So, I occasionally get asked why I hate Microsoft software so much, and today was a great example of my rationale.
I was working with a tremendous amount of data within Excel. Due to how the data was generated, I actually needed the transpose of the data in the spreadsheet. I spent nearly an hour trying to find the transpose function which used to be in the “Paste Special” function, but now appears to have been removed. I searched the help, and found nothing helpful. Google’s results pointed to the “Paste Special” function which I know no longer contains a transpose.
End result: I wrote a small program which conducts the transpose within it. It reads the input file, performs the transpose, and write the result.
- Time wasted trying to find a function Excel used to have: 1 hour
- Time it took to write the program to do the job: 5-10 minutes
- Time the program took to execute: 1-2 seconds
Due to a site license deal with my University, I only paid $20 for office, but I don’t think it’s even worth that. I lost an hour of my time due to the fact that one of the few functions I actually use was removed. After all this, Microsoft likely wonder why I turned down a job offer to work for them.
Paul - Mar 19, 2009
Out of curiosity I thought I would look at Excel’s Paste Special and there is a transpose radio button just above the cancel button. This is the Mac version 2008 though, and I am not sure what you have. Wish our university would offer a $20 license.
Graham Booker - Mar 20, 2009
Paul, I can see it there now, but it was not there when I was looking for it. Perhaps I was using too large of a dataset (Excel was already being very very clunky because I had so much data). Interestingly enough, my transpose function took 1-2 seconds to read the data, transpose it in memory, and write it out to a new file when Excel took over 10 seconds to just read it, and I didn’t even write my function for speed.