Microsoft Excel and its layout gripes

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mirffy, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. mirffy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #1
    Is it just me, or are others having terrible similar experiences with excel too?

    I've got a cell that spans over more than one line, and have some text in it. Naturally I set it to break, and the layout/alignment of the text just looks fine in excel, but as soon as I print it (no matter if I save it as a PDF, or send it straight to the printer) it just comes out all misaligned, adding in tabs or spaces where there shouldn't be any :confused: :mad:

    I'm at a loss. Google is of no help (or maybe I'm just to tired to figure out the right keywords), and I'm quite frustrated too - especially because the same file prints just fine on a windows machine!!
    If anybody has any ideas or has at least experienced this problem, I'd be glad to know that I'm not the only poor soul out there.

    I'd appreciate any (productive) help anyone can give me.

    cheers,
    -mirffy
     
  2. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Utopia
    #2
    Excel and Office suck on Mac that's why I moved back to Windows. Ironically this decision has saved myself a lot of headaches. Office 97 beats the latest version of Mac Office anyday.
     
  3. mirffy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #3
    well i was using office 2004 for mac and hoping that everyting would just work (tm)

    with any luck it'll work better in the new version.
    on the other hand the UI will probably end up far too ugly to actually even think of getting microsoft excel *sigh*

    Is there any way of reading excel files in to iWork's Numbers? perhaps that's the way out... although I'm guessing that with macros, and formulas and such neither Numbers, nor Openoffice are a viable alternative :-/
     
  4. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #4
    I'm not sure exactly what's going on, or what you're looking for. But, there are a number of cell layout options, especially when you're dealing with fonts. Go to Format > Cells > Alignment. You can set vertical and horizontal alignment within the cell. You can wrap text - and when you do, you can make your cell deeper instead of wider, then you will have more than one line of text in one cell.

    i.e.

    Picture 11.png

    There's a lot to be considered for margins and other layout options when trying to create a nice printable document.
     
  5. mirffy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #5
    iSaint,

    I agree. I'll try to describe the problem I'm having using your attached picture:

    Assuming I merge the cell with the contents "Not working. In ISD ...." with the cell directly under it, producing something like this:
    Code:
    -+-------------------------------------------------------+-
    1| Not working. In ISD until work complete. Transferring |
    -+                                                       |
    1| to another class when  out of ISD.                    |
    -+-------------------------------------------------------+-
    
    Now when printing, the text is misaligned, and looks something like this on the printed sheet of paper:
    Code:
    -+-------------------------------------------------------+-
    1| Not working. In ISD until work complete. Transferring |
    -+                                                       |
    1|                         class when  out of ISD.       |
    -+-------------------------------------------------------+-
    
    A better example with bigger cells and more content:
    To start off with (in Excel)
    Code:
    -+---------------------------------------------------+-
    1| Got to go to Chem. Class tomorrow. It starts at 8 |
    -+                                                   |
    2| so I'll have to get up early.                     |
    -+                                                   |
    3| Luckily Tuesdays is not as bad a day. College     |
    -+                                                   |
    4| starts at 10 then.                                |
    -+---------------------------------------------------+-
    
    resulting in (printed):
    Code:
    -+---------------------------------------------------+-
    1| Got to go to Chem. Class tomorrow. It starts at 8 |
    -+                                                   |
    2|       to get up early. Luckily Tuesdays is not as |
    -+                                                   |
    3|                   at 10 then.                     |
    -+                                                   |
    4|                                                   |
    -+---------------------------------------------------+-
    
    I should add, that the Excel sheets were designed on a windows PC (but cause no problems there what so ever) and the layout does look fine in Excel on a Mac, it's just the process of printing that causes the huge misalignment. Excel seems to be grabbing spaces and/or tabs out of nowhere and inserts them where they're not meant to be. That confuses me most of all.

    Any ideas on what could be causing it?
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    What font are you using? Does that font actually exist on your Mac or is Excel improvising?

    FWIW, I'm not going to lower myself into the nonsensical "Offise sux d00d" argument. :rolleyes: I will say that I use a lot of text tables in Excel, with word wrapping and this kind of stuff, and I transfer them back and forth between Windows 2003 and Tiger all the time, and I have never seen this before. All I mean in saying that is that I think that there is something unique about your situation that can probably be addressed. I don't think this is a common / unfixable issue that you'll be stuck with.
     
  7. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #7
    My layout doesn't merge cells. I make the width and depth consistent across the columns and rows, respectively. I wonder if that makes a difference.

    There could be issues with printer drivers across the OS platform, but that's just a stab.
     
  8. mirffy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #8
    I've just tried creating a new workbook with merged cells and printing it.
    That worked fine.

    Something that I noticed, while messing with the workbook I was having problems with: I tried to change the font after mkrishnan suggesting it might be a font error, and it gave me an error, stating "Too many different cell formats"
    Mind you, the sheet is not protected/locked etc. and I was just trying to change the font on one cell.
    Maybe this is a part of the original problem?
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    Huh, that's interesting. You know how Office has the compatibility checker? Does it say anything useful about this document?
     
  10. mirffy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #10
    The only messages that pop up with the compatibility checker are minor ones like "don't you want to change that '7-9 to 7 January?" and "you have a link referring to a Z:\somefile.xls"

    On that last note: How do I delete that link? When in the Edit -> Links menu i can see what it is, but clicking on the "Break Link" button still leaves it there, and doesn't change a thing :confused:
     
  11. geofflilley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #11
    Broken links...XL 2004's Bane

    Yeah, the "break link" issue is well known in XL 2004...happens in other versions, too. Two reasons why that usually happens:
    1. You have a cell that has a reference to a file, (i.e., "Z:\somefile.xls"); if that's the case, do a find for "\," and search the entire workbook. See if you can track it down that way. Also try searching for "["; that's another prime suspect.
    2. You have a named range that refers to another file. Go to Insert, Name, Define, and check to see if there's any named ranges in there referencing another workbook (again, look for the "[" character.)
     

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