Microsoft Excel 2008

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Microsoft Excel 2008

While most of the changes in Excel 2008 are meant to make life easier for beginners, advanced users with a ton of numbers to crunch get a little something, too.


Excel 2008

Excel 2008 now supports sheets with more than a million rows and 16,000 columns each. Should be plenty for your fantasy baseball league stats.


Unless you’re a math geek, creating and editing spreadsheets can be one of the most intimidating tasks in your job description. The more your software can simplify the job of crunching all those numbers, the happier you’re likely to be. Excel 2008 includes some genuinely helpful new features to turn business math into clear, communicative spreadsheets.


Elements Gallery

Instant access to Excel’s templates.


Throughout Office 2008, Microsoft has added a new element: the Elements Gallery, so named because it acts as a single access point for various document elements, gives you a quick way to find, view, and change various components of your documents. In Excel, that means managing sheet styles, inserting and changing different kinds of charts, adding artsy graphics, and working with snazzy WordArt.


The Elements Gallery speeds up just about every task in Excel, short of mundane data entry. Want to create a budget sheet? Click Sheets, choose Budgets, and select one of the templates. Need to add a chart to your quarterly report? Choose Charts from the Element Bar and you can choose from bar, bubble, donut, pie, and other tasty options. Try one and see if it works for you. If it doesn’t, simply keep the active chart highlighted and select a new chart type from the Elements Gallery to transform it instantly.


Magic Formulas

Now you don’t need to be a math major to figure out a formula to use.


Setting up math and other functions has always been one of the most daunting aspects of working with spreadsheets. In the new Excel, this otherwise opaque process gets a complete overhaul in the Excel Toolbox. Now you can type in the kind of function you want to perform, such as “subtract,” and Excel will show you a list of formula functions that can do that. Double-click your choice, and select the fields you want to work with. Color-coded selection boxes make it easier to keep track of what you’re doing.


Our Verdict

Excel has never been our favorite Office app. But since we can’t avoid using spreadsheets we’ve trudged through it for years. That said, we’ve never had as much fun crunching numbers as we’ve had with Excel 2008.


A intuitive retooling of the functions editor in the toolbar makes it easier than ever to manipulate data in your sheets. Whether you’re concatenating the names of your employees or running sales averages for a presentation, the new Excel is the hands-down top choice for getting the job done.


Not only does Excel’s new Elements Gallery take the drudgery out of charting, adding graphics, and selecting templates for your sheets, but it actually makes you work faster. We’re pretty sure Excel would’ve remained the leading spreadsheet program anyway, but the new enhancements outpace every competing app on the market.




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I like MS Excel as an office app.. For me, it is very sufficient for my calculating needs and is very easy to use. It is really reliable. <br></br> excel development:



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I was a beta tester of this program. After a certain time period, the program became extremely slow. I assumed it was a beta thing. I was shocked and disappointed to find that the full version that I purchased later also had the same problem and actually after a shorter period of time. I've seen the same complaint from many users on various boards, all with people running fast chips and plenty of RAM. The latest update from Microsoft did not fix the problem either. My experience compared with Office 2004: Entourage 2008 is faster and works better than 2004 on an intel mac. Word 2004 and 2008 work about the same (slow) but 2008 has many more features. Excel 2008 was zippy only for the first week. After that it became nearly unusable. 2004 actually works faster on my two intel macs with 2 gigs of memory. In my work, I must receive clients word and excel docs, modify them and return them. I have found it easier to import into iWork, do the modifications and then export back to word and excel.


Some Sort of Engineer

Users who have grown accustomed to using Excel for informal calculations will be disappointed at the powerful features that have been removed. This product cannot be recommended for students of mathematics, statistics, and engineering (to name a few) and those with a math intense Professional | Life. Not the most graceful exit for Microsoft in power-calculations but perhaps overdue.



Microsoft should be ashamed of itself for making a unilateral decision to eliminate macros.

I am in charge of 850 users (in a financial environment) and we will not be upgrading for this reason alone. I also belong to some networking groups and the word has spread, MS Excel for Mac is a loser for all of us in the finance industry who need macros. Whenever I can (as well as many of my colleagues) we spread the word not to upgrade.


Dr. Nelson

I have tried for 2 days to change a simple 10 line VBA to applescript or Automator that works with Excel 2008. It isn't worth the effort to spend a month learning the ins and outs of changing data arrays in applescript. MicroSoft Office 2008 is off the computer. The Mactech guide ($10) and the one from Microsoft (applescript for Office 2004) (free) are written for people with degrees in computer science.

I don't program for a living. Completely disappointed with Microsoft for violating the spirit of MacIntosh for requiring a computer expert to get something simple to work.

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