A not so smooth conversion to Excel 2007 from previous versions.  This page will probably get most of the material currently in the Excel 2007 section of my conversion to Windows Vista page.  There is no pleasure in using Excel anymore once 2007 is installed.

Excel 2007 Nightmare

Location: http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/excel2007.htm
Home page: http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/excel.htm
[View without Frames]

Macros from earlier versions (#macros)

Menus are user friendly to everybody.  Ribbons are designed for inexperienced users who had never seen a computer before.  The difference is reading via glyphs in ribbons, as opposed to words in menus in a hierarchical arranged table where actual keyword shortcuts are shown encouraging faster use as users become more experienced.

This page is my attempt to make Excel 2007 more usable to me (and Excel 2007 & 2010 more usable to you).  This is the best that I can do in that attempt.  I hardly touch spreadsheets anymore since October, 2008 because of the bad interface.  All I can say is learn your keyboard shortcuts, and hope they don't eliminate context menus.

Ergonomic Hell (#nightmare)

Everything in Excel 2007 is an ergonomic nightmare  and takes at least one more click for anything that was in a menu, and because things have to be spread out on the ribbon they don't line up very well and is so disorganized for drill down type of viewing that you had in menus and hyperlinks.  The logical arrangement is lost because you can't read what you need in a small viewing area, which is one of the key elements in ergonomics.  Will try to get around these obstacles as best I can but have already wasted two months so far (2007-10-13) and have just skimmed the surface and can hardly use Excel at all at this point.

Loss of Data Hell, see Change of Ctrl+A.

Loss of Menus Hell, see this page concerning Ribbon and Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar (qat).

Loss of Help, a steady decline that started with Excel 2000. 

Excel 2007 Ribbon (#ribbon)

The Ribbon GUI is your worst nightmare, pretty much unusable.  Suggest you brush up on your keyboard shortcuts and on your use of context menus (right-click menus).  The context menus have improved considerably, but is is maddening not to be able to do anything the old way.
  1. Make Developer Ribbon Tab visible:  Office Button, Excel Options, Click Popular, Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box.
  2. Ron's Excel Tips http://www.rondebruin.nl/tips.htm
  3. Menu for favorite macros in Excel 2007 (for all workbooks) http://www.rondebruin.nl/qat.htm   You will need to download the spreadsheet from Ron's site and modify the menu sheet to match your own desired menu structure.
  4. J.Latham reported 2007-09-16 that a file with menu in Excel 2003 would be found in Excel 2007 in the Add-ins (last section on the ribbon).
  5. To add missing items back to the Status Bar: right-click on status bar

Customize Quick Access Toolbar   (#qat)

First step is to obtain Ron de Bruin's Menu for favorite macros in Excel 2007 (for all workbooks) to create an add-in with a nice menu in the QAT. Modify that with your own table of macros to be generated into a QAT menu.

After modifying Ron's example my menu page looks like this

Since I can create a worksheet in the format of John Walkenbach's "Menu Maker" without the icons was able to easily use Ron de Bruin's utility "Menu for favorite macros in Excel 2007 (for all workbooks)" http://www.rondebruin.nl/qat.htm by pasting that into the MenuSheet before the existing examples provided in the workbook downloaded from Ron's site.

If you don't have such a list suitable for input into Ron's "Menu for favorite macros..." it is the same arrangement as needed for John Walkenbach's (Tip 53) which is now on John's page Spreadsheet Page Excel Tips: Creating Custom Menus so you know what the basic starting point is when Ron redid it for the QAT menus.

You can create the worksheet from your old Excel (pre Excel 2007) using Barhopper -- fixup for Restored Toolbars (also List of Menu Items) macro, Barhopper -- fixup for Restored Toolbars, and -- Listing of Menu Items — The macro even works with Excel 2007 though you should have the workbook you used to create the qat as a hidden workbook in your XLSTART directory.  The code for both barhopper_ws macro and the macro if invokes, BarHop_ws, are found on the related code page, and creates the a new worksheet with the data in the format required.

Pictures 1-5
Picture 1 (start), After customizing the QAT (picture 3) you will have added the following buttons: "View Macros (Alt+F8)", and "MyMacroFile.xlsb!Display pop-up" (circled in red) buttons, as shown in Picture 2, and you might add "Menu Commands" button as well.  Note personal.xls in picture should be personal.xlsb -- You will have to make the window extremely wide in order to see the text associated ribbon icons for "Split", "Hide", and "Unhide" part of why Ribbon replacing convention menus is a huge disaster.

Pictures 4 and 5 show unhiding "MyMacroFile.xlsb", so you can use the "Refresh" button on the spreadsheet.  Note personal.xls in picture should be personal.xlsb
After using the "Refresh Menu" button on the spreadshet, followed by the "Save and Close" button on the spreadsheet.

With the workbook MyMacroFile.xlsb in place within C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART (along with my personal.xlsb with all of my own macros) we are ready to continue; however, when it comes time to update your macros, you cannot modify and save within the startup folder. (Everything will hang up and you may ot see the resulting message.

/!\ You cannot save the Personal Macro Workbook in the startup folder. Save it elsewhere now and move it to the startup folder later. [OK]

The QAT can be created and later refreshed by repeating the last part of Ron's instructions:

All of these contortions does not really make the ribbon that usable.  You've still lost menus, and the ability to directly rearrange and modify your menus, and add in loads of macros in a tree structured menu.  This is obviously a left/right brain issue, people who use words vs. people who use graphics.  To help understand the differences, perhaps the first article helps.

Next step do something with the buttons (#buttons)

The buttons copied over from Excel 2002 (XLB file) are correct except for the path and workbookname – appears as Excel.xlb.text in XLSTART.
buttons image

Will have to find out how to add buttons of my own creation to Excel 2007.  This relates to material in my Toolbars page, that will have to be\ made to work in Excel 2007 rather than just a cobbled together QAT that include a submenu of what were my toolbar buttons.

System Taskbar (#tasks)

Excel users that want to see multiple instances of Excel workbooks on the system taskbar should also refer to taskbar on my Excel freeze.htm page, and refer also to my Windows Vista page.

After 8 years trying to use Excel 2007 (2006-2014) (#almost)

Sunday June 15, 2014 trying to revisit

Things improved in Excel 2007   (#improved)

Is anything actually improved in Excel 2007 other than the obvious increase from 65,536 rows by 256 columns to 1,048,576 rows by 16,884 columns, and the multirow formula bar (expanded on right).

Inquisitive vs. Intuitive -- Ribbons vs. Menus (#nonsequitur)

See definition of Non sequitur, unfortunately we are stuck with an Office Ribbon designed for five year olds who are more inquisitive rather than results oriented.  Speed of use is what is really important to users not extra clicking. 

Four Big Lies (#fourbiglies)

Here are four reasons quoted right out of 2007 Microsoft Office system frequently asked questions - Products - Microsoft Office Online on why the Office 2007 interface was changed.
What were the design goals of the Office Fluent user interface and how were they determined to be top priorities? We wanted to deliver new capabilities that empower people to get the results they want, faster. We had four major design goals:
  1. Make it easier for people to find and use product features.
  2. Reduce design clutter and interruptions.
  3. Make it easier for people to discover the capabilities they need.
  4. Support the creation of great-looking documents.
If you can't get past the first three, how can you tell if #4 is true.

Help with Excel 2007 (#help)

Help is now downloaded and not on your system.  You can't simply read HELP like a book anymore, and search brings up article topics not the main topics in Table of Contents.  Articles do not continue to the next article like in a book either.  Once you have selected an article you will be shown the Table of Contents topic on the left that it is under so you can work manually from there.  If you don't see the TOC entries click on the Book on the Ribbon on the opposite side of the Ribbon from which it appears. And the TOC shifts to show the topic instead of keeping the TOC structure in view.

More getting used to Excel 2007

Help and How-to Home Page (office.microsoft.com), see Browse Help and How-to by Product Some Old keys, you had better learn for Excel 2007
Excel keyboard shortcuts 2000 - 2007, or
Keyboard shortcuts - Excel - Microsoft Office Online Excel 2003 (use the "Show All")

and since I hardly use Excel any more, don't forget these, to be able to use macros

Forced to Use Ribbon instead of Short cut keys, or assisted menus


Not convoluted enough for you see the Microsoft help Excel Ribbon mapping workbook old menus to new ribbon (not a conversion), or the same information in Guide (Abobe Flash), or as a web page Help and How-To Home page (office.microsoft.com).  *** Interactive Flash showing 2003 menus.*** 

Those two guides are not of much help when it comes to what you need to use for Tools,Options so here is something typical of what was Tools, Options, View (tab), select the options horizontal scroll bar and vertical scroll bar is now the following:

Use the Office Button in upper left corner, at the bottom of that dialog is Options, then on the left choose the Advanced button (red), then scroll down on the right side to "Display options for this workbook" (blue stripe) which is about 1/3 of way down, then checkmark "Show horizontal scroll bar" and "Show vertical scroll bar"


The word ergonomics was created in 1857 by Wojciech Jastrzebowski, a Polish scholar, derived from the Greek words ergon (work) and nomos (principle or laws).[1]  Ergonomics is often defined as the practice of designing the job to fit the worker, not forcing the worker to fit the job.[2]. The study of ergonomics took off with IBM studying positioning of keyboards and chairs, and how something is quickly found (not necessarily where you expect it but at least next to where you expect it) about 1976-1986.[3]

Jumping the Shark

Here's a question for the Excel Development Team:  Did you actually use Excel, or are you just trying to make it better?

Excel 2010   (#excel2010)

Excel 2003 started a downward spiral with the destruction of Ctrl+A.  Excel 2007 made Excel impossible to use, Excel 2010 looks like a minor improvement in restoring the File menu.

Non Excel links of interest for those upgrading systems.