Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MS-Excel is kooky.

Kooky. That's the only word I can think of to describe how Microsoft Excel is set-up. Part of its initial design flaw is that Lotus 123 was first. Therefore Excel cannot do all common things the exact same way.
It requires an equal sign in every number cell that dares to add 2+2 (or rewrite that =2+2). Seriously, how awkward is that? Look at the keyboard and numberpad, scan for the Equal sign character. I actually use a small (non-MS) freeware program to remap my right Control Button as the Equal character! Just for this program's high usage need.
For charts it sorts data table columns from bottom to top. Hooray, I finally discovered the Reverse Order button on a context-only submenu choice. I always knew it was there, I just couldn't ever find it before. Not that I create charts very often.
It cannot use D Functions without setting up cumbersome 3rd position Criteria tables. Huh? Why not just an in-formula reference argument, like Lotus 123 did?
Worksheet tabs are placed at the bottom. Yet the row/column identification rolls out from the top left-hand corner. As it should since that is where all European based languages are read out from. For a Chinese language spreadsheet, I might expect the beginning 'A1 cell' to be situated at the top-right corner. And their tabs to start there, too.
Remember WYSIWYG? That just doesn't happen as easily with MS-Excel. I can't count how many times it forces an unforeseen form of resizing whenever I print something. It will stretch and compress individual pages - as it knows better.
Then there is its over-sized macro language which insists on spelling out every wiggly inessential detail in long-hand.
I remember when executives - new to computers - hated seeing one character macros being placed (and discarded) anywhere upon a worksheet by young staff. That is a user problem, not a program problem. Are spreadsheets with advanced formulas and macros and tables and charts, any easier to just pick up and understand? They should be; fault the unorganized user-creator.

The entire free world uses Excel for the past 15 years, given its once popular Windows 95 Office licencing deal for businesses. Does its needlessly (IMHO) complicated, reverse engineered, nature make for good business? When I worked with Lotus it was as intuitive as finger painting. Years onward and Microsoft Excel (and I had an introductory company paid course, too) still feels like trying to paint miniatures while wearing loose mittens.
Plus, I got my old inside, mega growth, wrist-bump rehardened for my over -focused charting efforts this afternoon. Had I been regularly using a computer so intently, that wouldn't be noticed - unless it eventually wore out as a carpal problem.



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