Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Excel's short comings

I used to be somewhat of an Excel fanboy.
Probably because I have found it to be entirely useful throughout my career (similarly I was a Lotus 1-2-3 fan too.)

However, the more I use Excel, and push it, the more I find what it cannot do.

Here, listed in no particular order, are my top three Excel 2007 disappointments.

1. No Median function in pivot tables.
This really is very frustrating, Median is a widely used function and would be entirely appropriate to include a pivot table summary function, yet it is not.
Sum, Count, Average, Max, Min, Product, Count Numbers, StdDev, StdDevP, Var and VarP are all included, but no Median. Excel is 23 years old, why has Median been left out?

2. Cannot record chart formatting macros.
You can in Excel 2003, but not in Excel 2007.
I used to frequently craft macros to make my charts look better and consistent and to reduce the chart formatting drudgery. My old macros still largely work, so I can use Excel 2003 to make new macros, but come on, really this is the way forward?
To get some idea how annoying this is, create ten line charts, each with 4 series, in each series have 12 points of data. Now add a red marker, point value, and series name to only the last data point of each series.

3. Perhaps this is a feature request, or perhaps I juts don;t know the trick, but when entering a formula, I would like to select a cell and be able to have it referenced as an Absolute Address.
In a long formula with a log of references, this would be a great time save.
I can't find it if it's an existing shortcut.

Excel is still a great product. I use it daily and cannot find a better replacement.

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