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Roy

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  1. 3 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    One beauty of ordering Excel to "format like sample" is it could compose the format of two parts:

    1. The normal symbols for the basic format, like "#,###.00", which could then be edited directly for variations and simple fixes when the sample is misunderstood or less than wonderfully conceived.
    2. An element that would be presented kind of like a picture would be, monolithic and not necessarily editable, though it'd be nice to be able to edit it.

    The second element could capture most of the uniqueness of the formatting one figures is meant. Excel could store it however IT felt it best represented. No interpreting our human mishmash and attempts to force things it never really intended. Also, no limitations on Excel in presentation of what we enter. (An example is generating a format that includes text (perhaps text for the currency symbol) of a language that writes right to left, but trying to ********* the left, not the right. Excel currently will let you enter it where you want it and then puts it at the right regardless ('cause you're a fool, apparently).) But this idea here would allow Excel to see how, exactly, you intended the character to be presented and it could just do it instead of seeing it and trying to apply the rules of conventional use for it that it is aware of... subverting you... and not applying rules it is not aware of... leaving you out to hang if it would have been good to help you with them. None of that. It sees where you have it relative to the other elements and puts it there, no need to check you on it and correct you... it'd just do it.

    (Seems like that'd be simpler for Excel and therfore desirable.)

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  2. 5 votes
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  3. 38 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    It'd be wonderful for loan interest type calculations. If it took an argument for "fraction of the month to the beginning or to the end":

    MONTHFRAC( date, 1 if to the end of the month OR 0 if to the beginning of the month )

    So a billing period's interest would be:

    =( MONTHFRAC("7/29/19",1) + MONTHFRAC("8/27/19",0) ) * (RATE/12) * PRINCIPAL

    and that'd allow easy adjustment for payments made in the period reducing principal for part of the period. Or interest and fees posted in the period. As with everything, there ARE substitute approaches that have stood the test of time, but the all suck due to complexity in the formulas. Besides, this place isn't about "dude, just do this complicated and unintuitive thing for the rest of your life." It's about what would improve things for a fair number of people.

    Roy commented  · 

    Voted!

    Not sure how complicated the formula you use is, and what follows is more than neeeded since this ought to be a function that just needs provided a date, but the below will calculate it without being ridiculously long (objectively that is):

    =1-TEXT(A1,"d")/TEXT(EOMONTH(A1,0),"d")

    for a date entered in A1. (It will convert the output of each TEXT() function for the arithmetic, so no need to wrap them with VALUE() functions. But the TEXT() function ARE needed to extract the day of the month without obnoxious work with strings.)

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  4. 2 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Back in the day... two "Back's" that is, the alte 80's, there was a program called "Baler" that ook a template you set up in Lotus 1-2-3 and converted it to an actual program written in Basic that not only ran on its own, but you owned it and could distribute it freely.

    It's chief purpose was to get spreadsheet functionality for given purposes nto the hands of people who did not own 1-2-3 or whose computers could not run it (due to memory limits and the other things they had to have running). Mainly that "did not want to spend the money for 1-2-3" part.

    For a long time Excel was essentially free, so it became ubiquitous, no one could seriously have a computer in business, say, without it. Now it costs, but nothing else has changed. So "that dog's hunted" as they say and Baler's main purpose doesn't really exist now.

    However, I loved it because I could set up templates and make programs without knowing any programming. No macros, no craziness. Set it up, you have data input (maybe that was the point) and things can be done with the data (quick POS or print charge card slips (remember the "knucklebuster" machines?), etc.). Lots of uses!

    Excel will never do this. It would give reason to not have Excel Everywhere. And they want you to pay a ton for PowerApps to do this, often in conjunction with Excel.

    BUT... anyone else in the world who programs could write a program like Baler to do exactly this. With much more power and ability since computers are so much better. And write out versions for different platforms, Mac, Linux, Android, etc.

    Folks have offerings that go the other way: program in real code, then those offerings take the code and create Excel files that perform the code. This would seem incredibly, utterly easier to accomplish than that!

    Baler had its limits, by the way, but so did literally (LITERALLY) everything else.

    But I voted, just in case Excel would do it. It was awesome and so would this be.

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  5. 3 votes
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  6. 1,294 votes
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    Hi all,

    We have been working on this, and wanted to get your feedback on how you see this feature fitting into your workflow. We have a quick one question survey for you to give us your thoughts on the look and keyboard shortcuts we have at this time. Please see here for more: aka.ms/datePickerSurvey

    Thanks!
    Blake, Excel Product Team

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  7. 4 votes
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  8. 2 votes
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  9. 1 vote
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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().

    Roy commented  · 

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

    Roy commented  · 

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

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  10. 1 vote
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    Roy commented  · 

    If you mean how do you make its color red in the formula editing bar, you can't. Excel completely controls what happens there and gives us nothing.

    If you mean how to make its color red if it is the result of the formula, and is teh value currently displayed in the cell, you just need to change the cell's number format a "custom format" (absolute last choice in the list of kinds of number formatting available, then edit it as so:

    #,##0.00;[Red]-#,##0.00

    (Where I put the "#,##0.00" strings you would put whatever your chosen format is. The magic is done after the semicolon — ; — when you put in the "[Red]" part.)

    Excel gives us four basic formatting divisions for numbers: the first is positive numbers, the second is negative numbers, the third is zero, and the fourth is text and you tell Excel a section is complete using the semicolon. So:

    positive;negative;zero;text

    However, you can actually use them more particularly to your taste, that is just the built-in idea. For example, the first part is usually called the part for positive numbers but it is really a comparison: [>0]. Excel is just trying to be helpful: you can put any other comparison there instead but have to spell it out, so to speak. So your first part could be [<100] followed by a format, and your second could be [>=100] and so on (you might have the first use the color Blue and the second use Green: positive values would then be either Blue (modest positive values) or Green (high positive values) achieving the effect of conditional formatting without using the nasty, messed up beast they call conditional formatting) and then use the third area for negative number formatting and so on.

    All that can easily be found on the internet. Just touching on it lightly to give you the incentive to look it up. It is a very handy thing, especially for the purpose you are asking about.

    Also, not often mentioned are two other things on the subject. If you use the TEXT() function, you can include this kind of idea in the format specified. The second, I guess I won't really go into as it's a bit complicated, but there is a really nice feature for international spreadsheet use.

  11. 4 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.

    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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  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 3 votes
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  15. 5 votes
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  16. 7 votes
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  17. 3 votes
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  18. 2 votes
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  19. 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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  20. 4 votes
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