Should I Upgrade to Microsoft Excel 2007?

Interface Change For Excel 2007

Welcome To "The Ribbon"!
Welcome To "The Ribbon"!

Whether or not to upgrade to Excel 2007 will depend on which version you’re using now, how well you adapt to new interfaces, and what you want to get out of the software.

The first difference you will notice is “The Ribbon.” You are accustomed to seeing the menu buttons and such at the top of the application. Microsoft, for unknown reasons, decided to shuffle everything around. Many users have found this maddening and extremely hard to use at first.

Once you have adapted to where everything is now, you may find that it is faster to use. That certainly is Microsoft’s assurance. Personally, I’m not too sure.

Two other changes that new users will notice right off the bat:

1. Instead of Arial, the default font is a sans-serif font called Calibri. This is the same default font used across the entire Office 2007 suite.

2. The default file format is now .xlsx (for a workbook without macros) and .xlsm (for a workbook with macros). Because this format cannot be read by earlier versions of Excel, if you are sending your spreadsheet to someone in another office you will invariably have to save it as an .xls (“Excel 97-2003-compatible”) file.

Should I Upgrade to Microsoft Excel 2007 From Excel 2003?

If you are an Excel “power user,” then you will find some major improvements in the software:

  • Excel 2007 can now handle a whopping 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns.
  • The Name Manager allows for much better management of named variables.
  • Graphs now allow for x/y coordinate labeling and graph lines of any weight you choose.
  • Pivot tables have had a facelift, with a number of improvements.

If you just use Excel for the most basic level of creating spreadsheets and charts, then these benefits will likely be lost on you. Given that you will have to upgrade eventually, you may as well wait to see what comes out in Excel 2010.

Should I Upgrade to Microsoft Excel 2007 From Excel XP or Excel 2000?

Absolutely.  The improvements in underlying functionality will make it well worth your while.  Excel XP and Excel 2000 and earlier versions have some fairly serious problems under the hood which have been corrected in the newer versions. 

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