Excel 12 Screenshot

At Microsoft Presspass.

  • What is that right most tab? Is that to insert a new tab? I don’t like it.
  • I see you can insert an instance of the j-walkblog by using Insert Object.
  • I hope they have an option for smaller toolbar buttons. I’ll need a 50? TV for a monitor.
  • I like the Average, Sum, Count stats in the status bar.
  • Is that a zoom slider down there? I thought zooming was the cause of 50% of Excel’s problems.
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33 thoughts on “Excel 12 Screenshot

  1. What’s surprising to me is that there will be no “classic UI” mode. In other words, everyone will need to convert to the new UI.

    I think there are many users who pretty much do things by rote in Excel. They’ve learned how to do their tasks in a very specific manner using very specific menu commands or buttons. Some of these users will freak out and demand a week off for re-training.

    Will IT departments anticipate this and simply not upgrade? Or is the new UI so compelling that it will be worth the re-training?

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this puppy. But I can’t say I’m looking forward to doing a total re-write of Excel Bible.

  2. Hm, the UI looks like it will challenge us all. A shift in the paradigm will of course divide users into two groups, for and against. New users will more likely adapt it quickly then old timers.

    From what I’ve seen many large companies do not automatically upgrade because a new version hit the market. Their cycle of upgrading is subject to other triggers. Medium sized companies may be the main target group in the first wave.

    Let us hope that the coming version will give us the option to turn off all the “whistle and bells”. After all, per se it’s still a spreadsheet software (at least I hope so).

    Of course, the dramatic UI change raise another question and that’s how will it look under the hood?

    Funny, when looking on the picture (I saved it to a local disc as I don’t own a kingsize screen ) I got a rendevouz Linux-feeling.

    John, see it from the bright side of life. Now You can ship two versions of the Bible, before version 12 and from 12 and beyond ;)

    Kind regards,

  3. A zoom slider for the toolbars?
    thats a new one, first thing that struck me was that the toolbar buttons were too big

    personally i still prefer them listed downwards instead of sideways
    i hope there’s an option for that ;)

    i like the chart though

  4. Yet another example of everything that is wrong with Microsoft I’m afraid.

    Instead of a fundamental “under the hood” reconstruction to deal with it’s technical limitations (removing 256 column limits, removing for that matter the 2^16 row limits) they go for the cheap option of giving it a Kewl Kiddie facelift.

    So now I can (be forced to?) have massive cheesy buttons to make the workspace look pretty?


    I wonder if it will let me use 64-bit integer precision? Or double-double float precision?

    I wonder if the VBA has been upgraded to VBA.NET?

    Err, no, but I bet it will fade out through grey when I close it.

    What’s good about MS is of course the underlying concept of Excel, Office and Automation. It’s just sad the core functionality has such a low priority :o(


  5. My fear is that there doesn’t seem to be a place for ‘Dictator’-style Excel applications, which present their own (very simple) UI and use Excel’s features under the hood. I’m also worried about what they’ve done with all the menu items that didn’t fit into their ‘document authoring ribbon’ paradigm.

    Mpemba: It appears that this time round the Office team have decided to drip-feed us information about the new version. A few weeks ago it was the XML file formats, now it’s the UI. I think it’s a bit premature for us to assume that’s all there is.


  6. #10 well if they are completely changing Excel I think they probably should move over into VB.Net. It is only a matter of time anyway.

    J-walk, doesn’t Microsoft provide you with an advance copy, so you can start to write your book early or do they only give that luxury to the authors that are published through Microsoft Press?

  7. The video clears up a lot of stuff. My main concern is that I’ve seen (and I’ve made the same error myself) that they appear to develeop the UI (that’s the concern right now, right?) for developer’s systems. People with 20+ monitors. But I’m wondering how this new ribbon thing is going to work on most computers, that are running 640×480 or at most on 800×600.

    Wait and see I guess.

  8. Bill – The .Net thing is inevitable, resistance is futile. I’m just wondering how much of my stuff (and of what I know) will still work after upgrading.

    John – They’re going to make you work for this one. No more new releases without any new content! (Just kidding of course)

  9. I wonder about Tools > Options. Has it been tidied up in any way, or just swept under the rug? If I want to tell a user over the phone how to change their default file location, e.g., where will I tell them to start?

    J-Walk, perhaps break it up into Old and New Testament?

  10. Jan Karel,

    That is a good point. I haven’t seen any minimum requirements for Vista or for O12. Anyway, assuming a minimum of 1024×768 is still a dangerous bet.

  11. If You want to view protected digital content in Windows Vista in an acceptable way You will be forced to buy a new screen unless Your present screen already support HDCP (High Bandwith Content Protection).

    (In general I find Vista to be pretty cool and nice)

    New Windows versions are always best used with new hardware and since the present standard is 17? flatscreen I believe we will move fast to larger screens, such as 19? or why not 21? (at least in my part of the world!).

    New “office-standard” graphic card performe best with 1024×768 and above (unless You’re in the game-business.)

    As for development it’s obvious that we need to accept to start learning NET, especially VSTO and C#.

    It’s remarkable that so few sources is available about VB.NET & VSTO compared with the numbers for C# & VSTO. The buzzword is “ISMISSING”.

    There must be, at least one reason, why MSFT promote articles that include “how to port Your present VBA-solutions into VSTO”, right?

    Hasta La Vista!


  12. The monitor size/resolution could be a problem in the corporate environment, where the standard is either 12? laptop or a 17/19? desktop CRT. IT just doesn’t like to spring for big monitors – unless you are a VP/SVP or a Exec Admin to a VP/SVP, then you get the 22? flat screens! They need the real estate to more carefully read the emails!

  13. OK – my 2c worth is that I welcome the UI change – it’s Office wide – not driven by any Excel specific needs.

    I’ve seen Excel experts produce crappy Word documents – simply because many features and the ‘right way’ to use those features are hidden.

    And we know it goes the other way too.

    In an organisation with very high quantitative and writing skills where the main output is written reports, I’m continually surprised at how difficult it is to get colleagues make the most of Excel and Word – choosing instead to get by with the ‘this works for me’ approach.

    As a user (working in a team), rather than a hack developer, I’m all for this UI change if it makes it easier to use the features.

    If this UI has been in development for 5 years, let’s wait and see if many of the technical improvements in Excel we all hope for is there as well.


  14. This may seem petty, but it’s a big concern for many of us. Over the years, MS has gone further and further in hiding keyboard accelerators from the user. I still can’t figure out the reasoning behind hiding the _ from the accelerator key until the alt key is pressed. With the new ribbon layout, which I think is a great layout, how many of us will be left hunting for the mouse where we traditionally hit Alt-F-V or Alt-I-R or any of those other keyboard shortcuts that our fingers have memorized? No doubt the ribbon will be programmable, but well thought out accerators are always part of my toolbars and I rely on them. An icon alone just won’t do.

    As for everything else, it looks like a huge improvement. I’m sure a lot of VBA will get broken. Well written code will be easy to fix and improve to use the new functionality. Spaghetti code will probably result in running side-by-side versions for many users. I hope mine falls into the former category, but I cringe at the thought of revisiting my earlier stuff.

  15. I said:

    As a user (working in a team), rather than a hack developer,I’m all for this UI change

    Just to be clear…the ‘hack developer’ reference was to me, not other writers here. I was looking at the UI changes with my user’s hat on, rather than my ‘developers’ hat.


  16. I put a lot of work into making my apps look good on multiple screen resolutions. Some years ago I got this useful idea; I put a logging routine into one app, on opening it writes stuff like processor speed, memory, hard disk space, … , and also screen resolution. It has been very useful to me.

    Today’s reading, my inhouse app has been running on 2422 different computers in our company. Screens are

    640 x 4801
    800 x 60021
    1024 x 7681302
    1152 x 864133
    1280 x 1024943
    1280 x 7681
    1280 x 8001
    1280 x 9603
    1400 x 105011
    1600 x 12005
    1920 x 12001

  17. At the time of writing we had all OS versions from Win95 to WinXP, making the API collection big and ugly. I haven’t updated it since, and won’t show it to anyone skilled enough to read it until it’s cleaned up. I’ll see what time allows before we meet.

  18. Well, I guess it’s a good time to update the stats of my program (Installed on roughly 6000 PCs). 800 x 600 is still a key component, altough not as much as it was before. That is good to know :-D

    1024×768    3977
    800×600         1377
    1280×1024   235
    1152×864    108
    1280×800    29
    1400×1050   27
    1600×1200   20
    1280×768    17
    640×480         14
    1280×960    10
    1440×900    8
    1280×720    2
    1600×1024   2
    2048×768    2
    1024×600    1
    1024×720    1
    1152×768    1
    1680×1050   1
    1920×1200   1
    832×624         1
  19. Dominic,

    BIFF format is being replaced with xlsx, so there is a *very* good chance that the max row/col count will be limitless.

    I am not MVP, I have no inside sources but I’d put money* on it.


    (* = $5.00 ;) )

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