Excel Quickie: Using mm instead of inches for margins

Yesterday I encountered another of those pesky issues that can drive you crazy. I was working in Excel, and needed to change the margins. I wanted to use precise numbers in millimeters, so I clicked the margins button on the Page Layout tab and was confronted with a dialog screen that only showed numbers, no units:Apparently the system was using inches by default. It took me more than an hour of searching on how I could change this into mm… only to find out that you don’t define this in Excel, or in the Printer Options. Excel (and the other Office products), use whatever is specified in the Regional and Language Options in the Control Panel.

I was using the English (United States) setting, which also makes Office use inches as default units:
You can change that by clicking the Customize button, and select Metric as Measurement system:Restarting Excel gave me cm instead of inches:Apparently the same applies for Office 2003.

Share

Get Started tab can help you make the transition

Microsoft is offering 3 free downloads that add a “Get Started” tab to Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007. This tab is something they probably should have included in the product itself when Office 2007 came to the market about a year ago, but at least you can download and install it now yourself.
The tab contains some useful links to ease the transition to the new version of the Office packages.

The icons on the Get Started tab are similar for each of the products. This is the Excel version:

  • Interactive Guide is a direct link to the interactive guide that Microsoft put on the Office webpages, which helps in finding a command in Office 2007, if you know where it is in Office 2003. I talked about it in one of my first posts on this blog. Very helpful, and now just a click away!
  • Up to Speed with Excel 2007 is a direct link to the Introduction training pages on Office Online.
  • Excel 2007 Overview and Get up to Speed with Excel 2007 are videos that demonstrate the new features and the basic stuff you need to know about the product.
  • Discuss Excel 2007 leads you to the Excel newsgroups, community blogs, MVPs (Office Experts) and webcasts.
  • Training leads to free self-paced courses.
  • Videos take you to some general Office videos/demos.
  • Excel 2007 will take you to the Office Online page for Excel, with an overview of all available help and training option.

Everything you reach is already available on the Microsoft Office website, but with this tab, the most useful pages are immediately available. Nice.

Here are the links:

Share

65,535 is a difficult number for Excel 2007

A weird bug has been discovered in Excel 2007, involving calculation of numbers around 65,535. In some specific cases, Excel 2007 displays 100,000, when it should say 65,535. Microsoft claims it’s a display error, i.e. that calculated value that Excel uses is supposedly correct, but that seems a bit odd.
Look for all details on the Microsoft Excel team blog.

UPDATE 26 October 2007: meanwhile, Microsoft has issued a fix for this.
Also, if you’re interested in a full, in-depth explanation about the issue, have a look at Chris Lomont’s detailed report (PDF).

Share