MacWorld – Office: Mac 2008 Excel


Excel is an application that most people identify with in someway.  It is such a versatile application.  The new 2008 version refines the application for the SMB and home-use market with innovative features.  Below is a preview of some of the new concepts in Excel 2008.

Ledger Sheets

We have all tried to do it.  Making Excel pretty is no simple task.  Let's face it, most of us are not table experts.  "Ledger Sheets" is an easy way for individuals to do advanced bookkeeping for their business or personal checkbook while looking professional.  With this feature, making field-specific tables is a piece of cake.

Video of Ledger Sheets

Formula Search Bar

Excel has so many formulas, the only problem is that I can only name around 10 of them.  With a formula search bar, users can now simply type what they want to do and Excel will recommend what formula might satisfy the request.  Also, if you've ever gotten caught up trying to decipher how to use a formula, you'll be happy to know that the integrated help/formula wizard spells out how to use the formula.  It even fills it out for you!

Videos of Formulas and Grids

Core Improvements

Like Excel 2007 for Windows, Excel 2008 has made some core improvements such as the ability to support over 17 billion cells!  An interesting piece of trivia is that if you were to take a fully populated grid and print it out, it would cover 1.3 square miles! 

With the new Office, a lot of emphasis has been placed on integration and tying in not only other Office apps but to also connect the user to other information repositories.  The Scrapbook Palette is the one stop shop where you can drag & drop clips and notes into any document.  This feature is really helpful in Excel because now you can take some rough notes and when you have some time, you can copy those notes into Excel to make a great spreadsheet.  The clips can be almost anything.

Finally, keeping with the theme of "consistency," Excel uses the Office Art engine for rendering, which results in beautiful graphs and slides.

Video for Excel Charts

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