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Roy

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  1. 2 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    THIS function would be the engine forcing the wrap function to run again and again: so NO NEW work would need done on the wrap functions. For all Excel would know, nothing unusual happened.

    So FIND() runs to an error on argument 1 in the list, then i sheld open to run again on argument 2, and so on, only being allowed to close when the first success is found, or all items failed and the error is to be returned. NO new programming for FIND() though, as the LIST() function does all the necessary re-running before returning control to FIND().

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    Roy commented  · 

    Jeez, and typos too. I blame this entry box.

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    Roy commented  · 

    Oops... if they do this one, the very first error entering it is in the above... dropped a ")"...

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  2. 5 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Actually, never noticed the example file before.

    @Narendra: No need to "--" the LEFT() function as its result from this data is a true number if the data is a true number (and the way it is crafted, much of the point is to allow it to be exactly that), or, while returned as text Excel will still evaluate it as a number in any formula relying upon it.

    Also, whether text or number, the way things are formed for the example, the comparisons work as text OR numbers.

    Same idea for the YEAR() formula you show. No need for the "--" trick.

    That said, one WOULD need to know whether the result would be returned as number or text for setting up the comparison: if number, use IF() to compare to a number (say, 2020), if text, it has to be compared to a string (say, "2020"). So the need for the "--" trick is to simplify the comparison rather than using something like an OR() to test both ways at once, or even testing the kind of value (ISTEXT(), etc. to pick the comparison, to show how ridiculously complicated one could get. The "--" neatly handles all that with great simplicity and works on the returned data whether it is a number or text.

    @Alex T.: That comparison being done with all the IF()'s (column M) that need added to every year... you can simplify it amazingly using a VLOOKUP() on a table with the "year break" values in column 1 and the year to return in column 2. Use "TRUE" for the last argument and set up the table accordingly. VLOOKUP then performs all the comparisons so you can drop out all the IF()'s.

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    Roy commented  · 

    Or use string functions if the data is well-formed, or uniquely so for the string of choice.

    But we do it SO often... it should be a feature, not a series of workarounds and data conditioning.

    How will they ever do computing the way Sci-Fi does, just talking to computers, if everything has to be spelled out, debugged, tested, then bug-fixed every use and all data requests have to imagine every way data could be adulterated?

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  3. 4 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Just press (and release) "Alt" by itself and those go away wiuthout mouse activity, etc.

    Chances are you are using the shortcut and not releasing Alt in time causing it to "happen" again, displaying the available shortcuts which are in the displayed ribbon region.

    You can press Alt anytime, once, by itself, to see the same thing, and press and release it once again to make them go away.

  4. 3 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Just press (and release) "Alt" by itself and those go away wiuthout mouse activity, etc.

    Chances are you are using the shortcut and not releasing Alt in time causing it to "happen" again, displaying the available shortcuts which are in the displayed ribbon region.

    You can press Alt anytime, once, by itself, to see the same thing, and press and release it once again to make them go away.

  5. 3 votes
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  6. 14 votes
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  7. 7 votes
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  8. 3 votes
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  9. 2 votes
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  10. 2 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Hard drives are huge and cloud storages people use are infinite.

    This could work like the Recycle Bin in Windows, except in a counterpoint kind of way. (RB doesn't save old versions of files, just literally deleted ones.)

    When you save a file, insted of overwriting the old one, it would "move" it (actually, just change its location information in Windows) to a new Excel Archive (and Word Archive and so on!) then write the newly saving version as if it had actually overwritten the old one.

    Nothing current need change for this, they'd just add on a capability. Like they did when they created AutoSave: it didn't change any existing feature, just added one.

    Actually, it'd be nice to still be able to overwrite by choice sometimes. But that seems like it'd be a teensy little bit of extra easily fitted in.

    And then one could have a dozen old versions. With access like we have to the Recycle Bin, one could set a variety of maintenace methods (i.e.: auto-deletion of older versions, with fine controls like keep no more than three of a file, or delete nothing newer than three years, or what-have-you, rather than gross ones like EVERYTHING, no matter how stupid it is to do so, after some length of time) and life could sparkle again...

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  11. 5 votes
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  12. 10 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Maybe it could be made a part of setting calculation to manual.

    You need to do this, you set Calc to manual, do your thing/s, set it back to auto and see how you did (do the errors roll in or is everyting jake?)

    If it could be tied into the manual Calc feature, that might be an easy way to achieve it.

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    Roy commented  · 

    That IS obnoxious, and the workaround that works now did not for many years. YOu had to replace "=" with something like "k=" and do the F&R-ing, then remove the "k"...

    Should be an Option to click in F&R, like all the other Options available. Then it holds the cells being changed in abeyance, lets you do several operations, leaving the function box if need be and returning. Only when one clicks Finished would it check for broken formulas.

    Preach it brother!

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  13. 2 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Excel for Windows (Desktop Application) » Other  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Roy commented  · 

    Yeah, it'd be nice.

    I wished formatting could be specified as an addition to formulas, and pictured a string added for doing so (With, say, square brackets to make it clearly that.)

    But having a sample formatted cell somewhere, and specifying simply the formatting of that cell, would be even easier. And of course, that would work nicely for this.

    Even better would be if it also brought with it internal cell formatiing, where one letter is red while the others are black, for example.

    Harder would be cells that were like... LEFT(A1,3) but if it brought in-cell formatting it could format as those three characters are formatted.

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  14. 7 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    (Sigh... ) 15 years ago it used to do precisely this...

    And with implicit intersection you could use those labels ("Use column headers as labels") like so:

    =East 1998

    to get (in this example) sales for the East region in 1998 without building Named Ranges.

    Now, with the new array formulas (spill formulas), they tout the idea that implicit intersection is completely going away too.

    You eveil people! Just use Tables, period! Get with it! Seems to be their thinking...

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  15. 6 votes
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  16. 109 votes
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  17. 6 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    I agree, it'd be awesome to click on the row number at the left, where one wants to insert rows (NOT highlight the entire row, just click on the row label) (or column header for columns), and since it would be obvious one did not wish to insert a single cell, Excel would pop up a dialogue box, like it currently does for row height, asking how many rows.

    I often want to insert a large number of them, or an EXACT number of them, and this would help a lot.

    Of course, there IS a current method available, where one highlights the row above which to insert, and then continues down highlighting rows until one has highlighted as many rows as one wishes to insert. Then click Insert and that many rows are inserted.

    This is problematic in any number of ways, but:

    1) NO ONE controls a mouse as awesomely and exactly as one can simply typing "27" to get 27 rows inserted. Instead of 24 or 31 or 28...
    2) Highlighting as the screen moves up (the 27 rows, say, starting 3 rows above the bottom of the screen), worked well in 1995 when the attendant scrolling happened in (very sadly) "real time." But now it flashes across a hundred rows in no time, and speeds up depending upon how far past the initial point one drags the mouse down, but in no case, nowadays, is it slow once the screen begins to move. Before it does, sure, there's decent control, but not after it begins scrolling.

    (Who'd think faster computers would cause troubles?)

    3) And if one wants to add 800 rows? Sure, scroll away, don't carelessly let up on the mouse or be like the Teletubbies (Again!). Or 10,000 rows...

    I've taken to adding a copy and insert page, click on it, GOTO the appropriate row (say row 800), highlight up with Ctrl-Shift-Home, press Spacebar once there, copying, and inserting back on the original page. (For formatting, I copy the original page after it's set. Have to set row heights for the entire 1,000,000 rows which seems to enlarge the spreadsheet less than doing, say, 50,000 rows so that something like 10,000 are always readily available.)

    So yes, my occasional needs are particular there, but I always have the issue casually appearing here and there. One imagines many others do as well.

    So here's hoping they'll do it and do it like I said above, right click on the row number, choose Insert, type how many rows into the dialogue box.

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  18. 6 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Sorry, I wandered away a bit there.

    The Acrobat 6 feature was dropped for some reason, presumably that it could not work given whatever changes were being made going forward and not just a too bad for you kind of thing.

    That suggests that going forward from then taking an image, so to speak or almost literally, would not be possible. Which suggests it still can't be done since it has not returned as a feature.

    One CAN actually output a PDF page as an image file, but that takes one further from being able to use it as a data source so it really doesn't fit your whole text here.

    Muck, muck, and more bad muck.

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    Roy commented  · 

    If you read much of my other comments, you will see I do NOT give MS much of a pass for the casually lazy and stupid things the do and do not do.

    This one though, is NOT Excel's fault.

    PDF's are not simple data files, they are basically programs, literally. Their entire purpose is to display your work as it would print on page and Adobe does NOT force ANY particular approach on the programmers building the functions: just that condition, that it look like the printed version.

    And programmers do it a million different ways. What looks like a table on screen can literally be Balkanized with thousands of byte of other muck between even digits in a number. It's the jack*ss PDF makers who do this. They don't take the steps they can to avoid the stupidest of these practices.

    Additionally, Adobe dropped the ability to mark a literal block, rather than values after about Adobe Acrobat 6 (a block as seen on the screen, that it would then let you copy and paste in a way much like Excel's Paste | Special | Values.)

    So unless the PDF writer programmer plans for you to have ready access to things, NO reader in the world has ready access. Not Excel, not even Adobes own Acrobat.

    The horrid material you get when converting, done by ANY program available, paid for or free, REGARDLESS of their lying claims, is due to this fact. There are a million kinds of muck, graphical muck, formatting muck, human waste muck (maybe not... allegedly...), all kinds of muck interspersed with the data, even between letters and digits.

    It's a matter of it just can't be done. MS gets a pass on this one.

  19. 2 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    It'd be nice.

    There is a fairly standard workaround for that if you need the functionality. Basically, you MATCH() the test value against the range the results of which Excel sees as an array of TRUE and FALSE. With the kind of thing you are looking to do, there would presumably be only one match, so only one TRUE in the array Excel sees internally.

    Excel would be happy to see that as an array of 1's and 0's, but won't on its own, so you multiply that result by a generic array. It could be an array of just 1's, but that would not solve your need. A way to produce an array of sequential numbers is to use the ROW() function in an array formula (the "CSE" kind, not the new ones) like so:

    ROW(1:4)

    (you can hard code the 1 and 4, or do it with functions). That will produce, internally in the formula, "{1;2;3;4}" and if you multiply the first part by this part, Excel will go element-wise through both lists and give you, say

    {0;1;0;0} * {1;2;3;4} = {0;2;0;0}

    (I said "you" but really, still Excel internally).

    So far, so good. Now SUM() that result and you get "2" for a formula output. That happens to be the test value's ordinal position in the range.

    Depending upon one's needs, one can modify the approach. If you ever see a formula that has "- -" at the start (usually), or "+ +", it is assuredly doing this kind of work. The reason is you have to perform an operation on the internal result to make it a single value for output. The above description used SUM() and was really more of this calculation: {1} * {1;2;3;4} than the simple version I mentioned above.

    Why the shenanigans though, right? It should be straightforward. That there has been a taught workaround for so long CLEARLY shows the huge need for a direct, natural way to do this!

  20. 3 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Be nice to be able to do this to things the TEXT() function is producing as well.

    Or THAT could be a way they'd give us this: alter the TEXT() function to allow formatting of the text string produced, at least for simple things, or things one might use a RegEx pattern on, and then we workaround by wrapping things like your need with the TEXT() function applying the desired formatting.

    Not a wholesale change into a modern world, but doable on their end and ours without that much trouble. On ours, we'd have to specify the formatting somehow anyway so the work would mostly need doing anyway. (Which is assuredly NOT a feature of most workarounds!)

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    Roy commented  · 

    Yeah... related to something I've Suggested regarding how one can format EVERY character in a cell with text only, but a cell having a formula referring to that cell loses all that formatting in its own output.

    This is another use for the broader issue. A good one if one does not want to have to use Word to refer to the Excel cells, instead of Excel itself.

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