Excel 2007 was, for me, the discovery of the month. This article continues the review that I started in the previous post. Though this post should have been written about two years back, inspiration only struck me this weekend.
Named Range in Excel 2007
The named range is a definite improvement over 2003. A lot of features have again been bought forth in this version (or added anew) such as scope definition and being able to view the values (a great time saver) for a named range. However every time you make a change, a message box asks you whether you want to confirm the changes made. After a few iterations, this begins to get your goat and after a few more begins to chew on things that I rather not be mention here.
Why the named range is placed under the formulas tab is something that beats me. If you can have the pivot tables under the “Insert” option, you might as well have the named range but then weird are the ways of the Bill & Co. (I am yet to figure out how to customize the toolbar and be able to place things where I am most likely to find them)
My beloved VBA IDE has been left as such and for that I shall remain eternally grateful. Frankly, this is one part of 2007 that retains the usefulness of 2003. It would have broken my heart if they had played around with the menu options or had reduced keyboard support. REAL CODERS DONT USE MOUSE
(I could not find a button that would directly take me to the IDE but I am hoping that should be easy once I get know how to customizing the toolbar.)
The entire “Insert” toolbar if you look at it, has been taken up by charts and drawing shortcuts which is good but would have been better if they had “Charts”, “Drawing” as separate menu options and had pivot table icons moved under “Data”. The handles are easier to grasp and retain fluidity. So even Stevens here.
Working with Data and Data Sources in Excel 2007
One thing that could really save a ton of time, and I mean a TON of time is having the ability to convert more than one column from text to values at a time. If you have to import data from a flat file everyday, this could be on the top of you wishlist for Excel 2010. What harm can a multiple column text-to-values option cause – I mean the values could land up in the wrong column, overwrite other values or generally cause a bit of a mayhem on the spreadsheet – but that already happens with a single column option. That way, if some adventurous soul wants to take a shot, he/she can at least has a chance. The wizard’s fixed width interface could have been more useful had it been made a bit bigger so that the user doesn’t have to strain to get the widths exactly right. A redo option of some sort could have also come in handy.
On those rare occasions when a man has to resort to taking help from Excel, he likes to keep if direct and as short as possible. 2007 botched this one up. In the amount of screen space in which Excel 2003 would run you through a major part of a formula or a tip, Excel 2007’s help files barely get started. Thicker glasses may, though love bigger fonts.
Let’s say you divide the world into three parts – people who spend more time with Excel than they do in the gym and with their wives put together, people who get emailed spreadsheets done by others and need to edit a few things once in a while and everybody else (those who really don’t matter or care). All previous versions were loved by the first category and was irrelevant to the other two. Excel 2007 has not done anything that makes it any more dearer to the first category and still remains irrelevant to the last one. The audience for this release has squarely been the ones in the middle. How far has the re-design been of help to them – I guess we may never know.