[LINK] Bizarre lameness in Microsoft Excel 2002

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Thu Nov 6 11:45:20 AEDT 2008

Ivan Trundle wrote:
> On 06/11/2008, at 10:17 AM, Craig Sanders wrote:
>> n Thu, Nov 06, 2008 at 09:30:04AM +1100, Ivan Trundle wrote:
>>> On 06/11/2008, at 7:13 AM, Craig Sanders wrote:
>>>> ps: is a spreadsheet really the most appropriate tool for working  
>>>> with
>>>> large amounts of tabular data like that?  wouldn't a database be
>>>> better?
>>> The data that I work with comes OUT of a database (and all of the
>>> heavy lifting is done there): it's what clients want as output for
>>> their own purposes that becomes the bother.
>> maybe the bother could be avoided or minimised by asking them what
>> report(s) they actually want, or if their spreadsheet work could be
>> improved by giving them a summary of the data, and writing scripts to
>> meet those needs.
> Wish it were so. However, in the business world in which I work is  
> full of people who demand Excel spreadsheets divided into sheets for  
> their data sets. I also send PDF reports with scripted charts etc, but  
> they still want to work with the data on their own (or to validate  
> what my reports generate).
> I've got countless scripts that pull out what is needed from my db  
> (and can write many more as and when clients need them: and produce  
> nice charts etc), but they STILL want Excel spreadsheets, in sheets.  
> It would be frankly pointless to try to convince them that anything  
> else would be better.
> The pain in transposing >256 chars in the odd cell is less than the  
> pain in delivering a product that does not satisfy the accountants/ 
> number-crunchers/whomever that I have to deal with.
> iT

This may be a dumb question, however: since the data is coming out of
the DB into Excel, rather than trying to cope with Excel's (stupid) copy
limitations, why not link the Excel cells to the database? That way, you
can easily populate the spreadsheet without having to copy big slabs
from one sheet to another ...

Richard Chirgwin
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