What’s New for Excel 2013 Developers

What’s New

Apps for Office in Excel

Microsoft Excel 2013 brings the web to Excel. New apps for Office offer a wealth of interesting, new scenarios and solutions in an easy-to-use environment for dynamic web application development. You now can use popular dynamic languages (such as Python, PHP, Perl, and JavaScript) and web development tools (such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2012) for application development.

This has potential, but I have yet to see an “interesting” app. No, I don’t consider showing my sales data on a Bing map or displaying a Wikipedia page interesting.

New Worksheet Functions

And you can now use web service functions (in the Web functions category) to anonymously access REST Web services.

This makes me happy. I don’t know how I’m going to use it yet, but I know it’s going to be good.

Single Document Interface

SDI means that each workbook will have its own top-level app window and will have its own corresponding ribbon.

This makes me sad. I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I’m used to it using Word, but I don’t care about Word and I almost never have more than one Word document open. Now that Alt+Tab and Ctrl+Tab are going to be the same thing, I need a new shortcut.

Protecting sheets takes longer

Protecting sheets takes much longer than in previous Excel versions…This is by design, so there is no workaround.

This makes me really sad. Of all the worksheets in all the world, what percentage of them need this level of protection? I tried to figure out that percentage in Excel, but it keeps showing zero because it only has 15 digits of precision (that means it’s really small). So the rest of the world gets to slow down for a handful of sheets that need this protection. You can protect your crappy worksheets all you want, you big Wall Street fatcats, but protecting formulas that aren’t right doesn’t make them right.

8 Comments

  1. Rene says:

    I agree. MS keeps adding features nobody really needs, and removes things that everybody is used to.
    Adding an option if you want the SDI look or not (as introduced in Off 2k3 or even earlier) would have been an easy thing for them.

    But it’s the same story as with Win8 and the start-button….

  2. M Simms says:

    How about adding these new features:
    1) wealth of new bugs
    2) slower speed

  3. Kevin says:

    > Data Explorer
    > Higher prices

  4. Jon Peltier says:

    No, Ctrl-Tab and Alt-Tab are not the same thing. Ctrl-Tab still cycles among open Excel windows, but the order changes in a confusing way. Alt-Tab cycles among all windows, also in a sometimes confusing order.

    But SDI has weird implications. If you close the last workbook using the red X (instead of Ctrl+W) Excel closes. If you use Ctrl+W to close the last workbook, the empty Excel Window may no longer be maximized (doesn’t everyone always maximize their Excel windows? Why not?).

    If there is a userform open, using Alt-Tab will activate the userform, but may not make the underlying Excel window visible.

    They only implemented SDI for you crybabies who needed one Excel window on each monitor, when everyone knows the other screen is for the VBA editor.

  5. JimC says:

    SDI functionality is one of the most requested “how do I” questions I see from users. They want multiple worksheets open and each in their own window and their monitor of choice. It’s like having several documents spread out before you on your desk.

    I often have an Excel window not maximized e.g. when needing to refer to only a small part of a larger table while working on a Word document on my primary monitor. Excel will sit in a corner of my second monitor along with Office Communicator, Pandora, an Outlook Calendar window, a browser window, etc.

  6. Scott says:

    Has anybody else run into a problem setting the Worksheet.Visible property in 2013? For some reason, setting the Visible property to xlHidden or xlVeryHidden is throwing an 1004 error. (And yet, xlVisible works just fine…)

    I have a feeling it may be tied back to this change from MDI to SDI, something about making sure the right window is active, but I haven’t come across anything online that points me in that direction.

    Anybody else noticing this?

  7. Scott says:

    File this one under “Bugs”, apparently…

    I wanted to follow-up on my earlier post:

    After speaking with Microsoft and providing them the files in question for diagnosis, what they found was that, in 2013, if the file name is past a certain character length AND the workbook is read-only/password to modify, Excel is cutting the file name off after x number of characters in the Read-Only dialog box, replacing the missing characters with an ellipsis (…).

    That slashed file name with the ellipsis is somehow being remembered as the workbook file name, and so references to change the workbook’s worksheets Visible property to anything other than xlVisible is erroring.

    They have it on a list to be fixed shortly (another company has also found this bug and had already reported it), and they tell me that the bug is in 2013 only, but the short-term workaround, if you must make your file read-only, is to make sure the file name is short.

  8. Paul says:

    For anyone searching for a solution to Scott’s shortened filenames problem, the problem was fixed (for me) in the Office 2013 Service Pack 1 update.

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