It's not a secret anymore!
The moose likes General Computing and the fly likes Excel XP Stupidism... typing '=' no longer Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Engineering » General Computing
Bookmark "Excel XP Stupidism... typing Watch "Excel XP Stupidism... typing New topic

Excel XP Stupidism... typing '=' no longer "just works"

Mike Curwen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 3695

Back in the day, no matter what the format of a cell, if you typed (sans quotes)...

"=n" where 'n' was any valid formula, Excel would evaluate and display the **result** of that formula.

In Excel XP, that has changed. For the much much worse.

Now... the format of the cell needs to be 'general'. If you forget, and type in the formula in a 'text' cell, you need to right-click, Format Cell, Number tab, select 'General' and Ok. Then you need to F2 to 'edit' the cell and hit 'Enter' to move off the cell. Then it will show you the result of the formula.

The best part? (wait for it.. this is good....) You can now safely switch the cell back to 'Text' format.

Bert Bates

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8898
I find that, in general, I'm always SO pleased when a micro$oft program tries to guess what I want, and then attempts to "help".
Ok, actually that's a tad cynical, actually, I'd give a lot for the opportunity to punch whoever is in charge of "Word". :roll:

Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Michael Matola
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2001
Posts: 1793
I'm not much of an Excel formula dude and I don't have XP versions of MS Office, but it sounds like the deeper issue is that the default cell type must be "text" not "general", right?
If that's the case, here's what I'd do: every time you start a new spreadsheet, select all cells (clicking on the little rectangle to the left of "A" and above "1" seems easiest), then change the cell type to general.
(Hope this doesn't increase the file size hugely.)
(I'm the guy who secretly goes into everyone's spreadsheets, selects all cells, and changes the text alignment to "Vertical | Top". Shhh!)
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

The StarOffice spreadsheet tool, my man. The '=' entry works as you remember it.

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Mike Curwen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 3695

as for 'Word'...

The /taiwan site is the only one I could find that still has these. The three files have a flash animation exe inside them. WELL WORTH watching.
Davy Kelly
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 12, 2004
Posts: 384
to all the techies here in the ranch,
what would be the best office suite then, the much publicised Mikerowesoft versions or open office?
or is there anything else, that competes.
Just like to know cause i was brought up with a mic row soft spec comp all my days.

How simple does it have to be???
Jeff Langr
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2003
Posts: 799
I've been using Open Office for a while. There are a few flakes, but some things are better thought out than the Microsift equivalents. My machine didn't come with Word or Excel, so the price is right too. Open Office is close to comparable; there's little reason not to try it.
For me, one thing has been worth the switch alone: the Open Office word processor has an export to PDF feature built right in, something that's essential to me. Saves me from the additional cost of purchasing Acrobat (I don't think Word supports this yet).

Books: Pragmatic Unit Testing in Java, Agile Java, Modern C++ Programming with TDD, Essential Java Style, Agile in a Flash. Contributor, Clean Code.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Excel XP Stupidism... typing '=' no longer "just works"
It's not a secret anymore!