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Roy

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      We’ll send you updates on this idea

      Thanks for all of the votes – the team has definitely taken notice of the activity around this issue. We moved to SDI as a result of customer requests, but it looks like we’ve got work to do to really nail the use cases people care about. From a read over the comments, I see a number of cases that we will want to investigate further as we think through MDI vs SDI. We’ll get someone from the team to take a deeper look, and we may reach out to some of you for more clarification as we go. Thanks again for all the voting and passion here!

      John, Excel

      Roy commented  · 

      I'm looking for the following things:

      1) EVERY spreadsheet opens in the SAME instance of Excel. NO MATTER how I open them, every last method of opening them works like this and it does not matter where I open them from (including from inside other programs, Outlook being an example). ONLY if I intentionally force an new instance does one ever happen.

      2) EVERY one of them comes with a ribbon, etc., and looks and acts like it owns the world. (Better yet, bring back real menus and ditch the ribbon.) When they open, they open in their own windows which will be "normal" windows if I set it that way or maximized windows if I set it that way. There will be no tiling inside one workspace, or staggering, or whatever. They each get their own full window. If I wish to do side by side, I set that up.

      3) I have full and absolute interactivity between them. Only if I intentionally open new instances do I lose that full interactivity. That includes full value copy and paste, amongst other things, and full access via formula to any and all open files.

      4) I'd like a unique Undo stack for each but have lived 28 years without that so I can go a few days longer.

      5) Like any window, if I move it to another monitor, well, it's just on the other monitor. Nothing fancy needed, just Windows letting me move an Excel window around. I can do this because each file simply has its own window, NOT because someone chose the nuclear war option of forcing new instances. But to be explicitly clear: no returning to primitive days where the instance had a framework and a workspace and all the spreadsheets lived in the workspace... and could never be lifted out of it as their own windows.

      This is what I had using Excel 13 from an Office 365 purchase. IT couldn't make the 365 installation run on the new computer, so they dumbed it down to the Excel 13 version that could be installed instead. NOT 2010, 2013, no matter what people tell me.

      (Supposedly, I could not have had what I describe above, but I did. All with the Excel 13 available instead of the 365 installation.)

      For the time period I did try to use the suite's 365 version (it wasn't Excel that was unable to ever work safely with the computer), I experienced all the horrors I see today with Excel 16 (again from a failure of an Office 365 installation to work with a seriously plain vanilla Dell business computer). Then life returned to me. Now I'm stuck in this terrible place again.

      So... basically, it DID all work nicely as described above in the Excel 13 world which I am assured was 100% SDI.

      Which leads (finally) to the POINT:

      I don't really care about MDI vs. SDI, per se. I simply want the above, numbered, things just like I had them before when supposedly I had SDI anyway. I apparently had an SDI program, but had all the nice things about MDI which I list above. I just want the usability. MS can leave it SDI if they give me the usability I list above, back.

      I think most of us actually want precisely that and that some of the things said in order to attack and defend SDI are not really on point because apparently what is desired can be had in either situation. MS just has to return to accomodating MDI usability like they did in whatever version of Excel 13 they let one use if dumbing down from a 365 installation.

      (Not only did it tell you it was Office 13, it had formulas introduced in 13. So... Possibly there were odd files and Registry entries that hung around from the 365 installation that made it a Frankenstein monster, but a friendly, happy one.)

      As to SDI defenders, when I first came here, while using that version, I saw endless things here screaming to bring back SDI. So there is a big support for it. That's why, since it seems SDI is not, perhaps, the literal failure point here but rather removed functionality riding along with it, that there may a culture of ignoring us on the basis that we might be fervent, but don't know what we're talking about. (Thanks, MS, for giving us the benefit of believing we have the capacity to be ignorant, if that is so. Not every software provider believes that deeply in their users.) If they think that, then there's really nowhere for them to take this suggestion.

      Frighteningly, the difference I see between 13 and 16 could mean they did not remove all the MDI-like functionality with 13, but as they put 16 together, they "cleaned up" lots. And that it could get worse and worse as further releases "clean up" even more.

      All I care about is the usability I once had, and need, and apparently even when I had a full SDI version. Not about MDI vs. SDI, per se.

      Roy commented  · 

      @J ROGERS:

      Some of the MDI side of things still exists but needs a Registry entry. After someone mentioned it, and I created it, I eventually had the ability to open multiple files in one instance if I used File|Open or dragged a file from Explorer ONTO the instance of Excel that I wanted it in. I can also achieve that opening a file with VBA.

      However, most of MDI is swept away even still. For instance, find a file in Explorer and click on it? Opens a new instance. I can drag it onto the running instance of Excel, drop it, and it opens in it nicely, but click on it and it opens a new instance. And in no circumstance I've tried can I open an Outlook attachment by dragging and dropping (MDI effect): no matter what I've tried, they open a new instance of Excel. Maybe using a macro?

      Anyway, the Registry edit is from a MS Support article and does give some MDI functionality back:

      Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Excel\Options

      DisableMergeInstance

      Value to give (DWORD) = 0

      The Support article is:

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

      (You may notice it was designed, apparently, for an MDI world in which one might want strict SDI, hence a positive value for the key forces SDI only. Hence the need for the value to be zero.)

      Again, it doesn't bring my world back to being right, but it does restore some of the MDI world to me.

      Roy commented  · 

      Folks aren't really aware of how change happens in many arenas... Science for example: the new ideas are never really accepted by most of the folks who preceded them. They have to work with them to keep their jobs, but like Einstein, NEVER accept their win and work as much as possible in their old paradigm. They move from the front line (teaching, working in labs) to administration and slowly to retirement. Then they die.

      Like it or not, this is how Big Bang theories, etc., eventually are the only thing taught, or largely so, and called "mainstream."

      LOTS of arenas, this is precisely how we (grudgingly) progress. Consider how it works when the results of experiments, and whatever stands in for experiments, are more a matter of opinion than clear and absolute (seeming) fact.

      Point of mentioning that?

      It's kind of looking like we will see one of two outcomes here:

      1) With no promises or updates, one day a new version will come out that restores MDI, whether tubing S(ucky)DI, or giving us a direct option.

      Yay! I wait the day!

      or

      2) MS just... never does do that... tosses an ADMIN comment to us every two-three years... (look at Pavlov's set of experiments: you'll be stunned at how long those dogs would salivate at the bells after the conditioning was set (or consider Cleveland Browns fans)) and just... NEVER does restore MDI.

      Figuring, of course, that like so many arenas of human life and endeavor, if they just wait it out, what? 30-60 years?, that all of us who ever knew MDI could even exist will die and then there'll be no pushback on the subject at all.

      Playing the "long game."

      I know which one I'm coming to believe it is.

      So... and I'm not there yet, but... alternatives. And as I've said before here, if I do significant work on that front, I will change and of course, never come back. I used three spreadsheets before switching to Excel and never returned to any of their predecessors after moving to each new one.

      When someone gives you an absolute "Pick from these one choices" edict, picking choice three is ALWAYS the way to go. If it weren't for Google's perfectly understandable willingness to utterly drop a whole idea the moment they determine it might not have a future, I actually would have switched already. That risk though... it's significant. "Pick from these zero choices" is even worse than what MS is offering.

      And finally (this comment, not forever, lol, seriously, right?) given how they are pushing the add-on programs like BI and the quick programming via Power Apps, I think they really want to break us from using Excel for anything other than quick and dirty databases with all the "fancier" work being done by one subscription app after another so they can add a pile of cash onto the initial purchase or basic subscription price. Honestly, breaking easy connection between sources and therefore the ability to separate a process into several spreadsheets so one interacts with only what his role needs to interact with, not fixing the Undo stack issue, ever, and giving VBA fits... at the very same time one is offering things like Power Apps and BI... it just smacks of a plan that is NOT NOT NOT going anywhere any of us want it to go.

      Ever watch the You-Tube videos of Bill Gates explaining how monopolu power allows a wonderful, beneficial organization like MS to force development of the future along just the right path instead of those nasty fits and starts and dead ends the riff-raff come up with? Ah, those wonderful idealists at MS. And Apple. And Exxon. And so on... where would we be without them and that sweet, sweet use of monopoly power?

      So... yeah... there's an old saying about sh*tt*ng in one hand and w*ish*ng in the other and see*ng wh*ch one f*lls up f*rst. MS is helping us with the "one hand"... will someone like Google step up and promise their spreadsheet will exist in twelve years? Not everyone left Eqypt in the Exodus, but enough did to keep a whole kingdom running for a few hundred years.

      Roy commented  · 

      @Frank: That might be Windows, or MS apps in general. For me, Excel opens on the correct monitor, first of the day, almost always. Maximized nicely. Open a file then close when done? Pops over to monitor #2. (By the way, glad SDI solves multiple monitor issues, right?) Put it back and it stays put. However, the many times a second instance opens, it's the same cr@pshoot you see for which monitor it opens on. And whether it's maximized or not. And even if it IS maximized, the first window it opens (the one that persists if you just close the file, not the instance), sometimes called the "gray window" by people, is often a normal window trying to get lost in the shuffle and left open.

      All s*cks. But...

      I've noticed similar problems with other MS programs. Not precisely those, but Explorer, say, sometimes opens as an odd window for no obvious reason. Word? Never a problem. Anything else MS, whether Windows or Office, yeah, one odd behavior or another vis-a-vis the window the open, sometimes.

      Most obnoxious of course, are the subsidiary windows: password entry boxes, file saving boxes, pretty much any dialogue type window, find, find and replace, sort... you get the idea... ALL OVER THE PLACE. They stay in place for days, then all of the sudden hide away in some corner of the program window.

      It was using Acrobat (X, not that sh*tty DC version), its file export and import functions in particular though that suggested something other than the intentional forcing me to use a window if only for moments instead of everything being maximized unless I had a particular need to see two programs at once, though the second monitor solved that need forever — the intentional forcing of "normal" windows upon me that it seemed like MS was doing (As in: "Oh, if only the unwashed would JUST try them, they'd understand how wonderful sh*tty little windows all overtop of each other are! Then they'd sing their praises and use Windows the way God intended it to be used!") — that something else might be happening.

      It was a glitch in Acrobat that suggested Windows, running on a computer that puts any I had before it to shame, now needs maybe 5-10 seconds to close out actions it takes involving files. I've experienced this for years now, not just the latest computer so it happens with regular hard drives and with SSD types and it happens at the computer level at home as well as with networked files at work. I just never focused on it before.

      If I gave Acrobat a 5-10 second count before the next click, its glitch went away. Completely. Not ITS glitch: it's the underlying file operations of Windows, of that I am convinced.

      With the exception of the monitor jump that ALWAYS occurs when I close the first file of the day in Excel (But not if I open a second one first using File|Open, even if I close the second one before closing the first one.) all of the things I hate vis-a-vis window sizing and location (for dialogue boxes) seem to be solved by making sure I remember to give Windows 5-10 seconds after closing a program before shifting to another or launching another. Basically, let Windows save final conditions for things, I think, before moving it on to another thing. I SHOULD have noticed this with IE, how if I re-launched it immediately (1-2 seconds) after closing it, it would abort deleting all the browing stuff it is willing to delete and turn the files over to the new instance rather than give it a set of its own while continuing to delete the old. Seems obvious in retrospect, but the Acrobat thing (not their glitch I am now sure) that opened my thinking.

      Hence my saying what you experience might be Windows jacking you with inexcusably slow file operations work that it aborts the moment you launch something new so it can concentrate on the something new. Once aborted, it doesn't seem to go back to it, especially if you're re-launching the program.

      Worse, given how MS now does the SDI thing, and you have constantly launching instances, some of which will persist (keeping a deathgrip on certain file operations) because you closed the file, but not the instance, I think you're seeing Excel launching and seeing incomplete or contradictory garbage for loading and choosing the default ideas that make sense to the 75 windows overlying each other people in Redmond. Kool-Aid drinkers doing OUR thinking and choosing for us. Yay.

      Another way of putting it is that I think it's a MUCH larger problem than just Excel, though given Excel's extreme shakiness, its frailty, due to the SDI garbage-implementation, and its presence in EVERYONE'S day, we see it there, first and a lot.

      (That frailty actually disturbs me more than any particular obnoxious expression of it does.)

      Roy commented  · 

      @Deanna... Please Deanna... broken up? Have you never seen a YouTube video of Bill Gate$ patiently explaining to us all why monopolies are incredibly good for an economy, and let's not forget, for a society?

      It seems that a monopoly can make decisions against the desires of consumers, for the better, of course, forcing them along the path from their current miserable existence to the shining future the monopolist, in his benevolence will allow them to have. I mean give to them, oops...

      'Against the desires of consumers' because they control the market and will still make tons of money regardless. The phone companies planned for us to be moving out of ISDN lines roughly now. That sort-of-128Kb transfer speed would still surely be better than today's 100Mb transfer speeds. If only we weren't so greedy, we could still be living their vision. Bad consumers!

      Roy commented  · 

      Of course, John commented nine months ago and there's no update on anything, no rumors, no experiments forced on 365 users so... it just doesn't look good.

      Roy commented  · 

      You had a window open for each file with a full set of tools. You could ALWAYS position them however you liked, move them to different monitors, tile them, cascade them, whatever you liked. Multiple monitors weren't any kind of issue if my plain vanilla equipment in XP, Windows 7, and now Windows 10 could do it.

      You could always open a whole new instance or three if you liked. Files with the same name, say.

      It wasn't like the old days when there was one window with the program interface (menus and such) and every file open had to share the real estate below that because they couldn't be drug out of the instance's basic framework window.

      So PRECISELY AND TRUTHFULLY, how was there ever an issue?

      Obviously, the Undo stack was shared by all the open files in the instance and that sucks, but that is a separate thing to fix.

      Then... SDI... Every file opened is in a whole new instance. Even with the registry fix, I can't open an attached spreadsheet from Outlook, their own directly related program, without doing it in a new instance. And others that I can open in the running instance have to be drug onto its window. I can't click to open them or... whole new instance.

      It is a nightmare. There are VBA issues. There are issues with files that depend upon each other. YOU try explaining to the boss that he now has a new level of difficulty to work with to use your nice spreadsheets. We used to be able to group spreadsheets and open them in sequence. Took that away. Very quick and handy it was. Now it's write a unique macro for every set or deal with the links that don't/can't update even though the files are open. In the context of this development, I have to think they took that away some time back because of things that led to this issue or because they chose to follow a path to here that along the way lost us this capability.

      Worse yet, the instances seem to be "owned" by the application that opened them. If I open an Outlook attachment and the new instance starts, I can keep opening Outlook attachments and they all open in that instance. That somehow has to be figuring into this as well.

      There is NO control over how the new instances open. So instead of maximized and on the monitor of my choice, they come up literally willy-nilly on their choice of monitor and always just a stupid "normal" window that I then have to maximize. Not to mention the dead one that opens and launches the new file. Sometimes it closes when I close the file, sometimes it stays. It is always present in the Task Bar, until closed.

      There is and was NO monitor issue unless it was very weird and almost certainly limited to a small slice of users. If plain vanilla has/had no issues, then there just wasn't an issue.

      I will note though, that we finally read something from John that is certainly true-ish. When I first came here, there was a steady whine, though NOT a roar, about having changed FROM SDI to MDI. Made no sense to me because it had never existed for me: My experience since the ribbon has all been what I described above, 10 years of it, until I got stuck with this version. Even 2013 was the good stuff though everyone says no it wasn't. Strange, that. But there were constant cries to return to SDI though they always petered out with a few votes. Sad that more than a few votes doesn't seem to take us back.

      Seems like it should be a choice in Options. Or at least with some registry fixes. (I'd be thrilled if the attachment opening could be fixed that way, or the dead window each new instance starts, or the window state when they open, or the whole having to drag because clicking would open a new instance thing... or all of them...)

      Hmm... maybe MS is trying to hide performance issues in Excel by forcing each file into a separate instance? Whole new set of resources... alleviating performance issues some? Fix this MS or you won't have any reputation left as we think of more reasons why you're doing this to us. And if you go the way of 123 and Quattro Pro, WE will write the story of miserable failure to consider your market instead of your own weird ideas. Right or wrong, just like those who wrote the 123 stories, we will write how it looked to us and then it, like you, would be history.

      Be nice if you chose a different fate. We DO actually like Excel, for the most part.

      Roy commented  · 

      @Doug: Sorry to hear that... I would say though, for two reasons: 1) With it in the registry and set to 0 I at first thought it had no effect (the longer story is below somewhere) but eventually realized it DID have some effects, just not a wholesale changeover back to MDI. I could, for instance, drag a file from Explorer onto the running instance of Excel and it would open in that instance where without the key, it would not even open in a new instance. I cannot drag from Outlook, and maybe other places, oddly enough. However, before the key, if I opened a file and a new instance was created, that instance persisted after closing the file while now it 90% does not. I still cannot click on a file without a new instance. Also, files opened from inside the instance, say via a hyperlink, open in the existing instance where before they started a new one. So... maybe like me at first, the changes, not change, were not noticed because we were both looking for a "change" not "some changes for the better, but still sucky-ish"? And 2) The Support article does not explicitly say so, but strongly implies, it should work for anything affected from 2013 onward. Not definitive by any stretch, but maybe worth a shot.

      But if not, I feel for you. SDI SUCKS. And weird things seem to happen. And to think I used to think it was nice I could have it when I wanted it (say, for two files with the same name... another thing MS is pathetic about given there's no way on God's green earth it should present even difficulties, much less be utterly not permitted... you can't even achieve it by accident without a fresh instance of Excel) which wasn't often, but I wish now that no one at MS had ever had the idea cross his mind.

      Sounds like MS is beginning to look at Home the way some providers look at Evaluation copies. Sad, for something they sell for a pretty penny and certainly do not state is crippled.

      Roy commented  · 

      Something I've seen as a topic here, bearing on the discontent with the subject, that I'd like to point out is NOT necessarily what people have said it to be:

      "The investment of time in switching to a new spreadsheet would be just so huge that I have to have satisfaction here, or live with suckiness forever."

      Well, for those not old enough to have gone through it, people said that about Lotus and Wordperfect once upon a time.

      More tellingly, Lotus and Wordperfeect said that about Lotus and Wordperfect.

      What are those programs? Something used in WWII to break German codes? Maybe Apollo used them for the lunar landings? No. Those programs were given to us by God as the only things that could ever be used, but they are gone now. Admittedly, a large part of that was an aspect of monopoly power, but I'd say Google, at least, is in a position to do the same thing. And guess what? Their spreadsheet is free too.

      MS had better get it right. I ditched 123 for Quatro Pro, learning curve be d*mned and then Quattro Pro for Excel because they broke them, literally, broke and not paying bills, but still learning curve be d*mned. I gave up Locascript for WordStar and then Wordstar for Word, learning curves be d*mned. All of them lesser programs, at the time of shifting, than what I had been using.

      And another for the record: the competition uses Windows, unlike MS in competition back then so no advantage to MS there. Arguably, because I hate it, but have no power to change it and it must change to this for society's sake anyway, the fact that Google has built to use the cloud (storage and app farms, to anyone who remembers Lotus and Wordperfect, "magic" to anyone who remembers Locascript and Wordstar) while MS is slumping its way there, in poorly conceived ways, and maybe not for another decade (the threatened sea changes in their engine, vis-a-vis the seven new wonder-functions, which it is hinted will make using older versions impossible as backward compatibility isn't part of the functions but rather a backward compatibility ("xlfn.") engine that is NOT mentioned despite being pretty revolutionary (and in place for a little while now) and that can be clipped out of the program in a second. With a SNIP... no more effort than that... no more backward compatibility.

      At that moment, several hundred billion spreadsheets would be dead... except that Google stands ready to help. Lotus and Wordperfect all over again.

      And in the coming move to a big iron cloud that you only interact with, seldom running things at your own desk, and having incredible implications for the cell phone market as well (important in itself, but also a thing utterly beyond MS control, which is how ideas win - Blu-Ray won the moment its capacity increased significantly as suddenly why would anyone buy a few hundred million computers with 60% of the optical storage - nothing to do with movies like the HD people aimed at - the whole second, unrelated market thing is massive in economics), Google is poised, like MS remembers itself, to go from a few percent of the market to 90% in a couple years, then enjoy 20-30 years resting on their laurels, milking it. If they make the milking choice, knowing their end would come similarly, someday.

      So a big iron cloud, with no Windows needed, and a competitor built on that model... what is MS's profit going to do under those circumstances?

      Or they can do a wee bit of work and satisfy both sides of this issue (there is an argument in here the OTHER way around, though it gets little interest as they are winning right now and not anticipating having to argue their side again). Stave off the liquidators a while longer.

      Or not. But it is not actually that hard to shift major programs. We've done it before, as a society, and we will do it again. Here? Maybe? If we have to. It's a pain, but not an unending one and makes room for a whole new generation to rise bringing new (old) ideas with them. So... whatever MS. IGNORE us. P*ss on us with mendacity (read ol' Johnny's message to us) and outright lies. See where it gets you.

      I will have a perfectly functional spreadsheet to use whether it is yours or Google's. To steal from NFL Films: "YOU make the call."

      Roy commented  · 

      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.

      Roy commented  · 

      @Doug Reid:

      Sadly, it is no longer my most recent registry edit and it seems to have been deleted from here, a whole string of comments and comments back, 6-7-8 by different people. So I cannot say for sure.

      However, based upon memory, it was in a key in the Office structure and that key had a LOT of entries. In addition, it was a DWORD entry.

      So I will say it is the following key you want to add it to:

      Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Excel\Options

      or whatever corresponds in your system. It has entries for Custom Margins through Monitor Topology Fingerprint through Use System Separators.

      The name to add is, I believe (not from memory this time, but because it seems to fit best and EVERY other one there is pretty clearly not it):

      DisableMergeInstance

      and the value to give it is zero ("0").

      (Because it is asking if you want to DISABLE merging instances which would disable all the MDI characteristics it will let you have. So 0 = False, as disbaling is NOT what you want to do, and should leave things enabled.)

      As I mentioned, it is not a return to MDI, and I went back and forth on it and deleted it too, hinking it had done nothing. Even thought it was a "ha ha" comment from a jack*ss until one of the comments had a Microsoft link for it (the real kind, one of their notes on how to work around their *****-ups, which, to be fair, though not happy, they DO come up with and offer while lots of others don't at all). Then I put it back in and suddenly caught on to the wording.

      The wording is like the way people write ballot initiatives, so a vote against turns out to be a vote for...

      Given the other stretch of comments is gone, I'm thinking this will only last so long and then be gone too. Stupid, really, given that I am less aggravated now I have this much, and one would expect others would be too, but... "beauro-think," aside from being the oxymoron of oxymorons, is a strange thing.

      Roy commented  · 

      The registry modification DOES help out a bit. Now I can drag a file from Explorer onto the instance of Excel I have open and it will open in that instance where before the modification, it just wouldn't.

      However, that's aggravating to do. Clicking on the file in Explorer still launches a new instance of Excel. Don't get me wrong, I'm not undoing the modification but it isn't MDI.

      Further, I still can't drag an attachment onto the running instance of Excel and have it fire up. Won't open it at all. And every method of actually opening it opens a new instance of Excel. So... not MDI in the least.

      Lol, boy, they sure showed all of us "How could you not have a separate Undo stack for each file" people, didn't they? With SDI, it's completely not a problem...

      Lord, the way some people apparently think...

      Roy commented  · 

      Yes, this is about "Unless I PURPOSELY choose an opening method that starts a new instance of Excel for opening some new file, I want every file I open in the same instance of Excel, NO MATTER HOW I DELIVER THE INSTRUCTION TO OPEN."

      So I open 50 spreadsheets? They are ALL in one instance of Excel. I might have used File|Open, I might have clicked on a desktop icon, I might have "Explored" for the file and clicked on it, I might be opening an attachment in an email: WHATEVER way I told it to open, it opens in that one instance of Excel.

      If that causes problems, they are my problems.

      Further, the idea this has to do with solving some issue with two monitors is either very particular to certain situations or I have, without the least effort or knowledge on my part, hit upon, utterly by chance, the better solution to it because for two years using 2013 I never experienced the issue. That reallllly suggests it is only in certain very particular situations, eh?

      And I can't even get the functionality by being careful in limiting how I open things. For example, I can "Explore" for a file and drag it onto the window for my single instance of Excel and I get the desired result though certainly not by just clicking on the file as I'd prefer. BUT... an attachment from Outlook simply WILL NOT open that way. I have no choice at all but to accept the second instance. So I cannot, through great care and effort even simulate the way it should work without effort. I imagine I shall find other instances in which this is the case.

      Further, we often have pairs of files we need to open here and for it to be done by users with no interest in learning the least thing about Excel. Until now, we could set up a couple icons, label one "Whatever-First" and the other "Whatever-Second" and they'd handle THAT flawlessly. Now that is going to open them in two different instances of Excel and quite fail to make one available to the other. Yay.

      And this back and forth business... New version of Excel? Oh yeah... it reverses the decision made on this in the last new version. So we have to go back and forth with this issue and when people have different versions... Spreadsheets are supposed to be quick-ish and simple-ish solutions to problems, especially ad hoc problems, not a new source of problems!

      They won't make simple, obvious changes to functions (like CHOOSE()... we ought to be able to give it a range and it would choose from the elements of the range... but it treats the range itself as an element... if we want to select from the cells in the range, we have to type each cell or its contents individually: i.e.: should be CHOOSE(3,A1:A4) returns A3's contents, but now we get an error and must use, say, CHOOSE(3,A1,A2,A3,A4) to get A3's contents) because, oh my, it could affect millions of users and their now "legacy" work. OK. Pretty valid, as a starting point. BUT... how is it something like this which is extraordinarily basic to usage can be changed willy-nilly with not just one sea change, like I mention for CHOOSE(), but with each new version hitting the streets??? Back and forth, back and forth.

      Of course, given the reponse to our desires and comments (as opposed to the useless and mendacious "attention" they get), maybe I should just be grateful the back and forth could have some very small component of responsiveness to the other side of this argument... Grateful to the gods that I got a crust of bread three weeks ago rather than railing at them for starving the three weeks since?

      That's not acceptable.

      And it wasn't really responsiveness to preference and utility that the other side claimed/claims anyway. It was that multiple monitor situation. Those folks railed for a long time, like we are now, and some still do because they still have versions that do what we like, and never really got a response. People with a "real problem" got a response, and the rest of us got slotted into a group called "whiners" and, you know, you can never content a whiner so why try at all, right?

      Well, since the last comment was meant to clarify so that some don't provide comment arguing for the opposite of the idea (Hope I haven't somehow misunderstood myself... could be I need to find a different suggestion to follow and support... by now I could be arguing against myself!) further clouding the issue though MS clearly understands each side of it and would be indulging in mendacity if they claimed we don't even know what we want.

      What I want is at the start of this comment: one instance with natural opening via all the ways Windows and Excel provide for opening files yielding them all open in the one instance and the ability via, among other possible ways, of forcing multiple instances by using Ctrl-Click on the Excel icon. Only intentionally opening a new instance would do so, not that being the default. (Hope I'm in the right place to support that... it'd be embarrassing as well as non-productive if I'm not...)

      Roy commented  · 

      Good Lord. Some loser keeps putting posts in with the "F" word for two out of every three words (you've seen them by their dozens), and I put "S a t a n" (do I need to say "without the spaces?) in and THAT gets asterisked out???

      This place is ****. I live in a world filled with ****-a-holics. Find a 12 Step program and work it you clowns. Just... do NOT come around to me in whatever step that "make amends" step is. Just live with that blot on your soul.

      Roy commented  · 

      Just how hard a concept is this? This has even more support than separate Undo stacks for each open file.

      And the opposite choice is just as supported.

      So... Jesus... OPTIONS... a simple setting in Options people, pick the one you want.

      Pick Always SDI and that's what you have. Pick Always MDI and that's what you have. Slight extra for the MDI folks: you can always CHOOSE to open a new instance of Excel and then open a file in it and so have SDI when desired.

      And then it's all over. Everyone is happy. Each gets his desire.

      My world was fine until IT overwrote my Excel 13 with Office 365 (32 bit even instead of 64 bit... who even thinks like that?). Now I am back to the evil world of SDI. Lived in that world four to two years ago, then lived in heaven, now today I'm back watching for ***** to come striding by.

      OPTIONS. Man o man people, just how hard is this?

      Roy supported this idea  · 
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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  · 

        @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  · 
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          Roy supported this idea  · 
        • 2 votes
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            Roy supported this idea  · 
          • 2 votes
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            • 2 votes
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                Roy supported this idea  · 
              • 1 vote
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                  Roy commented  · 

                  Interestingly, it works fine for me. I use Excel 16 installed via an Office 365 purchase.

                  If you are using an earlier version, then it likely was solved already.

                  In general, in Excel, when a character with a usual use is used differently in a formula, surrounding it with a second set of double quotes will let it be used as desired. For example:

                  "<A>" would become ""<"A">"" (all quotes are double quotes)

                  So the effect of the ">" would be to let Excel know to use the character as such, rather than as a less than operator.

                  In general...

                  Since it worked for me without doing that, I cannot test whether it will solve things for you, but you could try pretty easily and with any luck...

                  If you have a more recent version than I do, that sucks since I dislike bothering with the double quote approach.

                • 2 votes
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                    Roy commented  · 

                    Yeah. Cut a row on a worksheet to insert it somewhere else on the worksheet and it's really CUT. Gone from the original place.

                    Insert or paste it anywhere else in the world and it is still there. So you chose CUT but really got COPY. What's up with that?

                    Related: Highlight and copy a row. Paste or Insert it somewhere on the worksheet. Do it somewhere else too. Oh no... didn't work. Oh... it's still got the dancing ants but now somehow it is no longer a highlighted ROW that is copied, but rather a highlighted selection of a whole row's set of CELLS. And pasting or inserting is rather different then. Be nice to see that straightened out along with this.

                    But this one is super annoying. Having to go back and delete the material after CUTTING!

                    Roy supported this idea  · 
                  • 3 votes
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                      Roy commented  · 

                      Yeah. One of the reasons to use windowing rather than everything maximized and switched between is to be able to see something from a program while working in a different program.

                      I'll forget and highlight an Excel row to keep from drifting up or down as I use information in it in a different program, then sigh when I get into the other program's window and notice the highlight is utterly gone.

                      (Sigh...)

                      Roy supported this idea  · 
                    • 1 vote
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                        Roy shared this idea  · 
                      • 1 vote
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                          Roy commented  · 

                          Doing what you do is a common theme for exactly that on lots of websites.

                          But it does NOT work as such, even the examples given on the websites, in my version (16 based somehow on an Office 365 purchase). It just doesn't..

                          It looks a lot as if you must ask for this functionality to be restored, and then the SUMIF() would presumably perform nicely.

                          And I imagine it depends upon the version you have.

                          Roy commented  · 

                          That will work, sort of, if you drop the ROW() part. But it will use ALL columns in rows 1 through 10. It DOES faithfully do it though, so if you really want ALL columns in rows 1 through 10, just use:

                          =SUMIF(INDIRECT("1:10"),"<5") (no need to use CSE to make it an array formula)

                          (It creates an array for the INDIRECT() result containing all the values in rows 1-10, then performs the test "<5". Since arrays inside formulas are limited in size, it might mislead you if you are inspecting results inside the formula using the F9 trick since you are forcing Excel to try to type out the array it is creating. But left alone it will do its thing.)

                          Because it creates an array of values IN the cells from the INDIRECT() portion, ROW() has no actual references to work with. Since it isn't needed, just remove it.

                        • 3 votes
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                            Roy commented  · 

                            Actually, if you use the formatting workaround, enter the birthdays as MMDD, not day first. Then they sort month-day which is clearly more what you desire.

                            A different approach would be the often hated "helper" column in which one would extract the month and day from the entry cell allowing sorting as desired on the helper column. Extract as Month and Day, not Day and Month, of course.

                            Since the usual reasons helper columns are reviled are that they bloat a table of data and give users one more way to muck up a perfectly good spreadsheet and that they seem inelegant, even incompetent (as in you should have been able to figure up some complicated formula that "cleverly" does the whole job in one go... but is a nightmare to maintain and explain to users who are not sure your spreadsheet is accurate) it seems likely a helper column here would be perfectly fine since it is a basic job, no frills, and clearly being done personally by you so who else would be seeing the spreadsheet. Being just for your own convenience, there would be no downside to the helper column approach.

                            And then you could enter the real birthdays. Probably better not to have them of course, for a lot of privacy and HR-type reasons, but surely they are presented to you with year included (who would just send you month and day, right?) and it's natural to type it that way, harder to remember not to do so each time!

                            Actually, if your formula in the helper column also appended a standard year (2016 for instance) to the extracted month/day, and used DATEVALUE() to turn it back into a real boy, I mean a real date, your sorting would work nicely, but periodically you could copy the helper column and Paste|Values back into the entry column to "cleanse" it (so the birth years entered would be wiped out and become the standard year). Privacy and HR concerns would fade somewhat.

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                              Roy commented  · 

                              這是Excel的一個了不起的功能,其中相對交叉決定了公式的計算方式。

                              但它已經消失了。 顯然它必須被拆除才能為新的“奇蹟功能”編程(他們最近引以為豪的新陣列功能,但不知何故不能讓所有人都可以使用 - 所以我們失去了相對的交叉功能而沒有得到任何東西)。

                            • 1 vote
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                                Roy commented  · 

                                The sum results are correct for the formulas, as written.

                                Summing C3:C35 and similarly for column E.

                                Perhaps you chose the wrong cells to sum, though these look like what one would wish to sum.

                              • 4 votes
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                                  Roy supported this idea  · 
                                • 1 vote
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                                    Roy shared this idea  · 
                                  • 7 votes
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                                      Roy commented  · 

                                      Sorry, didn't word the middle part as clearly as I'd've liked. The original material would never be merged away, never cease to exist or be moved or... anything. It would all stay right where it was to begin with.

                                      It would simply display as one big, merged-looking cell.

                                      Roy commented  · 

                                      @Chris: I believe he is looking for something up/down, not left/right. The part about rows directly under each other seems key.

                                      So what it looks like he'd like is, if A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, and A7 all had the same value, the seven individual cells would NOT show as seven individual cells, but rather it would be like you merged the whole range, A1:A7, and set the formatting to center up and down, for sure, and maybe left and right (but up and down, for sure) as if it were one single merged cell even though all the other values would still be present, editable, sortable on, and useable in formulas elsewhere (because merging like that now would wipe A2:A7 out and you'd have to be a heroic formula writer to deal with a column of, say, a thousand rows doing three here, nine there, seven in this spot, and so on.

                                      So merging across the selection is definitely NOT what he needs. It would be more like my thought below about allowing the merge across selection to be applied up/down as well as the current left/right.

                                      Roy commented  · 

                                      If the centering (display only) ACTED like present merging in that ONLY the value in the cell in the "upper left corner" of the range would then be centered across the range, hiding all contents in the other cells in the range, this would be different than the linked request in one way.

                                      To explain via example:

                                      Cells A1, B1, C1 have 3, 4, 6 as their respective contents. Merging them wipes out completely the contents of B1 and C1. Gone. This could cover their display by showing only A1's content of 3 with B1's and C1's contents hidden, but still accessible in a variety of ways, not the least being functions that need their information.

                                      So the "3" from A1 is displayed overtop all three cells, but all three contents are still present.

                                      Another way in which this could differ from the linked request is that the linked request ONLY ONLY ONLY goes for centering across the selection. To be sure, the high percentage of times one would wish to use any of these features, it would be to accomplish precisely that so, yay.

                                      However, what if you wish to have the value right "indented"? That is, displayed at the right of the three cells, with the other two not displayed at all? That is not an option pictured by the linked request because it is very much aimed at not having to merge in order to center across cells. Again, very high percentage. But with billions of spreadsheets...

                                      And further, THIS could operate on a 2-D range, say A1:C4, while the current center across selection option will take that range and make each ROW in it do it, but will not make that a single block displaying the "upper left corner's" contents centered up/down, left/right.

                                      (I know that is an argument for NOT doing away with merging, in the context of the link's request, but putting this request's idea into play and either doing this, or improving the link's requested features would make it applicable.)

                                      I DO basically hate merged cells, especially into exported results like PDF to Excel conversions, but centering across a selection alone and only if the selection has no contents other than the "upper left corner" cell's contents is too restrictive for any improvement made since these are once in a lifetime things.

                                      It could be of interest as well if accessible to the Conditional Formatting engine, which by the way is all about not affecting underlying formats, only changing how they are displayed. Makes CF sourced changes missed by VBA for many macro writers checking formatting... Anyhow, if, for example, CF could center the highest value, say, of three next-to-each-other cells over their display space (so, selecting the highest value of the three and showing it only, centered, at the right, whatever, of the cell), that would be a straightforward, not workaround-y way of achieving that desire.

                                      Finally, I get all kinds of cr*p from customers and vendors alike in which their precious display concepts and font sizes and so on make, I guess, pretty documents, but I have needs and rights too. And just care about what is shown in my usage, not all their garbage. I have the original on the hard drive for that. But if I edit the stupid spreadsheets they send, they've used merging and right indenting and blah-blah-blah to make it look pretty to them and I have to do all the de-merging and moving of cells and clearing of columns for deletion, before I can make it suitable. If they had this, a LOT of that would go away.

                                      So yeah, it's different, though obviously built on the same unhappiness with Merge. It's actually broader and more fully useable, if implemented by Excel according to its spirit.

                                      I might mention that it might, or might not, have implications with the new "Spill" functionality that is supposed to begin infusing great tranches of formulas.

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                                    • 1 vote
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                                        • 8 votes
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