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Roy

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  1. 3 votes
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  2. 3 votes
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  3. 4 votes
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  4. 6 votes
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  5. 2 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    I like it. I'd like it to work perhaps as a format option, turn it on and give it a range elsewhere in the spreadsheet, and when one clicks on the cell, a floating window pops up showing just the range: just the range, not its own Ribbon, et al., and not as a current style Pane, just a floating window showing the range and its contents, functioning as a little scratchpad as it were.

    That way one COULD keep detail in a separate section of the spreadsheet dedicated to proper structure and storage of the detail while at the same time maintaining ease of use for all (not least, bosses who are flat not interested in moving past the "light user" stage).

    No hunting about for the particular source of the result in the cell. Just clock on it and the range in question pops up as a floating window above the current sheet, trapped in that spreadsheet of course, not an independent window, and not forced to obscure any bit of the rest of the current sheet the user wishes to see because he can move the scratchpad window about. Oh, and it would stay on top until closed, obviously. And I think closed on purpose with its "X" button, not (being fancy) automatically by clicking a cell other than its result cell.

    And it could even simply be just a wee scrap of spreadsheet to do off-the-cuff writing and calculating. I will ask: how many times have your users (bosses, not-a-boss-but-still-a-dufus, etc.) done just that, writing in their own calculations, even overwriting other things to do their own scratch work ("Typing over that cell didn't change the part I cared about so..."), and in so doing broken the spreadsheet, saved it, maybe even a few times in different places, and then come complaining to you? Even if not structuring things while still offering easy inspection of what makes up a result shown to the user, just wanting a scratchpad, this would be quite useful on its own, and rather invaluable in building proper structure and data handling into a spreadsheet that is going to be used by people who simply aren't going to know spreadsheets or value the idea that they have to hunt around and so on.

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  6. 3 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Here's what it sounds like you're asking for.

    By the way, if you don't fill in the book afterward, in a year, it would be like a whole new book... free too.

    (I'm hoping commenters can attach files somewhere along the way here. If not, this will look fairly stupid. If that happens, just open a blank spreadsheet, change your View to "Page Layout" so you can work with inches, set row and columns, nine that is, to, say, 0.5". The select the upper left 3x3 and format borders using the default line and clicking the "Inside" button in the dialogue, then the really heavy black border and clicking the "Outside" button in the dialogue. Then copy that 3x3 block and paste to the middle and right 3x3's to its right, then copy the whole 3x9 upper tier and paste to the middle and bottom 3x9 tiers and you are set. The sheet has nothing but formatting so when finished, you can just highlight (select) the whole thing and clear it to be ready for the next one.)

  7. 48 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Yep, cleaner indeed. And therefore easier to use and easier to understand, especially for others.

    Always nice to see someone offer up workarounds to help in the meantime, but of course, since the whole point of this site is to suggest things it'd be nice to see in the (hopefully near) future, no workaround can substitute for the desire to see Excel offer something directly and cleanly.

    On Excel's side, acting on this suggestion would be one way to "future-ize" the program. Using this feature, a formula works when the number of rows or columns, or even pages, is increased. It also makes it work cross platform if Excel wrote a version for, say, phones, that differed from desktop or tablets, and did not offer the same maximum number of rows or columns. Instead of being broken, it would work on and on.

    And if Excel would like to be a familiar and useful interface to everything (toasters, refrigerators, table saws, hot tubs, kids' toys, etc.), it would be extremely likely it would need to offer limited row/column extent versions. So...

    But again, the whole point of the site is to not have to give in to three decades of workarounds piled on workarounds, all archaic and none transparent, but rather to express present/future needs and desires to do things directly.

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  8. 2 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Interesting. I usually use Alt-E-E and get what I talk about below. Oddly, I use Ctrl-F for Find, but never really shifted back over to Ctrl-H for Replace.

    Bummed to find out they changed it... could mean the start of wholesale changes to shortcuts which, however much needed, would be aggravating... but seemed part of a plan (I'm cynical, yes) when the Ribbon menu system took over and they began hiding all the keyboard shortcut hints, so it wasn't unexpected.

    But I tried it for old times' sake and it still works. Yay. But here's the whole reason to make this post: Using Ctrl-H, I get the proper insertion point indicator in the proper place, NOT the absence of it that I complained about below. Checking, Alt-E-E still gives me nothing there, Ctrl-H does. Did these people write two different routines for the two different shortcuts? They don't just point into the same code and run? Either that's crazy or at the least the set of old Ctrl-? shortcuts are burned deeply into Excel and we won't lose those, maybe, as easily to a wholesale reassignment project. So Yay, maybe.

    Still need this though, gotta have it pop up ready to work, not ready for more key presses before one can start the work one brought it up for. I mean c'mon folks, I just REPLACED what on the "Find What" line... how likely is it my next plan is to do it again after I rid myself of all of them? I wonder though... no, whether I use Alt-E-E or Ctrl-H, it still comes up in the "Replace with" box each succeeding time until I quit Excel and start over.

    Still need this.

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    Roy commented  · 

    Yeah, no doubt. Obnoxious, that. How likely is it I want to do the exact same F&R again?

    I also find it obnoxious that for years now, at least since moving on from Excel 97, that first time I bring up the F&R box, the cursor really is in the Find entry box, but it does not show up, no slim little vertical "blinking cursor" line. Nothing. If I hit Tab|Shift-Tab to move it and return it there, the cursor shows up like a proud little boy. WHY can't it show there to begin with?

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  9. 3 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Yeah, workarounds exist. Entering into cells formatted as text which can then be examined formulaically for value and separately for precision from the user's simple single input is another way one might approach it.

    But it's so basic to many of the usage silos for Excel, that it sure would be nice to have it natively, especially if Excel chose a standard and enforced it programmatically.

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    Roy commented  · 

    Actually, it DID change the "data value" both in its purpose as data and therefore its utility and in the sense of it's now garbage.

    Perhaps there could be a "Precision" number format in which one enters "10.00" and its representation stays either that directly, or perhaps, by analogy to scientific notation in Excel, could be represented as "10P+2" (or no "+" as it is not truly needed except for readability perhaps). It would keep the original precision stored and available to use too so one could utilize the precision directly instead of indirectly by deriving it from the store value.

    That precision is critical to the calculations (i.e.: the data analysis that is the basic purpose of Excel) in which the entries are used. Seems like it would be so simple to add in as well.

    And the idea that Excel has no internal facility for doing such... isn't the very purpose of this site to suggest things that Excel could have added to its "internal facilities"?

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  10. 17 votes
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  11. 2 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    I voted for this, but my interest is a little parallel rather than identical.

    If I select a range, say A2:C6 with column titles in A1:C1, I am perfectly happy to have Excel figure I'd like to sort using titles. Because it works wonderfully the first sort... It sees A1:C1 as having the titles as it ought to do.

    But the second sort, and all after the first... No. It forgets all about A1:C1 and now wants to use A2:C2 (i.e.: my first row of actual data).

    So I get one use, then immediately it is not only useless, but would leave one row unsorted, and I have to do work to select not to use the feature.

    As Mr. Mattsen clearly has experienced, and as I have though in a slightly different respect, this aspect of sorting in Excel needs some revamping.

    A third way sorting goes wrong, if you will, is let's say I select A2:B6 in my example from earlier with C2:C6 still populated. It asks if I wish to expand my selection. All well and good (well, not to me because I take no shortcuts when manipulating data unless they are MORE reliable than physically doing whatever), BUT if I press Enter to move past it, accepting it — because, as often happens with my data, I am expecting the sort anything that looks like a number as a number question to pop up — when I realize my sloppy error, I have to start the sort all over again. It cannot go back to my selection: I must reselect my original selection. Even if actually did not care, I still end up with the larger selection selected. Since I sometimes need to next copy the sorted material out, having to re-select is obnoxious.

    There are some other small things here too. Even something as simple as show five or so sort field boxes just waiting for columns to be selected and ignore the ones you leave empty instead of making us click to add one after another until we have all we need. Used to be that way...

    Revamping... it's needed in the Sort arena.

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  12. 2 votes
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  13. 5 votes
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  14. 5 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    INDEX() and MATCH() may do so, but those of us who like VLOOKUP() would love this functionality RESTORED to it. Yes, it used to have that, well, not explicitly linked to Tables, but now that Excel has settled on Tables as the base here, using column NAMES needs brought back.

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  15. 51 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    It could even allow entry of a cell address instead of a value for when you need a precise cell value, but clicking on it and copying it would require moving to an awkward place or losing a selection that might be obnoxious to reselect. Of course, that might allow one to sniff out info on a hidden sheet too, so that'd need taken into account.

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  16. 3 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Actually, it looks like any format, other than date/time, standard or custom, which applies SOLELY to numbers (i.e.: as if one does not expect anything other than 0-9 and appropriate extras like . or , or ^ or $ or / or... well, you see the idea) will get these results. Any formatting expecting non-numeric character entry such as "Text" changes the + to an = and keeps the detail.

    Interestingly, an entry like " +++11000/12 " gives an equal sign on pressing Enter: =++916.666666666667 . Pressing F2, then Enter does the usual dropping of the leading + (so once gets =+916..., twice gets =916...) but once the = is present it remains forever, even though the detail of the original calculation was lost intantly (i.e.: it never had, say, =++11000/12).

    Sadly, the technique of using the +'s is TAUGHT to lots of folks...

    It would be nice indeed if they tightened this up. But in a way that keeps it for all those trained to use the +'s and for all that legacy work.

  17. 5 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    The SUM in the status bar is -2. NOT 2.

    BUT, since it shows no coloration, AND the format has no character-based negative value indicator (a hyphen, parentheses around a negative number, what-have-you...), just the color to indicate a negative value with, it looks like +2. But it's really the proper -2.

    So, a suggestion to make, rather than just a report of a sort-of-bug, might be to ask for the status bar to not just be nice and show the sum in all the glory the cells format allows EXCEPT color choices, but rather to include all possible number formatting that the cell might have.So for them to definitely add color to the status bar sum reported.

    That'd be nice anyway. Who needs all that gray everywhere??? Scroll bars could be another color so they stand out in the gray background, Zoom could, the menu's, errr..., I mean ribbon's titles could...

  18. 3 votes
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  19. 4 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Lord yes. Nothing should ever be destructive like that. Especially that tight little world.

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  20. 23 votes
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