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Microsoft's Excel team talks Visual Basic vs. JavaScript and Mac woes in Reddit AMA

Mark Hachman | Nov. 5, 2015
When will you be able to use JavaScript in Excel? Why does the Mac version suck? Answers below.

However, it looks like one irritation will remain in place: Excel’s annoying tendency to treat leading zeroes—such as on a tracking or billing number, like “00015632”—as excess that should be chopped off. The default “trick,” the team recommends, is to put an apostrophe in front of the first zero, as a tip that the number should be read as text.

The Excel team also offered one tip: yes, you can open multiple copies of Excel at once, so that you can keep a particular portion of one spreadsheet open in one window, while working in a related version in another. You’ll just need Excel 2013 and above to do it, which some frustrated users of earlier versions didn’t know. Just go to View > New Window and open the file.

Oh, and don’t go hunting for Easter eggs in the latest versions of Excel, like the flight simulator built into Excel 97. “Now it’s an Office policy not to include Easter eggs (for a bunch of reasons),” “Dan” wrote. “It’s a bummer sometimes, but we still do get to have fun on April 1 sometimes.”

 

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