back to article If at first you don't succeed, you're Microsoft trying to fix broken Excel 2016

Some Excel users have been struggling to add hyperlinks to spreadsheets, so Microsoft now has a patch for that – or rather a second one. On August 1, Microsoft released a patch to fix a problem with Office 2016 where users were being warned that their passwords were about to expire, even if they weren't. That update fixed the …

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Trollface

WOW!

"Because a limited number of people were having issues, this patch won't be pushed out automatically"

It must feel real good to be one of a small specially selected band of alpha testers!

Welcome to Redmond Roulette! Coming soon to a computer very near you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WOW!

Not just Excel but the whole of Office 2016 has sadly become a veritable PoS. I've had nothing but issues on it on various PCs and laptops, even going to the extent of re-installing Windows 10 and starting over, yet to no avail. The only thing which partly resolve some issues was going temporarily onto the Insider Fast Track to get twice weekly updates, but even the latest update still causes a lock up with Outlook upon exiting.

IMHO Office peaked at v2003 and whilst there have been a few handy things introduced since it seems that over those years an awful lot of highly experienced people have retired / left and now they largely seem to have a bunch of Fisher-Price script kiddies running the product, or should that be ruining the product?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WOW!

SatNad is cutting costs, and what better place to cut costs than in patch delivery/bugtesting? Such a bean counter, Mr SatNad.

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Re: WOW!

"Not just Excel but the whole of Office 2016 has sadly become a veritable PoS. I've had nothing but issues on it on various PCs and laptops"

Its probably safe to say that the code and libraries for Office have reached that critical mass where there is so much interlinking of functionality, code paths and common variables between what should be seperate sections (eg password control and urls in spreadsheets) that even the smallest change in one has an unforseen cascade effect on everything else. When code gets to this stage someone has to have the balls to say "Enough, no more functionality, its complete!". But fat chance that'll happen at MS where managers jobs depend on their teams shovelling out ever more shit that < 1% of people will ever use or changing perfectly servicable GUI objects for the sake of having done something.

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Holmes

I must have this Excel linking problem

I typed https://forums.theregister.co.uk into a cell and then clicked on it, and it took me to a page that said "Jobs | Bored of work and other IT pro matters".

But I don't recall ever hearing that Steve Jobs got bored of work, so it must be a phishing scam. I'll have to report this site to Scotland Yard.

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What;s not to like?

So now it's month-end accounts with hyperlinks to pics of nudie laydees!

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Re: What;s not to like?

Seems that the down voter prefers something different - cat pics perhaps ?

Here - have an up vote to offset it.

I regularly put links in spreadsheets - links to information sources etc.

It would be nice if Excel could figure out that there can be more than one thing in a cell. It can do it with colour and all sorts of fancy type conversion, but not a couple of lines of text that contains two hyperlinks that should be clickable like every other place on the Internet. To excel, its all just text.

How 1990's and typically Microsoft

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FAIL

Good luck with that

They haven't been able to fix Excel not being able to properly handle files on network shares in 10 years.

(If you're wired you probably won't notice it, but If you have a network drive spreadsheet open and wifi blips, Excel completely loses its s#Q@ - which means being completely unresponsive for up to 30 seconds to crashing to deciding to write your data to other open spreadsheets instead Apparently it's constantly reading/writing the open foo.xlsx and/or ~$foo.xlsx instead of sanely keeping a local temporary copy till you choose save. Whatever the cause it's a decade old known bug.).

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Re: Good luck with that

Whatever the cause it's a decade old known bug

Hm. I thought massive user telemetry was supposed to enable them to catch and fix problems like that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good luck with that

"Hm. I thought massive user telemetry was supposed to enable them to catch and fix problems like that."

Yawnnnn..... keep wearing the tinfoil hat

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Re: Good luck with that

I don't know about recent versions of Microsoft Office products, but many years ago, stores the working temporary file in the same location as the file you opened for security reasons. I guess the rationale is if the temporary file is stored on the local hard drive, another user who shouldn't have access might be able to access the file. So, yes, if there is a network issue, changes can be lost, unless the recovery process in Office works. Based on 'oldtaku's' comment, Microsoft has not changed their philosophy. It would be nice if a journal of file changes were kept in memory until a spreadsheet or other document is saved to the destination. A good software company with good programmers would be able to give the user an option to save the journal of changes and apply it to the original file when communication is restored.

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Re: Good luck with that

>They haven't been able to fix Excel not being able to properly handle files on network shares in 10 years.

This is in addition to the file corruption and save issue that can occur when an Office document is open for editing on a network/USB/removable drive and the drive is removed before you close the Office applications that had the file open...

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Anonymous Coward

I fear things will only get worse...

....In the all new pervasive 'corporate friendly' / 'consumer unfriendly': rent-it not-own-it model... My own humble solution: LibreOffice-Mint whenever possible. When that's not an option then legacy copy of Office-2000 along with M$'s own XLSx free converter. But my wife's still stuck on Office 2007 for work, so sometime I must clone that drive for the inevitable EOL crash...

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Been having troubles with Excel

Sucking up memory like a Bill Clinton intern and constant crashing. Worse, it is a crap shoot copying from SQL Server output to Excel and maybe or maybe not the columns will line up. (Same data and NO commas tabs etc in output to cause this). Reboot and it works again until the next screw up. All I see is worse products pretty much across the entire 2016 suite. Constant locking up and crashing of Excel on wired connection.. Office 365 should be renamed office 312 (or less). Maybe the outages are because Office 366 is not out there to handle leap years.

I do wish corporations would just throw in the towel and go for alternatives as they certainly do exist. Not to mention the POS called Windows 10, that if I want to install a printer, and I remote into the machine as an admin, and the printer I wand it not listed (print server), it gives me a security error. Have to log on as user, can do this, but to install - you guessed it - needs admin login and password. WTF that an ADMIN cannot install a printer??????

Rant over - what was once a relatively decent company is declining (same with IBM too)

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WTF?

Re: Been having troubles with Excel

"and I remote into the machine as an admin, and the printer I wand it not listed (print server), it gives me a security error. Have to log on as user, can do this, but to install - you guessed it - needs admin login and password."

Here's an idea.

Learn how to administer Windows machines using group policies.

Failing that, learn to use the internet.

Search for "allow non-admins to install printers Windows 10."

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Anonymous Coward

Are people still using windows and excell?

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Anonymous Coward

Are people still unable to spell simple brand names?

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FAIL

@AC

Dear AC,

yes, there's this whizzy thing called VBA, which you can do some awesome stuff with!!!

Here we run a business, not a church that worships everything not made by Microsoft.

Ooi Win 10 drives me nuts and the ribbon in office is one of the stupidest 'improvements' I have ever seen on a bit of software.

Ymdv.

Jay

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Thumb Up

Excel

Bring back the hidden flight simulator!

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Trollface

That is what you expect from Microsoft. Always.

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They are of course, joking

There's an expert pro user in my company (not one who does accounts in Excel, but one who writes an accounting package because the doesn't like commercial offerings) who's been inventing new profane language on a regular basis since 2016. It seems there's a lot more wrong than hyperlinks, and they keep introducing new bugs whereby functions al of a sudden don't work.

According to her, 2016 and updates are a shambles.

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Re: They are of course, joking

My brief foray into 2016 at the insistence of the helpless desk to fix a license issue in 2013 ( :| ) was a complete disaster and not just in excel. Everything crashed. Search worked nowhere and gave error messages. Excel just took forever to open local spreadsheets and I might as well not bother with Sharepoint ones. OneNote was no longer compatible with older version. Using the @ symbol in an email brought up your contact list and there was no way of disabling it. I could go on, And did... to find out that the helpless desk got no documentation for migration and configuration from one online version to another because the process is supposed to be seamless. The bugs are not publicly visible either, so we all resorted to googling to try and fix before falling back to 2013 in despair.

I've used MS products since MS-DOS and Win3.1 in the early nineties and have been generally happy with them, at least when they finally get there (nobody mention Vista or 8). With cloudy office, I despair :(

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Meh

When the only tool you have is Excel

every problem looks like a spreadsheet ....

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Re: When the only tool you have is Excel

We have clients for whom we've had to deploy 64-bit Excel because some of their spreadsheets were getting worryingly close to 2GB RAM in use. Surely there has to be a better tool for this. In fact, we've suggested better ways for them to do it. But no, Excel all the way and damn the RAM.

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Re: When the only tool you have is Excel

32 Bit Excel 2013 and 2016 patched up to date support 4GB of RAM if run on 64 bit Windows. 3GB if you must run it on 32 bit windows. See https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3160741/large-address-aware-capability-change-for-excel for details.

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Re: When the only tool you have is Excel

@xenny

That's good to know, thanks. That update wasn't available when we had to make the choice, and I'm grizzly enough to assume that any 32-bit task will slam into the stops when it hits 2GB. It'll save us some mucking about with other clients though.

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Mushroom

Office 10 was the last real version

After that it started getting dumbed down.

A few years ago I worked on a power consumption model for the modem section for models coming out in a few years.

The most difficult part was modelling efficiency of DC-DC converters because of the number of factors and non linearity which meant curve fitting in sub bands across several dimensions, took a minute to run the spreadsheet set per output power level.

Outlook 2016 is bad enough but the Excel online doesn't even allow you to reference on sheet from another within the workbook unless you use a named value.

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FAIL

!UTF8

It's 2017, and Excel still does not import or export Unicode CSV files. So If a user in another country sends you a spreadsheet with, say, placenames in it, you can't export the data into anything else.

Code Pages are so 1990's....

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Anonymous Coward

I love Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm still using Office 2007 SP2

It's a volume license from my previous workplace, so it never expires and never needs to be activated.

It works well and does what it is supposed to do.

Am I really missing anything by not upgrading to the latest/greatest Office, or jumping onto the cloudy subscription bandwagon that is Office 365?

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Re: I'm still using Office 2007 SP2

>Am I really missing anything

Only be prepared for 2007 to go end of life on October 10, 2017...

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Re: I'm still using Office 2007 SP2

For a non-internet-facing product, end-of-life is only a problem if there are unresolved bugs. In the case of the Office suite, most of the unresolved bugs are in the more recent versions. You're probably better off using an end-of-life Office product because that's the closest you are likely to get to a finally-fixed Office product.

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Re: I'm still using Office 2007 SP2

Only areas of potential concern are you are also probably using Outlook, so anticipate no further spam filter updates and some integration tools eg. outlook-gmail contact sync. tools may not be maintained, so expect problems if gmail etc. change their interface.

But in saying that, I note that many third-party add-ons still support Office 97/2000/2K3...

Only other thing is to prepare a final WSUS Offline archive, includig Visio and Project.

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knackered hyperlinks?

That's not a feature?

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Excel 2016 Kills earlier versions

When you install it.

Now only one version of Excel per (virtual) machine. Unlike previous versions. And no install options.

So people WILL learn to like it!

There are lots of bugs and limitations that go back to Excel 1995 that have never been fixed, and will never be fixed.

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