Excel 2007 Preview - Is the upgrade worth it? By John Stokdyk

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Throughout 2006, there has been a steady flow of rumour, debate and educational material about the new version of Excel 2007. The debate will intensify at the end of November, when the first commercial shipments of Office 2007 go out to corporate customers and the campaign begins to convince users to upgrade.

Consumers will have to wait until the New Year to get their copies.

The Excel 2007 'Ribbon' interface

Simon Hurst and John Francis have questioned the value of enhancements such as the new Ribbon interface, to which Paul White, UK business group leader for Microsoft Dynamics responded: "It might be true that power users won't get more out of Excel 2007, but the average user might get more out of it because it exposes a lot more to them. Office 2007 makes it possible for...

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19th Apr 2007 14:00

Excel 2007 - Pivot table Hell
I tried the trial version of Excel 2007 when my existing spreadsheets were maxing out due to the number of lines. The spreadsheet is a 50mb file of data, pivot tables and reports that produce a 24 page management pack.

I found it hard to get to grips with the new interface, and in typical Microsoft fashion, trying to make things easier (like the handling of external data sources and pivot tables) I found actually make it harder - and maybe even worse.

Overall though, like most upgrades, with a bit of perseverance you can make it work - not a killer upgrade, but maybe a necessity when you need 65K plus lines.

HOWEVER - it then crashed.

The recover option was a joke (as I had upgraded a 2003 spreadsheet to 2007 it decided that it couldn't accurately recover the whole of the spreadsheet), and when, after a fruitless afternoon of trying to get the thing back I decided to save it back to 2003 and work on it there - it said I couldn't as it can't handle reverting pivot tables.

I suppose I will try again going forward to Excel 2007 again in the future, but with a clean canvass of a spreadsheet and put myself in Boot camp to re-learn everything I thought was right, but now has changed (and not always for the better).

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01st May 2007 16:56

Microsoft would be interested to hear from you

You are probably not alone in your frustration. Microsoft Excel 2007 programme leader David Gainer recently asked for people to send him sample spreadsheets to help them speed up pivot tables.

I'll do a short write up for ExcelZone about this, but you can find out more from David's Excel 2007 blog

Thanks for your feedback.

John Stokdyk
Technology editor

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31st May 2007 21:53

As an ageing accountant I've used Excel and most of it's advanced features (pivots/querytables) vba etc for donkeys years.

When I heard Excel was going to have 1 million rows in the new version I was delighted. But when I saw the mess that had been made of the, previously menu driven, interface I was shocked... Whoever came up with that one should try walking on his hands for a few days and see how he feels.

In all the years I have been using Excel I have never got hold of a new version and thought... sod it I'll stick with what I've got. If I really need a million rows, i'll use a pivot, cube, or just revert to a bit more SQL or Access... or a text file.

Aside from that, MS need to understand Accountants are busy people; under pressure, fighting to get the numbers out each month... the last thing they want is to have to get to try and get to grips with some new ribbon thingy whilst they've got the CEO breathing down their neck for the results at the month end.

One positive thought, sooner or later some bright spark will come up with an add-in that gets rid of all that ribbon rubbish and gives us back the simple menu with the commands available clearly printed on it!

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