Need some .xls guidance....

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by GITANAJAVA, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. GITANAJAVA macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

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    #1
    Two-part question, please be patient :)

    1) I don't have Excel and have no need whatsoever for it, but once or twice a year someone feels compelled to send me an e-mail attachment done in Excel. Is it possible to open the attachment via a Mac app like Appleworks or Textedit that I already have and use consistently or is it absolutely necessary to download another app? ::sigh::

    2) These rarely received attachments could just as easily have been accomplished in any number of other apps -- the sender's information is simple, straightforward, and required no math calculations or any of the other whizbang options customary to an .xls file. So why put themselves and their recipients through the unnecessary aggro? Not being sarky, just truly curious. :confused:

    Thanks for the assist!
     
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #2
    I keep a copy of NeoOffice just to open those Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint files (and Word documents that is too complex for TextEdit).

    It's quite nice, and I don't miss MS Office even for a second... :)
     
  3. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

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    #3
    M,

    I appreciate the NeoOffice link, especially since it's a free app and has multiple uses. With the holidays looming and the Leopard release drawing nigh, the only additional funds I plan to spend will be on ware that is directly relevant to my work and improves my productivity in as many dimensions as possible: as neither a chartered accountant, rocket scientist, nor a scheduler of anyone or anything other than my own work, Excel is a bit over the top for my needs. Ta!

    My one reservation about the NeoOffice: scrolling through their advisories about the app, their warnings come through rather ominous and stern. What issues have you experienced relevant to the use of NeoOffice?

    Now about my second question..... ;)
     
  4. aspro macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I havent had any crashes or corruption so far, but you can never to too careful so its best to back up anything important. Although it sometimes does not get the formatting of Office files perfect, it usually does okay. :)
     
  5. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #5
    Not had any problems with NeoOffice 2, either, at least after it went beta. Earlier versions were a bit unstable, but as long as you get the newest, and install the available patches it should be just as safe as any other free, open source software... :)

    I don't have an answer...

    I've never understood why people attach word files instead of text files (if the text is important) or pdf (if formatting is), or just skip attachments and make a text, rich text or (shudder) html mail message?

    The large, frelling stupid masses with their "Everybody has Office!"-attitude is as annoying as it is wrong... :mad:
     
  6. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

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    #6
    Just to verify what I'm reading here so far: am I better off DL'ing NeoOffice than using TextEdit or Appleworks to open the 1 or 2-a-year .xls files?

    One final observation relevant to my Question 2 -- I am perplexed that the people who send me these .xls files are not the types I'd expect to receive Excel files from. The folks within my realm who are data manipulators (in the good sense of that phrase) manage to communicate their essential and relevant information concisely and sans Excel; the .xls corresponders send 7-page files that have little or no bearing to our business relationship AND -- excuse me for being blunt -- they aren't what I'd consider the brightest candles on the cake, in or out of their jobs. So why use Excel when easier, quicker tools are available? :confused: :confused:
     
  7. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #7
    I'll send xls files to people occasionally although only when I know they've got Excel.

    In the office, it tends to be files where I want them to fill something into a column before I continue working on the document.

    Or occasionally, when I've got a very complex spreadsheet that I've simplified into pivot tables so that people who just want top level can read the email but those who want more detail can drill down more easily. One of my bugbears is that Excel for Mac is crippled when it comes to pivots.
     
  8. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

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    #8
    Applespider, for what you do and how you are employing Excel, I agree YOU are being imminently sensible. To illustrate my confusion (and frustration) with these folks: if I need to hammer 1 two-inch nail into the wall to hang a picture, I will use a hammer (or a shoe if one is handy). These folks are hammering nails with a rocket launcher. I don't need seven pages of document for two lines of information. (*0*)
     
  9. JAT macrumors 603

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    #9
    Answer to #2

    A local radio guy calls them "oblivions". Referring to people who simply do not realize that live exists outside of a 2' radius around them. That is why they assume everyone has Office.

    But as to using Excel, many people think that is the only way to get things to line up straight. They are unable to use Tab or Margin functions in Word or any other office type program to adjust things. Or they might be accustomed to using Excel for much of their work and continue to use it for simple little files where text would have been fine. Add that to the first paragraph.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #10
    *shrug* in most of the business and academic world... that is a reasonable assumption. But I don't get this thread... Appleworks should work fine for you. Did you actually try opening an Excel file in Appleworks? Or just get NeoOffice or OpenOffice.org. Given that we're now up to three options that cost you nada and don't support MS... if you're not willing to use any of them, then this thread is just whining....
     
  11. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #11
    Reminds me of a time that I had to complete a short report in Excel.

    It was stupid. My bosses boss wanted it in Excel because there was a small table with a few numbers. It would have taken me about 10 minutes in Word or similar word processing application. It took me a lot longer to create the report in Excel.

    On the good side, my bosses boss was fired about 2 weeks later! :)
     
  12. GITANAJAVA thread starter macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

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    #12
    Good insight, I appreciate knowing that perspective.

    Whining for you, perhaps; then take a pass on the thread. For others, it's just a conversation and for me, an attempt to understand a colleague or client's behaviour. By understanding why someone I deal with might make a choice that seems illogical or unnecessarily cumbersome, I have more clues about how best to deal with them and their choices in future. Isn't that why MR exists, to help us problem solve and discuss options relevant to computer technology? Those options don't exist in a vacuum, they are irretrievably tied to the human beings who design, exercise, and question those options.
     

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