Missing Features When Using The Web-Based Version Of Excel

Excel 2013

One of the most promising parts of using Excel 2013 is the web-based interface that is made available in the same way that Google Docs currently offers it. I did know of some limitations but have gotten a better idea of those as I started using and exploring Excel 2013 a lot more.

Today, I opened a spreadsheet and got 2 sets of warnings:

1-This spreadsheet is currently open on another spreadsheet so you can only view, not edit the file

2-Then I saw the following window:

Basically, as most of you readers would know, I am a regular user of web queries and also VBA macros. I’ve written about both and use both quite a bit in my different spreadsheets so it’s very disappointing to not be able to use them. Also, I know that some formulas from add-ins such as Bloomberg do not work (which is to be expected) but while I can open spreadsheets with “calculations turned off” in Excel, the web-based software does not seem to offer that option.

The Solution

For now, Microsoft recommends installing the Excel version on all devices but that is not always possible obviously, and not Excel 2013 does not work on all types of machines. To be fair, the Office365 licence can be installed on 5 PCs or Mac computers.. which will certainly cover my (and most people I know) household.

Check it out here

In The End

I can certainly live with these limitations but I’ll be very disappointed if I ever get a sense (or hear directly) that Microsoft does not intend to get these working. The whole point of moving to a web-based software is for the experience to be seamless no matter where I’m connecting from. That is not yet the case. I do understand that it would probably not be easy to do in the first version but hopefully Microsoft continues working on this.If that is the case, I will continue to be a big believer in Microsoft’s direction with Excel 2013 as a cloud based software will clearly make my life easier and diminish risks (such as losing my files).


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