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Over the next few days, I am on a ridiculously over-scheduled training course, so I will not be producing any new content until sometime mid next week (and probably not answering comments or emails until then too). In the meantime, I wanted to ask you what you would like to see covered in this blog over the next few months.
Way back when I started this last September, I wrote “I plan to write this blog from now until around the general availability of Office 12, and I am hoping to talk in some depth about all the different features we have added to Excel 12. As things unfold, I look forward to reading your comments and hearing suggestions on what would you would like to read about.”
I am have covered the bulk of Excel 2007’s new feature set, so I thought it would be an appropriate time to step back and see what else you would like to hear about. What questions would you like answered? What would you like covered in more detail?
For your reference, below is my rough list of things that I still plan to write about (no promises I will cover things in the order below, though). Please take a look, and then let me know about anything else you would like to see. You can either send me an email or post a comment – your choice. Thanks for the help, and see you next week.
Looks OK to me, especially the OWC-part.
However, I would like to address the following aspects:
# Using third-part ActiveX controls in Excel
# The requirements to use Excel Services
# The security aspect for add-ins
# The main reason(s) for creating managed add-ins, except for the rich features .NET offers.
# How to use classic UI.
Remark: I may have missed some blogposts that cover one or more of the above aspects.
Managed (i.e. .NET) add-ins
I'd like to see you run through examples of actual problems people have and how to solve them properly.
A perfect example is the charts from The Economist from a few days back.
Real world examples almost always give some insights into aspects you had never thought about.
I would like a discussion of Excel's statistical features.
Integration of the Analysis ToolPak is great. However, but inclusion of a Statistics ToolPak would be even better (with exploratory/descriptive statistics, e.g. tests of normality, multivariate and partial correlations, etc.)
Excel has the capacity to be a powerful analytical tool, especially with the new column and row limits. Unfortunately, its shortage of statistical functions means I need to use SPSS (buggy, unwieldy, and expensive) for anything more complicated than means and standard deviations.
P.S. It took me eons to discover ALT+ENTER (new line) and CTRL+ALT+ENTER (array formula) in Excel. Perhaps these shortcuts should appear on screen when users are entering long strings and array functions, respectively?
Out of curiosity, have you tried any of the available statistical add-in packages for Excel? If none of these packages can meet your needs, it's unlikely that we'll see statistical features in Excel that exceed the capabilities of these specialized add-ins.
Your list looks great, but I would like to see the following moved up in the list
* Compatibility Mode
* Programming for backwards compatibility
Also is there some way to easily find a cross-reference from the Excel XP UI to the Excel 2007 UI?
I am hoping that the expanded available rows will make my job easier as a MIS Credit Analyst as I work with a lot a data that I now have to breakdown into various workbooks to produce the various reports for management.
What happens if I use Excel 12 and bring in a 150,000 item query and then give the workbook to some that has Excel XP? I presume that they will not be able to access it or will end up with corrupted data.
I have really appreciated your blog and hope you will continue giving meaningful and helpful information.
Everything Phillip said times two!
I hear Word has a new equation editor thing. Is that ported to Excel, also? I find often that in my spreadsheets for Physics and Chemistry classes that I want to label a column with the mathematical formula that I'm calculating in that column (as I like doing intermediate steps, and not all of them have names), but I'm stuck with putting it in ASCII instead of fanciness. So is the equation editor thing ported, and if not, are there any plans to do so?
There's an interactive command refference from 2003 to 2007 for excel at: officebeta.iponet.net/.../HA101491511033.aspx
and powerpoint at:
Here's my preference and rank:
- A new programmable task pane
- Programming for backwards compatibility
- The Add-Ins tab
- The UI for the add-ins that ship with Excel
- Managed (i.e. .NET) add-ins
- The PIAs (primary interop assemblies)
- A bit more on structured references (in places like refedit controls)
- Cross-application scenarios
I'd like to see a post on what the future plans are in regards to VBA and Query as I don't see any changes in the VBA editor and Query in the beta.
I would like to see if there has been any programming built in to allow for better integration with other Office products, such as exports from Project or Access. I have had trouble with format changes, etc that should be able to be fixed with proper programming/conversion capabilities.
Also, I would love to see a section of the MS site for Excel (along side the templates) for users to share templates or spreadsheets they have created for a specific purpose. Having a link to suggest a template doesn't do any good if the template never gets created. Let the users share and share alike...
Transition-related issues seem important to me:
- The deprecated feature list
- Compatibility Mode
Also looks interesting from your list:
- Your favourite feature most people never knew existed (audience participation night)
- A walkthrough of all Excel 2007’s new file formats (All? Is there more than xlsx?)
- Excel and grid computing
Here is my list. Number one on my list would have to be:
~ A new programmable task pane
And then the others in the order of importance are:
~ The Add-Ins tab
~ Your favourite feature most people never knew existed (audience participation night)
~ The Developer tab
~ The deprecated feature list
~ The UI for the add-ins that ship with Excel
More on Quicklaunch
~ Managed (i.e. .NET) add-ins
~ Calculation performance testing results
~ The Office Web Components
A really simple thing - can the documentation show the complete list of command line switches in one place - in Excel 2002 I cannot see the /automation switch listed in the documentation anywhere, yet I use it on most days.
Also, what about a white paper or discussion about what is the preferred way to go for writing code to link into Excel - .xla, .xll, COM Addin or ???