you just open instances willy-nilly.

    And oh yes, it surely should be an easily set user preference. Right on the money there!

    But it is not by any means a "pro" feature. Even if you just need two spreadsheets open at once for manual work you intend to do in each as required by your job's minute-to-minute needs, you will sooner or later suffer with a single Undo stack. Or suffer from the disconnection between instances of Excel. And there are at least 10 other situations I expect arise very often amongst us all that are nothing pro-like, just average Joe-like.

    Admittedly, almost nothing is the end of the world here, usually one can give up his work by closing without saving if needs be. But it SUCKS to lose work for such a simple thing to fix. Sometimes it's a LOT of work, but even still, it's not like a tornado ripping up Xenia. It just sucks though each time you end up in that bind and it should never even be able to occur.

    By the way, I think you have the lead on an important "how it came to be": Until about 1993, there was a single sheet per spreadsheet. If one needed multi-sheet functionality, one had to make several, or many, spreadsheets that would work together. Still separate files though. A single instance of Excel-wide Undo stack makes pretty decent sense then, it would actually be enabling for many, though not required. Maybe how we ended up having it so long before it's last need for being went away.

    As soon as multi-sheet ("tabbed") spreadsheets could be created, most things settled into single spreadsheets and so a private Undo stack for each multi-sheet spreadsheet would have kept that equivalent functionality without hindering the future.

    Yet... here we are, relegated to the "hinderlands..." (sorry, couldn't resist)

    Roy commented  · 

    No doubt.

    Right hand, left hand, neither knowing the other exists.

    I'm not sure if I should wish they shared best practices around the company (or had done so, long ago), or if I should be happy to see a monopolist miss a pretty good trick (the sharing of best practices).

    Seriously though, as I described in more detail lower down here, close an open workbook and they have no problem whatever identifying the Undo elements registered to that workbook and deleting them from the stack. It's not like you re-open it immediately and they're still available. So they can already identify what goes with what. How hard... oh... yeah, not hard. Must actually be a motivation issue.

    (Not really clear why macros have to wipe out the Undo stack either. Never seen a plausible explanation for that.)

    Roy commented  · 

    Posting the 1st half now, so it is in order. Here. Sadly, that will make the halves come backwards in any emails...

    1st half:

    Have a SINGLE INSTANCE of Excel open and IN IT create 3 files, A1.xlsx, etc. Make some clear entries, patterned for each one, like 1,1,1 and 2,2,2 and 3,3,3.

    Try UNDO. That last 3 goes away, no matter which file you are in AND, unlike described following those links to different places after them, you go to that exact cell in that exact spreadsheet and see what went away. No "hidden" Undo's occur. Yay. BUT you were in A1.xlsx when you hit UNDO and wanted the last thing done there to be undone.

    Of course, that did NOT happen and CAN'T happen which is why this Suggestion exists.

    Those links are said to make the point that this is programmed in in such a way that it CANNOT be undone, reprogrammed, overridden... it is an aspect of MDI and flat cannot be done any other way. Those poor dears at MS have no physical way to override that behavior so this is an outcome. Choices? Well... no UNDO at all, of course, or SDI and then it never comes up to discuss so problem solved. Whew... no more dirty bathwater, problem solved... hey honey, where's the baby? He was here right before I threw out the dirty bathwater and now I can't find him... solved the dirty bathwater (UNDO) problem though.

    However.

    In the links, a person mentions that closing one of the contributing files wipes out its contributions to the Undo stack, but leaves the rest. Yeah, that happens, both with the 2016 I have now and the 2010 I have still at home. Another person says no... yeah it wipes out that file's contributions, but only by wiping out the entire stack, all gone, not just some. His point would seem to be the "nothing at all can be done with it in an MDI world." But he is wrong, and so is his point, and also that of anyone else saying so.

    You have the above work. Close any of the files, the one with the last changes (so hitting UNDO would have Undone something in IT), saving or not saving first. Try UNDO. It doesn't open that file up and Undo that last thing. Even if you saved it with the changes so that it had something to undo. That file and its contributions to the Undo stack are GONE. Open it, make changes, save and close it, try Undo (it acts on the other files since that one is gone). Well... open it back up. Now:

    1) When you closed it, the Undo stack KEPT its contributions until the Excel instance would be closed and now that you have opened it back up it will Undo things exactly as if you never closed it because it can't do anything else.

    or

    2) When you closed it, its contributions from the stack were removed. Gone. Never to return. Or at least marked to be permanently ignored. So opening it back up can't reactivate its contributions. They don't exist anymore.

    Roy commented  · 

    Posting the 2nd half first so it appears after the 1st half, I hope. (It seems I write too many characters sometimes.)

    2nd half:

    If it is 1), nasty things will happen. Saved material will be subject to being undone. That might be the least of it. Making that impossible might have been the whole point of your saving, closing, and reopening. Nasty, nasty, nasty, on a whole new level from what we have now. But it doesn't happen, not at all. Those things are actually gone, so it is 2), above.

    Alrighty... if the actions are removable then they are ignorable. In other words, if in the MDI world, Excel can now ignore the fact of those actions being in the Undo stack and make no use of them, only acting on the items the never closed files contributed (easy to ignore something that doesn't exist any longer, right?), then it can certainly ignore them for other reasons.

    YES... for sure there might be reasons you would not want to and the program's guiding lights might have gone with the "hard choice" and made the Undo stack the monster it is today. Sure. Maybe. I know none of us would agree that that is so: about "reasons" and hard choices that is.

    However, no matter what they or anyone else says, that is all a lie. It is a lie because it has been said (mainly to avoid the work, I guess) for 25 years now, since computer generally had enough power and a worthwhile Windows version (3+) to do menaingful work on more than one file at a time.So while an off-the-cuff, first time I thought of it remark might be "wrong", going on with it, stubbornly, for 25 years makes it a lie about a month or so into the 25 years.

    If the stack can keep track of the spreadsheet the contribution came from (and it can or change cell A3 in A3.xlsx, switch to A1.xlsx and hit UNDO and you would see A3 Undo all right... A3 in spreadsheet A1.xlsx, not in A3.xlsx... it would act relatively because it did NOT know which spreadsheet put that act into the Undo stack... which is clearly and absolutely NOT the case!), then a trivial amount of code can look at a setting you have chosen and decide whether to ignore all contributions from the other spreadsheets and on UNDO in the one you have up (or not, if you set the setting the other way).

    Yes, that could seem to lead to issues, but not really since it would be Excel-wide, not spreadsheet by spreadsheet that one made that choice. The other aspect for trouble would be "tree-ing", akin to forward and back in web browsers, and having to deal with the situation in which you have ten things in the history, go back 3 to the 7th, then click something new and it becomes the new #8 while the old #8, #9, and #10 are permanently lost. Same idea.

    So NO, FLAT NO, this is NOT NOT NOT a physical impossibility. It just ISN'T. If I can see that, for G*d's sake so can 3,000,000 programmers. And their managers and strategic guiding hands. This CAN be done, and with the same trivial code college kids use to write browsers for a grade one week in some semester's class. It literally is not rocket science. It's TRIVIAL. Period.

    NOT doing it is a choice, not a physical law of the universe. A choice. A bad one.

    Roy commented  · 

    Guys, I'm done arguing the point with the following last bit:

    No. And further, I have two instances showing up in Task Manager and Ending one's process leaves the other open and happy.

    That is from opening them by opening files from Explorer one at a time. One istance opens, then the second. And third. I did the screen capture after Ending it so it doesn't show there.

    Normal file opening techniques yet separate instances like when you forced them for years if you had to make Undo not a problem. NOT NOT NOT opening normally and creating separate windows but really being one instance.

    And no related Undo stacks.

    Well, I guess I don't see how to add a file to the comment, so no screenshot.

    Roy commented  · 

    @Dave:

    Yes, exactly... IF you have a single instance of Excel open. For instance, I can open Excel, then open a second file in that instance with File|Open. Those two files will behave precisely as you relate.

    However, if I open an instance of Excel, and a file in it, then open a new instance of Excel (using Ctrl-Click for example, in the wonderful version I used to have that supported MDI), and open a file in it, the two files I have open are UTTERLY separate when it comes to the Undo function.

    This has been the case for a very long time, and for those of us who had to edit a couple spreadsheets at the same time (editing one, say, and the boss calls and wants you to edit a second one right then), we would open a second instance, on purpose, with Ctrl-Click. And the two would be safe from each other.

    The problem happens when Excel releases versions that do NOT support MDI, they are SDI only, out of the box. Then the Undo stacks are separate, by default. Hey! This problem is solved! No more whiners like me!

    People claim it was meant to solve some esoteric problem that I've never seen or heard of involving two or more monitors. Maybe. But I have plain vanilla equipment and never saw any problem yanking maximized Excel windows from monitor to monitor or even extending the workspace over both, so I don't buy it as a big enough problem to need solved over MY back.

    And htough I meant the below comment about them doing it to solve this problem as a bitter, bitter, joke, the longer I think about it, the more it seems like they meant it to "solve" this problem.

    Rememmber, if the second instance you open does not have a problem with your Personal spreadsheet already being open, then it is simply a new window for the first instance, not a separate instance like we see.(Or you don't have a Personal workbook. Lol. there's that possibility.) Open something, then open (Ctrl-Click) a second instance, see the warning about the Personal spreadsheet being in use already, then open a new something there. Then check the Undo function like I mentioned.(Maybe the mention is in the MDI suggestion.) You'll see what I mean.

    Roy commented  · 

    "Anonymous" posted the Support link I could not remember:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/3165211/how-to-force-excel-to-open-in-a-new-instance-by-default

    (posted it after my comment in the MDI suggestion:

    https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/11706627-restore-mdi-file-handling-open-all-files-in-one-w?tracking_code=854d5e956e3785f7b97ddcbdb33bd5c0

    )

    Adding my comment, because he was doing more than giving us the exact link:

    "Yep, that's the one.
    In the Support article it implies/makes clear that if the entry does NOT exist, you have MDI. MAYBE that is the case in a version that has MDI for a default. Hoever, my Excel 16 has SDI as a default and I was strictly limited to File|Open or everything created a new instance. After creating the entry and giving it the value of zero, rather than no entry at all, I got some capabilities back, for instance, being able to drag a file from Explorer onto the instance of Excel and it would open in that instance where before creating the entry, it would open its own instance.
    So take the "no entry at all is the same thing" that they either say or imply with several grains of salt."

    tl;dr? Make the entry even though it implues (or states) you don't need to. The instance above that I mention as probably when no entry is fine will NOT be the case for anyone suffering from the SDI issue so make the entry.

    Roy commented  · 

    @Ed Hansberry:

    No. If I have two instances of Excel, they have completely separate Undo stacks.

    I just experimented in case I was wrong. Completely and absolutely separate. If I fill four cells in one and four cells in another, the hit Ctrl-Z eight times, the first four are still populated. Fill the second four back up and hit Ctrl-Z, the fourth one empties. Switch instances, and Ctrl-Z empties the fourth celll in the first instance. So, no. They are NOT interrelated.

    I meant it as a joke anyway, of the bitter variety. (Which is why I experimented before replying, in case my observational memory was not utterly correct.)

    As to SDI allowing the movement of files between monitors, well, maybe it does. HOWEVER, as I noted a few weeks ago, I could ALWAYS do precisely that between my two, completely cookie-cutter monitors and my one built on the Dell motherboard graphics card. Maybe people with better hardware have issues, but I never did and I absolutely will not buy that I have some "perfect storm" of hardware, coincidence, and providential choices with bizarre setup otions that every other person in the world missed.

    So... No to that as well. Whatever it DID alleviate, it was not an endemic problem with multiple monitors. To be honest, it was probably a stock watcher complaint. Gamers. People using systems meant to run on obscure combinations of settings because full-bore, cutting edge tech just isn't perfect. The rest of us, I'm betting, experienced what I always did and never bought the other anyway.

    And finally, SDI means one instance after another of Excel. Literally the same as opening Calc and Excel give you separate instances of programs for spreadsheets. MDI allows a hundred files to be opened in one instance using ANY method of opening Widnows itself supports, not just opening from that instance's File|Open method.

    With that registry fix I mentioned, I have some of that back. Just not all, and since one glaring one lacking is opening atachments from Outlook, it's still a huge problem for me, not just an occasional annoyance.

    But no, the first thing is completely wrong. And the second is not a matter of any concern for any average user. Nice they fixed it for a few unhappy people, but did they have to ***** 130,000,000 others to make 50,000 stockbrockers and day-traders happy? No.

    Roy commented  · 

    Hey guys... they solved this already!

    This has to be what SDI is all about, right? If every file is opened in its own instance of Excel, then every file has its own Undo stack, right?

    For MDI rather than SDI, see:

    https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/11706627-restore-mdi-file-handling-open-all-files-in-one-w?tracking_code=ed54178708d5ae046e142c16184f5720

    but, hey, don't support it! It solves Undo completely! Yay...

    Roy commented  · 

    'Tis empty.

    Office does not use the Clipboard the way Windows pushes it to others and never has. They did other unfortunate programming along the same veins. The "Undo stack" is one of them. They took the core of the program and made the shortcuts when they reset it as Excel and positioned it to work properly in Windows. They "rolled their own" instead of using their own Windows tech. So now... it'd too deep to rework easily. And I, for one, suspect they DON'T muc like things that don't lend themselves to "easily done."

    Accordingly, this kind of request simply involves too much effort on their part. If they could have rewritten their usage, they would have decades ago.

    Nothing has a higher level of votes. Or a higher level of frustration and pain. And yet, even though THIS suggestion has been here, buoying to the top endlessly, you'll note the Admin comment came 2½ years after it existed. And the comment is a pseudo-"we're looking into it, we really are" kind of comment meant to string us along rather than either promise solution to the problem or meaningful commentary on how they are noticing, after getting into the meat of what needs done to solve it, that there are several strains of interest and therefore several problems they need to work on.

    Instead, we see a mendacious comment about sub-issues meant to: a) Temporize, and lull us for some length of time, and b) To imply there really are sub-issues ifurther implying "boy, this will take some time here" and "it really isn't one thing, so all those votes are really not so impressive"...

    Thank you "John, Excel" for your shilling effort.

    But there is ONE single issue here, ONE single need, and there are absolutely NO sub-issues. There isn't even anyone with legacy work that would be destroyed, or someone who just doesn't want to change 30 years of keystroke habits. No one is arguing any point at all in these comments. No one thinks we are better off like we are. There are absolutely NO sub-issues to balkanize the support or to complicate solution efforts. This is NOT like the people yammering to return to every file opened is in a new instance of Excel and can only (poorly) use the Clipboard for interaction and after every one of those suggestions, a following one demands a return to every file opened is in one instance of Excel and nothing is shielded from the rest. There is ONE SINGLE DESIRE here: Undo stacks for each file, nothing to do with each other, and if you want changes reverted in more than one, you do that, yourself.

    And they don't even promise a solution, just that after getting a stunning number of votes and 2½ years of being noticed by them (yea, I know, good boy John is suggesting they just noticed there in March), they are going to use mendacity to ease us along for another year or two (it's been another ½ year already).

    This has ONE root: their own programming choices decades ago. For the love of God, they should just add code to work as desired and trap the calls to the sad legacy work sending them to the nice, modern code yielding the nice, modern (30 year old modern) need.

    Mendacity. It ain't just a funny word from "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" Excel. It IS pathetic though. Sad.

    But yeah, Anonymous, it is an EMPTY response.

    Roy commented  · 

    Oh, sorry, I was rolling way past my fingers in the lower 640K thing... I didn't mean to point it as if I meant no one thought computers would ever have more memory or that anyone could write a program that needed more. Because people said that was so much, professionals, not users, it was why would anyone spend the money (that sense of why would anyone ever buy more than that). Just buy 192K, say, and run the little programs of the day. You're unloading each one to run the next, so it's all there for it! Err... except for the footprint from DOS. But seriously, set the lowest 384K for the system instead of the highest... IF there is any... and now you're forcing people to buy 384K for that alone, then more and more to be able to run programs.

    So the guy with 192K for programs would have had to buy three times as much to have that. (It warn't cheap either.) NOT the best idea to underpin your marketing on. For all I know, IBM knew and approved. And people did write worthwhile things in space like that, though lots wanted to have infinite memory. Another for all I know is that MS nannied that by forcing them to limit size and therefore shiftless programming.

    But whatever the set of concerns, the 640K thing blew up on the DOS world but was NEVER EVER fixed. Because of ALL the compromises and ALL the "dishonest" programming (Did I do that? Address hardware directly? Yes, "Urkle, Excel", you did.): fix it and every program addressing that memory would fail. So it was never fixed, just bumbled along. Like this and a few other things.

    Anyway (rolling again), lots of folks would've bought a Mac if they could have gotten a second mortgage instead of a PC if they had to spring for a ton of memory or else. That was the meaning I meant to convey. And Lord, a Mac world is just all we need. (No need to even bother with the SARCASM() function for that last sentence!)

    Roy commented  · 

    Lol, they hear us.

    This is one of those things whose underlying reasons were no one programmed "honestly" once upon a time, for Windows, not even the owner of Windows, and then there were choices one had to make that limited one's future options because something limiting was chosen and then inserted deep into the code.

    (For limiting, remember how the obvious choice of using lower memory for DOS programs (Because who would ever buy more than 640K, right? And by then, they'd be migrating upward and away from DOS and replacing every program anyway... yeah, remember the telephone company mode of progress? And cell service providers today?) led to years of limitations? And who ever chose those ridiculously small memory heaps for running Windows? "Resources" is a four-letter word to my gneration.)

    For an example of something with a wonderful utility (possibility) that wastes along, fairly (not completely) useless and never upgraded to its logical wonderful capability and launched across Windows:

    Word's "spike"

    Buried too deep to drop and too deep to make sing with greatness, it limps along and makes a few of us happy, but mostly makes anyone who thinks about it... just sad...

    Don't get the idea this last year or two is the only time period they've hear (or seen) complaints of the quantity and quality herein. It's been something to hate for decades now and surprise... it has been! Even the laziest users ever that still have enough gumption to say "Well, what if I change that value? What could go wrong? I'll just UNDO it in a second, oh, hello boss, yeah, let me bring that other spreadsheet up..." has regretted this and sworn at MS for it. And his little boss too.

    So thank you "John, Excel" (who has a middle initial of "," anyway???) (oh... need that SARCASM() function again, to wrap that kind of thing in, or a set of related functions... a lot of people would hate the "invalid argument" error message when trying to use (misuse) the IRONIC() function, eh?) but you folks ain't doin' nothin', not soon nor never. Except gladhanding us along. I'm less than 60 and I will die in my sleep before you do. So keep that gladhanding to yourselves please:

    HOPE springs eternal, they say, so even the above hurts. A "corporate lie" is still a lie "John, Excel." And the hurt is the same.

    Roy commented  · 

    Indeed, about cross-workbook links. It is hard to see how, when the work is always one-way (note that linking back and forth is two one-way flows, not somehow a single flow).

    Link from A to B and the work is in A's undo stack. And vice-versa. Not complex at all, and I doubt complicated either.

    The truth is that this must be a function that is utterly buried in original programming and MS fears what they might break by attacking it. But that need not be a problem. One simply programs the good Undo stack approach using what I s'pose would be called a new stack, distinct from the old stack's place in memory, and adds a bit of code to make the old approach's stack simply a dead end - anything that reads it is directed to the new stack.

    "Simply" being... semi-loosely defined of course.

    But it would make the old code dead since it can't affect anything, and give us a properly functional, modern if you will, Undo stack. With code that can be accessed in the future.

    Roy commented  · 

    Wow... all we have to do is keep voting! Over two years since ADMIN pumped us up with that "Under Review" and 509 votes and about 1 person in 10 even comments...

    ... and ... here we are still wishing without even a mendacious update from ADMIN to keep us pumped up...

    Seems to me I remember Pavlov's experiment had some data showing dogs, after conditioning, still having some degree of salivary response that was measurable as far as 10,000 trials without rewards. Something to consider?

    Since nothing else seems to be getting considered here.

    Roy supported this idea  · 
  16. 3 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Yes it would.

    ******** password display is one of the stupidest things ever created. (Requiring passwords to be changed on a regular basis is another.)

    One should at least have a click-to-display full plaintext of a password if desired. At an utter, absolute minimum, when establishing the passwordd.

    (Only time I ever saw a use for the ********* masking was a car company for their car dealer software that put up random numbers of *'s when each character was typed so an eight character password might show 11 or 17 or 15 or whatever *'s rather than exactly eight. Still not enough value though. Sure beat the usual "Here, let me show you he uses 7 characters so you don't waste time crunching those pesky 4, 5, and 6 character versions trying to ***** it..." dislpay of one * for each character.)

    By the way, to be safe while holding your breath for them to fix this, you can type it out somewhere else, be happy with it, then copy and paste it into their dialogue box. Sucky workaround, but it does work.

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