Office2010.png I love Excel but did not much care for Excel 2007 in fact I rarely used it and stuck mainly to Excel 2003. Excel 2007 certainly has the good lucks but its performance was sluggish and the new ribbon interface was frustrating. So with some trepidation I explored the beta version of Microsoft’s Excel 2010 which you can download for yourselves for free. The commercial release will be available in June 2010. The download includes the full 2010 Office beta suite of software and it has been working perfectly well on my machine for the past four weeks. I would like to share with you some of the new features of Excel 2010 that will be of interest to engineers and scientists who inhabit the ExcelCalcs site.

  • Performance – Excel 2010 comes up with performance levels close to Excel 2003 leaving Excel 2007 far far behind. The improvements in performance and response times, in many scenarios, are surprisingly large. Verdict - Excellent.
  • Sparklines – A sparkline is a tiny chart that fits in a spreadsheet cell and is very useful to show a trend. I have long been an advocate of simple in cell charts to present information concisely (see this video tutorial). Excel Sparklines are a very useful feature but it is basically a line chart and I wish it could handle a simple xy scatter chart. Verdict - Good but could do better.
  • Paste Options - Excel 2010 also introduces the copy paste helpers. Depending on the context, helper options appear when you right click and paste. So a different set of shortcuts will appear when you paste cells versus when you paste and image. Verdict - Good.
  • Charts - Create a chart and then be able to modify its various part simply by double clicking on the elements. Double clicking worked with Excel 2003 not in Excel 2007. Verdict - Excellent
  • Protected View - With Protected View, you can open a downloaded Excel file without exposing your computer to potential vulnerabilities.  In Excel 2007, when opening files over the internet, you had to make the choice of either opening it (without knowing the contents) or ignoring it (no use). Verdict - Good.
  • The ribbon - For those who were a bit flummoxed by the ribbon in Excel 2007, there’s less reason to be so. The ribbon is a lot more customizable in Excel 2010. You can turn on (and off) the various parts of the ribbon and add your own custom shortcuts. The entire menu that was accessible under the windows icon in the earlier version has now been given a separate tab of its own in the ribbon under ‘File’ reverting back to what it was in Excel 2003.  Verdict - Good.
  • Slicers - Excel 2010 introduces a new feature called the slicer. Think of a slicer as a ‘remote control’ for a pivot table. A silcer serves the same purpose as the field drop-downs in a pivot table – just that the slicers can float around freely anywhere in the workbook. Verdict - Good.
  • Image Editing  - The image editor has a few more options such ‘Picture Layout’ and ‘Remove Background Option’. Verdict - Good.
  • The Macro Recorder – Great in Excel 2003, awful in Excel 2007 and a return to form in Excel 2010. Verdict - Excellent.
  • XLC - Finally XLC works perfectly in Excel 2010 located under the ‘Add-ins’ tab. A couple of coding tweaks were required so be sure that you have the latest version installed. Verdict - Excellent.

I’m delighted to say that Microsoft has won me over and I’ll now leave Excel 2003 behind leaping over Excel 2007 straight to Excel 2010. Our training includes a new Excel 2010 module and we are currently offering our best ever training and subscription deals on orders before 31st Dec 2009.

Service Improvements

ExcelCalcs on Faster Server

The ExcelCalcs site had become a victim of its own success it has become so busy with new arrivals that we began to overload our server. We have upgraded again onto a much faster machine with a broader bandwidth. You should notice an improvement in site response time and download speeds. This means we can deliver calculations to your desktop much faster than ever before. We are very grateful to Martin Brampton of Black Sheep Research who helped us migrate to his awesome Aliro Guru servers.

 

We have also introduced a new Live Support feature on the site so if you ever need to ask a question we can now respond instantaneously. I was a little anxious that we would be inundated with enquiries but it has been running for a week now and it has been pretty quiet - so please fire away we will be pleased to hear from you.   support_icon_online.gif

ExcelCalcs Solution for Christmas!Happy Christmas

“Y2U0M2” is a $20 discount coupon code for an XLC Pro (12M) subscription - it expires, like Santa, on 25th December 2009. Alternatively see our top tips for Christmas and let us help you find that perfect gift for your partner. 

Repository News

New Repository item: StormSewer.xls
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New Repository item: Concrete_Stress_Strain.xls
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Alex Tomanovich updates his seismic analysis spreadsheet: IBC2006E.xls
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