Work’s keeping me rather busy at the moment, so I haven’t had as much time as I would like on here. I did think, though, that I should spare a moment to write a little more about my continuing exploration of Excel 07. I have to admit to being perhaps a little harsh in my first evaluation, so it’s only fair that I post a little positive feedback where I think it’s due.
Over the last couple of days I’ve been re-configuring a monthly balance sheet used by an NPO my dad does some work for. I have to say, once I got started exploring the new UI, and once I got past the where-the-hell-has-feature-x-gone stage, I was really impressed. Here are some of the things that really stood out for me:
- Formula auto-completion. When you write a lot of formulae, the Intellisense drop-down is a godsend. ‘Nuff said.
- Name manager. This is a very cool feature, much easier to use than the standard define names dialog. I particularly like the ability to easily change the scope of a name using a drop-down list. No more copy/paste-ing sheet names! Also, comments on names – fantastic idea, which is really going to save time spent on documentation.
- Tables. Lists have morphed slightly, into tables, and they are much easier to work with than previously. Structured references, in combination with the Intellisense feature and the ability to edit the table name, are going to save me a lot of work I think.
- It’s pretty. (I admit it, I’m a sucker for eye candy on the desktop.) While there are some aspects of the interface I am still coming to terms with (the ribbon being one), a lot of the changes to styles, formats and the way they’re applied have functional benefits, as well as just being prettier than they were in 03. Basically, the less time I have to spend formatting a spreadsheet the better, and the new setup allows more to be done with fewer clicks. Good.
So there you have it – I’m warming to 2007. Finally.