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Jocelyn Paine

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How NOT to Use Excel

June 18, 2010

If you're researching into spreadsheets or other visual programming languages, or if you're teaching Excel, or if you just want to know which aspects of Excel really bother spreadsheet developers, you may like my new How NOT to Use Excel blog. It came about as a result of Don McMillan's hilarious video about How NOT to use Powerpoint that I posted about in May.

I found the video via a posting by John Meyer on the Microsoft Excel Developers List EXCEL-L. It's the custom for readers to post, on Friday only, "off-topic" jokes and other humour, and this was one of them. Commenting about it, I proposed a similar video for Excel. Nobody made one — but huge numbers of readers posted about their pet Excel hates: merged cells; "deleting" cell contents by entering a space; formulae like =SUM(A3+A4); leaving #DIV/0! in cells; and even ghastly colours.

It seemed a shame to waste this enthusiasm, so I collected and anonymised the postings, putting them in the blog's first entry. Where, as I say, they may interest spreadsheet researchers and teachers. The blog is open for comments, and as this first entry explains, I'll also accept new postings.

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