This week is my week to get my beefs about Excel on the record (for better or worse for my reputation in Microsoft).
My next beef is the nagging frustration that when cells are Merged they will no longer automatically Word-Wrap, thus making it very difficult to place a comment section on a spreadsheet report that will expand or shrink vertically depending on how much text is entered. (Sorry Marcus but there I go typing shit into a spreadsheet again – me bad).
This is unfortunate because very often spreadsheets are used for standard monthend reporting. Monthend reporting inherently includes comments (or excuses) and of course these are unique to each month and can be of any length. By laying out a Worksheet with a space for comments in merged cells I am not restricted in my use of the overall column-widths of the Worksheet for displaying columnar numeric data above or below the comments, Like so:
This may seem like a petty request but it would have saved me a lot of pain several years ago when this came up in an app for a major consumer products company that considered the lack of this capability a weakness on my part (despite the fact that I created a macro that emulated the capability we needed – sort of).
The only alternative I found was to have a hidden worksheet where I could
1. copy the text of the merged cells into Cell A1
2. format that cell Word-Wrap
3. capture the width of the source merged cell columns
4. then set the target cell’s column to that width
5. capture the row height that results
6. then set the row-height of the merged cells to that height (plus a row or so).
This worked for the most part but was nothing but a PAIN and despite my clever solution I lost a lot of cred (as did Excel) over this – and through zero fault of my own – IMHO :-).
I have mentioned this to Microsoft several times over the years and nothing has been done… too bad. Maybe it’s because they don’t want Excel to become a Word Processor but maybe they should let the users decide that …. hmmmm ?