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TourismI am a UK cheap flight hacker, here to help you find cheap fares and learn some tricks! AMA!

Nov 17th 2016 by jack_sheldon • 44 Questions • 5266 Points

Hello from the Microsoft Excel team! We are the team that designs, implements, and tests Excel across each of our platforms; e.g. Windows desktop, Windows mobile, Mac, iOS, Android, and the Web. We have a great group of people from the Excel team with deep product experience ready to answer your questions. We did this a year ago and we are excited to be back. We'll focus on answering questions that pertain to Excel usage, its various platforms, and the Excel team. There may be questions that come up around bugs, feature requests, what’s new, training & resources. Here are some quick links that may be useful to you.

Home page for all Excel resources and feature requests: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Excel/ct-p/Excel_Cat

Excel Support for Bugs: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_excel?auth=1Excel Support

We'll start answering questions at 9:00 AM PDT and continue until 11:00 AM PDT.

This post can be verified here: https://twitter.com/msexcel/status/797450130853134336

After this AMA, you may have other help related questions that come up. You can still ask these normal Excel questions in the https://www.reddit.com/r/excel subreddit.

10:45 AM - The questions so far have been great. Please keep them coming. Our session ends in an about 15 minutes.

11:00 AM - We are wrapping up the Excel AMA. We'll stick around for a few more minutes to finish some answers. Thanks for all of the great questions.

Q:

Can you tell us how to find these deals ourselves? I am often willing to go anywhere from Irish airports if the price is right

A:

Woah:

The young entrepreneur invested the ACC compensation payment he received after his accident into the stock market, he "did alright" and used his earnings to buy a house.

Was that a bit of a risky gamble in hindsight?

How much is "alright"?


Q:

How lickable is this thread?

A:

PMFJI but this is related to the data being charted. If the minimum is more than 5/6 of the maximum, then the Y axis will not start at zero. For a line or scatter chart, this is fine. For a bar or area chart it can be very misleading. I agree that it would be nice if the bar chart behavior were different, but because of the data, it's pretty obvious when you're making a chart that you need to force the axis to start at zero.


Q:

Flexibility is always key, so you've got that going for you. I'll send out a few flights from Irish airports every month so keep an eye on those.

I've mentioned it in a few posts already, but try a vague search by continent on google flights. Change the month of travel and see if anything strikes you as interesting. Thats the quick answer - I'll be happy to add more detail in a bit, but my inbox is exploding at the moment!

sample search link

A:

I invested about 40k (not all of my money) into 10 different ventures with varied risk, after lots of research, so I was pretty safe but obviously not immune. I made 25-30k over a couple of years.


A:

Thanks Jon! We are looking at updating this to have better defaults for future versions MSFT - Leif


Q:

Only google flights? Is this your main search method?

A:

Nice.

2 years ago I fell playing soccer and broke my c2. I was very lucky though and had no major issues after the bone healed. However I still have ongoing problems like headaches and neck pain that may never go away. There are days where I get very pissed off with it all. Then i find a thread like this and it puts it into perspective.

Very inspiring. Keep it up.


Q:

Graham and Kathleen: raising a young daughter into such publically visible setting as streaming and Desert Bus for Hope, how do you balance that?

As Penelope gets older will you allow her to get more involved in LRR/DB and streaming in general, or less and explicitly keep her away from internet publicity?

Additional question, do you ever plan to revisit making full length sketches should a fitting script arise?

A:

As a follow-up to this: are there any plans on getting rid of ineffective visuals such as 3D pie charts, in line with Stephen Few's thoughts on the matter?

Is there a data visualization sub-team as part of the wider MS Excel development thing?

Thanks a bunch for answering, Excel has given me a lot in my professional life and I hope you never stop improving it!


Q:

That's one where I spend a lot of time. Google's backend matrix here is a bit more complex but will get you even better results: https://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Once you find a cheap fare on google there are a number of other places to look to make sure its genuinely the best deal. Momondo.co.uk picks up fares from the cheapest agents.

Also highly recommend the fare alerts on skyscanner.com. I have about 1000 of those set up so far :)

EDIT: One more - if you're booking with a foreign airline, always log into their local sites to see if you can get a cheaper price that way. They often will offer lower prices for locals, but it is perfectly legal to book using that method.

A:

Thanks :-) I'm glad you healed well. 2 years isn't long though, my body was still adjusting until about 5 years, so if you keep up with physio and range of neck movement, hopefully you'll keep improving.


A:

Hi Damer Yes, there is a Data Viz team in the greater Excel. We create the charts for all Office apps. In regards to 3D charts, we certainly support the views from Few and others on this topic. For instance in the Recommended Chart features you will never ever see a 3D chart. We are looking at ways in the future to minimize the chances for the end user to pick these charts. MSFT - Leif


Q:

What's your opinion about the guy who bought 12,000 pudding cups for 1,2 million airmiles?

A:

Thanks for that. It sure feels long :)

Overall, I'm probably having more good days than bad ones in the last while so need to stay positive.

Wish you well. It's folks like you that motivate others in similar situations.


Q:

I'm pretty sure the answer is that they go utterly mad.

A:

How often does the team use or hear the "I excel at this" joke?


Q:

Lad.

A:

I'm glad I can help :-) I wish you well too.


A:

For us it's not a joke, it's a way of life! :-D

http://i.imgur.com/G3a68BG.jpg

-- Alex [MSFT]


Q:

Where's the best place you have been for the least money and inconvenience?

A:

Just made a pledge on KS. Best of luck with the game.


Q:

I'll just get it out of the way:

What on earth triggered this in the first place way back in 07?

and

Have you got to the point where you're quietly wondering what is happening and why so many people throw money at you?

Probably the two questions that'll be asked most.

As an aside, thanks for this. Been watching myself since the first and an LRR fan since the end of Season 1/start of Season 2. Love you guys and everyone involved with DB. Thank you!

A:

No online ordering methods? :P


Q:

Tough one, but I would recommend Sri Lanka.

It's gone through a terrible 30 year civil was less than a decade ago, so it's tourist industry is just starting to boom. What that equates to is cheap rates and a culture not yet accustomed to taking advantage of tourists, like you will see in much of SE Asia. It's also one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. Landscapes, top notch beaches, UNESCO sites, safaris, they have it all. Highly recommend!

edit: the food is fantastic as well!

A:

Thanks so much! I really appreciate it :-)


Q:

Matt: I fell behind transposing the answer on this one, I'll get the video up shortly.

The gist:

James and Paul were the originators. James wanted to do a fund raiser for Child's Paly, and things sorta came together from there. Child's play was started in response to a news article that was negatively representing video gamers, and Desert bus was developed as a response to the various groups that were advocating for the prohibition of video games due to violence back in the 90's. so they seemed like a good fit.

Paul wanted to do some streaming on the internet (and this was 10 years ago, so it was a pretty new thing), and thus desert bus was born.


Q:

Does clearing cookies and/or using incognito really help?

A:

speaking of the bone zone, can your girlfriend enjoy your bone zone?


Q:

Might we ever get purchasable shame ticket pads? I would love them for personal use when watching DB at home

A:

What is your favourite feature which the average Excel user wouldn't necessarily know about?


Q:

Very rarely and only with the sleaziest of travel agents as far as I've seen. It's mostly a myth, but never hurts to try just before booking!

A:

Already answered

Wise edit


A:

Ctrl-` switches to formula view and back. Love it! :-)

-- Alex [MSFT]


Q:

I've run side-by-side tests and can confirm that Ryanair does alter the prices and even availability of flights in this manner.

I know, who'd have thought, of all the carriers it would be these guys ;)

A:

i was too excited to use bone zone i didnt think to check :P


Q:

Is this desert bus located geographically south to last years desert bus?

A:

Each person I train gets a lesson in pivot tables right away. I've found that most people coming in don't know about them and go through excruciating lengths to manipulate data until I introduce them to pivot tables.


Q:

Ah RyanAir. Why am I not surprised it would be them?!

A:

I know the feeling :-)


Q:

Yes. Our venue this year is one block south of our previous two.

A:

For Excel on Android, my favorite feature would be flick gesture. select a cell, touch the right handle and flick! It does the touch equivalent of Ctrl+Down! - Sanjay [MSFT]


Q:

What's the best price you've ever found on a flight?

A:

Do you really?

r/imgoingtohellforthis


Q:

Dream big. 1 BILL FOR BILL!!!

A:

The "Large Address Awareness" is great..... ...but what's the holdup on just getting rid of 32bit?


Q:

The best I've seen has been an £18 mistake fare to Belize.

The best I've taken has been a £112 single stop roundtrip fare to Bali. It's a special feeling walking onto a flight knowing most everyone else paid 5-8x my fare.

A:

Haha touche


Q:

We think it's possible. We don't think it'll be easy. That said, it's Desert Bus 10, and people like beating their previous high scores. So we think it's possible for sure.

That said, even if we don't, as of right now we've raised $326,000 - that's an incredible amount of money raised for charity, so it's no failure even if we don't pass DB9.

A:

On the technical side, marshalling between 32 and 64 bits to support the existing add-ins would introduce a significant performance cost. Which means we'll have to support 32 bits for the customers who need their add-ins to be as fast as in older versions. So, back to square one.

-- Alex [MSFT]


Q:

£18?!? I imagine they found out about the mistake. Were they obliged to fulfill the flight??

A:

Hey Tim, just wondering - when you gonna chill the fuck out and stop making us all look bad?

Jk man. I wish you a long, beautiful and productive life.


Q:

Hi Canada, this is your loud downstairs neighbors. Can you send us some Hope? We're a bit low at the moment.

A:

Can you add a way to copy and past formulas without it updating the referencing? Also, a way to "transpose" formulas without updating referencing. Currently, I have to "Find-Replace" all the "=" signs to ..., then paste it somewhere else (or transpose) and then "Find-Replace" all of the "..." with "=" again. This would have saved me days of time in my graduate work.


Q:

They were on that one! Some airlines are forced to by local laws, some try not to upset customers. It's about 50-50 with those fares, but worth trying nonetheless!

A:

Haha thanks :-)


Q:

Working on it. Tune in.

A:

That's a great suggestion! You should post it as a feature suggestion to our user voice site: http://excel.uservoice.com

For pasting fomulas without adjusting, one little workaround that might help you is to do this for small-ish ranges is: 1. Press Ctrl+` (control back-tick) - this changes the sheet to display formulas instead of values 2. Copy, paste into notepad 3. Copy from notepad and paste back into Excel 4. Ctrl+` to switch back to standard view

Jim [MSFT]


Q:

I dare question why in the first place their system allowed such a low price.

You would expect upon validation that the system would compare it to similar tickets and say something like "this is 90% cheaper than the average, are you sure you want to proceed ?// Please provide manager override code to proceed" or something like that.

A:

Can I please help develop your game? I live in Canterbury too.


Q:

What do you do with all the hats used on Feed Dump? Do you still have them all, and if not, when was the last time you purged your collection?

A:

Power User / VBA Developer here. I'm going to be a little direct, because while I love Excel, I've definitely seen it's warts.

Four questions:

  1. Can you/someone fix the Ctrl-Break bug in Excel? I don't run into it often, but when I do, I am surprised that this isn't a priority. It's the second most WTF thing in Excel. http://stackoverflow.com/a/5823507/2886869

  2. The most WTF thing in Excel is the Data Model. I've had Pivot Tables quit on me, saying that the Data Model is corrupt, with no additional tooling, or help, and I've had to rebuild entire spreadsheets. I really like the idea of ListObjects and Tables, but if they randomly break, I can't really put them in my spreadsheets until the tooling around fixing them is better.

  3. Can we update the VB Editor to, like, 2005? It hasn't changed since Office 97 and there are things that I really would like IE code folding, regex search inside the VBE, Eclipse's automatic reformatting of code, VIM bindings, etc, etc. Can we take SOME of the Visual Studio Code stuff and port it?

  4. If we are getting Javascript in Office, that's great, then can you pretty please heavily promote D3 as the visualization library of choice, complete with some training to integrate both?


Q:

Airlines are getting better at preventing error fares, but the truth is their systems are so complex (and often outdated) that they can't fix them all - which is where I get to take advantage :)

A:

Definitely maybe! PM your details and I'll be in touch if I raise enough monies. Unless you don't need money? Do you have experience with Unity?


Q:

Basically we collect all the hats we get for feed dump and hang onto them for a while. From time to time we perform a cull and keep the very best hats. The rest are sent to a farm upstate to charity. If we hung onto them all we'd have rooms that were floor to ceiling with hats, and it would just be untenable, but most of your favorite LRR hats are FeedDump Hats.

A:

Great post and series of questions. We want to take the time to answer it well and will do so over the next couple of days (running out of time in the room and we have to go back to our days jobs now). Thanks for the terrific questions!

-Charlie [MSFT Excel Team]


Q:

Why would you want to share anything with us? What's in it for you? It seems to not at all be in your best interest. Not only will you increase the risk that airlines will quickly find out, but the benefits of your elite status on airlines will be watered down by a larger population.

A:

I don't know if you're still answering questions and this is probably a dumb one but how do you drive if you can't use your arms and legs?


Q:

Why the switch from 8 hour shifts to 12 this year? Will there be more codrivers next year? (Kate Stark needs a shift with Kathleen or Jamie.)

A:

Let's be real here:

Does the Microsoft Excel team prefer waffles or pancakes? [serious]


Q:

Not much in it for me monetarily, but I'm hoping to build a reputation as an expert in the industry. If I find a fare I want to jump on, I'll book it while I write up an email about it. I don't get any commission from my links or deals and don't have any partners.

Airline industry is huge and few of my mates also getting a great deal that I found won't cause anyone harm!

A:

Hand controls. Left hand has a glove with a pin in it which slots into the steering wheel to turn. Right has a glove that controls brake/accelerator, push/pull lever respectively. The head rest has buttons for indicator and high beam/low beam, which I control with my head. Auto gears, and auto windscreen wipers.


Q:

WE've done 12 in the past, we've done 24 in the past, shift durations have never been locked, it's always something we're willing to play with. We didn't think that 8 hours quite gave the drivers time to make the shift their own. 12 feels like a better duration for the drivers, without pushing them so hard that they spend the rest of the event recovering.

A:

Waffles are superior in every way: crisper, lots of wells to hold the syrup, and they look like a spreadsheet. -Stacy [MSFT]


Q:

Is there any chance that your medium-term plan involves building up a huge, valuable mailing list and using it to promote a future cheap flights website (edit: or that maybe you plan on building up the jacksflightclub site then sell it + mailing list in future for big $$$), and/or selling access to it via third party mailshots? Just that I know the value of such a mailing list these days, and that all "digital marketing 101" advice is to funnel all your early efforts into getting as many people to sign up as possible to your email list.

If that honestly isn't your intention then I'll sign up :)

A:

I don't have the physical level of problems you do but i am really struggling with disabilities. Despite not being as serious as yours, my ability to function is way less. The past 10 months I've hurt my knee and lost the ability to walk. Prior to that I've had a chronic condition for 17 years that impacts my upper body strength and is very painful. As a result I'm struggling with mobility. I am reliant on my husband ro carry my wheelchair down our house stairs so i can leave the house. That only happens on good days when my arms are strong enough to scoot me down while in sitting and when my husband has time to carry the empty wheelchair down and take me out. I can't self propel my wheelchair. I get intense pain when i do go out from overpushing my limits. As a result I rarely leave my home and my spirit and soul cry out desperately for the things of life i intensly miss such as a walk in the autumn leaves, a trip to Starbucks, a visit in a friends home, going on a little trip to a lake or park. The things you mentioned like travelling to 4 continents or going to school etc seem as far removed from my reality as a trip to Mars. I'd give every penny i posess to regain the ability to function in life. I am alive but not living. I guess what i want to know is how to do this. I'm not a quadriplegic and my disabilities are not as high yours, yet you live a life i can only dream of. Please, how do i function more like you? At this point, the ability to physically exit my own front door seems a dream. How do I find a life to live?

Thanks in advance for your consideration of my question. I'd be so grateful for your thoughts.


Q:

Have any of you reached peak bus yet this year?

A:

and they look like a spreadsheet.

I will never look at spreadsheets the same way again.


Q:

No short, medium, or long term plan like that. I have no plans to sell your email lists and don't work with any partners or websites. If keeping up the email list gets too expensive, I may include a donation box or something of the like :)

A:

That's tough. Aside from lobbying your government to provide carer support for those with disabilities, I would suggest trying to focus on the things you can do rather than the things you can't, and finding the courage to do things outside your comfort zone. Travel takes lots of planning to make sure everything is accessible, and it's definitely nerve wracking and uncomfortable (I had to bed wash while I'm away from home), but I was really motivated to find a way to see the world. Here's my travel blog if you're interested http://timsmosey.blogspot.co.nz/

I don't really leave the house often either, but with a computer and the internet, the world is my oyster. I studied online, except for a couple of block courses, and have tried to set up a career from home. Try to think about what you can do, set your life up to be fulfilling within that lifestyle, and try to forget about the rest. Also make long-term goals about where you want to be and take small steps (so to speak) constantly to work towards that dream. It will happen eventually. Good luck and Kia Kaha.


Q:

It's only Wednesday :[

A:

Why choose? -Jen [MSFT]


Q:

Any opinion about sky scanner ?

A:

Can you be more specific about your mobility ? What parts of your body are you able to move?


Q:

If you could add one feature to Desert Bus, what would it be?

A:

I'm late, but is there any plan to make it so a highlighted range would stay highlighted when switching between screen? For example, I highlight a column and then go to a screen where I need to enter data. My highlight no longer shows. It would be pretty nice for data entry and auditing.


Q:

It's a great tool for setting up email alerts for particular itineraries. It has one of the better interfaces out there for a flight search tool as well.

Overall a good site.

A:

Biceps, triceps (after tendon transfer surgery), deltoids, half of my shoulder muscles, and up.


Q:

Oncoming traffic. Burnout-style.

A:

Interesting idea. By highlight, do you mean the cells that you selected with your keyboard/mouse? Feel free to add your request to our uservoice site: https://excel.uservoice.com/ -Joe [MSFT]


Q:

Is there a simple way to benchmark what a "normal" price for a flight is? Is it just looking at the surrounding fares on Google flights, or is there a way to learn historical data too?

A:

is it difficult to use your computer after your injury? If you are programming you must use it well but do you need special computers or software. It must be difficult to find out about all different options


Q:

What was your favorite moment of DBX so far?

A:

Why do you love VBA? The best programmer in the world could make the the neatest and tidiest VBA code in the world with perfect comments and it would still look like spaghetti after the second procedure.

The thing is, although efficient at tiny macro tasks, a mess. Let it stay as legacy, the last thing we want is more tools being made with it.


Q:

http://www.faredetective.com/farehistory/ will give you some historical info on specific flights.

For me it's mainly experience, but its true that it can be tough to tell if you don't know the standard fare. For example a £500 flight to Cape Town is actually a descent deal, but a £500 to Joburg is nothing too special.

A:

I use my knuckle to type one letter at a time for small things, and the govt bought me voice recognition software which I use for longer messages/assignments. The govt also has technology specialists to tell you the options. Our healthcare is the shit.


Q:

Zippotricks McEdgelord.

A:

You should explore the JavaScript and other samples on http://dev.office.com !


Q:

I am from Brazil, so it's not suitable to sign up for the email list, since you said most of flights are departing UK. Could you please teach me, besides the Google flights technique that you mentioned in previous posts, how could I do to learn it?

A:

Have you heard of the studies involving stem cells to reverse paralysis and would you participate if it were viable? Congrats on continuing to LIVE in a manner better than people without your injuries.


Q:

Why is Beej ?

Bonus, why is glass shark ?

A:

I think I speak on behalf of all accountants everywhere when I say, thank you for Excel.

Where do you see Excel going from here? Are there any "game-changing" new features on the horizon, or is the focus going to instead be to continue to polish the existing product?


Q:

Iberia.com often has the best rates to Europe from Brazil. I'll take a look for you later to see what I can find.

I mention a few other methods in the posts up top. If you have particular dates in mind, I recommend skyscanner.com alerts and accessing Ibeia.com from a spanish URL to see if they have any discounts for locals.

A:

Yeah there seem to be quite a few studies that are progressing well. Maybe in 5-10 years when they've done enough human clinical trials I'll participate. I don't think it will get me walking, but I don't need to improve much to be independent and not need caregivers. But those treatments can lead to more damage, so they are still quite risky. Thanks :-)


Q:

He just is.

A:

What "game changing" new feature would you like to see?


Q:

How far into the future do you recommend searching for cheap flights?

What I mean is -- will a flight be cheaper if it's sold on the day of departure, or a year in advance?

I'd love to visit south america (from CPH) some day and find the cost to be high.

A:

First time asking in AMA's *Have you ever been bullied with this condition? *Have you used your great power to do awesome jokes like "I sit around a lot, but I still get to do many things." ?


Q:

Do you guys envision seeing yourselves doing Desertbus 20?

A:

Is there a keyboard shurtcut to past without text style? Thus inhereting the one in the cell?

Apolgize if the nomenclature is improper due to havign never used excel in english.


Q:

Last minute deals arn't going to be very common as airlines try their best to take advantage of business travelers and hike up their last minute rates.

6-12 weeks in advance is the sweet spot, but it varies greatly. For peak and holiday seasons, I recommend looking just as the flights start showing up (typically 11-12 months in advance). For example, if you looked in Sept 2016, you could find a ton of cheap fares to all sorts of southern Europe beach destinations for <£50 for August 2017.

A:

No, no bullying. I would verbally own them if they tried. Drunk people are annoyingly nice and supportive to the point where it's embarrassing for everyone.

Wheelchair jokes are easy and they always get a laugh so that's a good way to break the ice. What's small, black, and sits at the top of the stairs? Paraplegic after a house fire.


Q:

We have no idea. That's a long way off. Let's see how Desert Bus 10 shakes out first. :p

A:

You can also do CTRL V and then CTRL V again. (CTRL V twice) Cheers, -Dave L [MSFT]


Q:

Do you have any favorite countries from your experience?

A:

I often think that if I broke my neck I'd be done for. I don't have the funds to have multiple surgeries.

So, where did all the $ come from to keep you going?


Q:

Have you considered doing a "Desert Bus Zero" which would be similar DB1 in order to return to a more simpler time?

A:

If I switch my computers region from "English (US)" to "German (Germany)" (where I'm located), it takes 5,3x the time for calculating. Even worse when choosing Hindi: It needs app. 33x the time for calculating (here is the full report: http://professor-excel.com/performance-excel-study/) What is the reason? Are you going to solve this?


Q:

I mentioned my love for Sri Lanka already. Others at the top of my list would be Ukraine, Vietnam, and Belize.

A:

The awesome single-payer health care system in New Zealand. It's called Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). And travel insurance helped.


Q:

Every year, about halfway through planning that year's desert bus.

A:

A better way of looking at this performance difference is that lookups in English are faster :-) The reason is that we can short-circuit English to byte comparison. More complex scripts require involving more heavy Unicode machinery.

-- Alex [MSFT]


Q:

Feel free to reach out to me if you're there again (Ukraine) so I can buy you a pint of Lvivske (or another beverage of your choice :D). I had a friend who came across some deals like this from Canada to Ukraine in the past, coste $250 CAD round trip, so appreciate what you're doing for everyone!

A:

I thought ACC was only while in NZ?


Q:

Long time crafter, first time questioner. I've been making sprites for Desert Bus for a few years and am always amazed at the variety of other prizes that people donate to the cause.

What is the most memorable prize you've auctioned off or given away in ten years of Desert Bus?

A:

Office 2016 includes Excel 2016 which includes PowerPivot. Office365 Home is sold as fully installed Office 2016 applications. Why then does Excel, as supplied with O365 Home, not include PowerPivot. Are there plans to rectify this error and include PowerPivot in Excel with O365 Home?

Uservoice topic: https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/9018823-make-the-power-bi-family-powerpivot-powerquery

note: ZERO response to that uservoice topic from team excel thus far


Q:

Thanks for the offer! I'm hoping to come there again next year. Are you in Kiev?

A:

It also applies if you haven't been out of the country for more than 6 months.


Q:

The two that come to mind are Penn auctioning off the trip to Vegas and then tripling it.

Also the houseboat. It was a damn houseboat.

A:

Most of the Power Pivot capabilities are available in any Office 365 subscription and Office 2016 one-time purchases for Windows Desktop, which includes creating DAX measures and relationships, working with large data sets and tables, loading to the data model and automatic relationship detection. The Power Pivot window is available with Office 365 ProPlus, E3, and E5 subscriptions as well as Office 2016 Professional, Office 2016 Professional Plus, and Excel 2016 one-time purchases. We appreciate your interest to make the Power Pivot window more broadly available. We are not planning any changes to Power Pivot window availability in the near-term but are constantly looking for feedback on our SKU mix and appreciate the feedback. We've been discussing this item internally and will update the UserVoice item soon as well. -Jen [MSFT]


Q:

When finding super-cheap deals do you just sorta browse until you hit a gold vein or is there some special methodic approach?

A:

C5/C6 quad here, I have a degree in CS and have been playing poker profissionally for the last 3 years. Grats for your project mate. I´m interested in how you approached girls after your accident, I´ve been only with hookers after mine (bone zone works fine with stimulation). Never been a true "playa" but I used to be fine and now I´ll fail or not even try. How did you get laid, engaged etc?


Q:

Typo or nefarious reason why MomoCon doesn't appear on the LRR wiki for DB9 Prize Sponsors? ;P

A:

How does Excel decide to change things based on the cell values? For example, I regularly handle surveys and one field uses text ranges (i.e. 0-2, 3-4) but it automatically converts it to a date, then when I change it to a text field, makes it a 5 digit number instead of the original data?


Q:

Just browsing can get you lucky fare, but I've developed a methodology over the years to best utilize my time.

I tend to stay away from the big names (Kayak and the like). Google Flights and their back-end search matrix are where I spend ~60% of my search time. I've gotten fairly efficient at it by now!

A:

Just being as confident as I could to talk to girls (fake it till you make it). Then it's a numbers game. Go on Tinder and online sites, be clean, and treat them with respect. Just keep trying. It took me a couple of years to find the right person, but don't settle for someone that won't make you happy long term. In my experience most girls (probably guys too) have to live through a few bad relationships before they realise what traits are important long term. Work on those traits, then just keep trying. You'll find someone eventually :-)


Q:

Likely an oversight. We're sorry!

A:

When a user first types a formula or value into a cell, Excel attempts to parse the string using a large set of number formats including dates, scientific notation, currency and more. Because a string like 3-4 matches a date format (such as March 4th or 3rd of April) we commit the value as a date. When you convert the formatting back into text, we show the date value as a string. (Times and Dates are stored in Excel as a floating point number of days since an epoch)

-Nathan [MSFT]


Q:

Do you do it all by hand?

A:

What was the first day of being a quadriplegic like?


Q:

Best Meme/Injoke from this years' Desert Bus?

A:

The easiest solution I use for all different data packages like SPSS, access or excel is to create a fake top row of data. Just make sure every column has something in it and it matches the data type you want. After the data is imported you delete the top row.

For numeric type a 2 in the box (1 in the box sometimes turns into boolean instead of numeric), for a date type any date and for text type gibberish.


Q:

all manual force at the moment. It's not pretty, but I enjoy it!

A:

Good question. It was a bit shit tbh. I did a lot of thinking, but I was also high AF on morphine and so I was sleeping a lot before my first stabilising surgery. The Drs rightly diagnosed my very broken neck and said I wouldn't be able to walk. They didn't tell me I wouldn't be able to use my hands too, which took me a while to figure out. There was definitely some crying.

The day after, my mum had already arrived on a flight from NZ, so it was really good to have her there. Then more crying.


Q:

THE BONE ZONE.

A:

That's probably the easiest solution if your dataset doesn't export directly to a richer format or support data connections from Excel.

-Nathan [MSFT]


Q:

Have you run into issues in terms of pricing differences between adult and child?

I'm stressing over money as I have to go from Dublin to Houston in March to renew my kid's passport. I wouldn't be able to book anything till after pay day in a couple weeks but if I could get it sorted before Christmas it'd make it easier for Christmas time in general

Editing to add: from everything I've been looking into, they only renew the passport if you can't actually go back to the states. I'll give it a try sure but chances are I'm going to have to go

A:

How has fighting through all of the adversity and struggle changed your perspective of the world? What things that have occurred would you change and do you think they would change where you would be at now?


Q:

How long are you guys looking to run Desert Bus? Is it something you could see going five years or even ten years down the road? Maybe pass it down to the LRR babies someday? Love you guys lots, thank you for all the work you do! .^

A:

If I had to do this a lot, I'd use a macro.

Come to think of it, I download my add-in sales numbers in a zipped text file, and I do use a macro to import it. Every once in a while the sales service adjusts their file format, and I have to go in and adjust my import settings.


Q:

Cheaper flights for kids is virtually a thing of the past, with very few airlines or agents still offering a cheaper far. A seat is a seat in their eyes. There are a few websites that offer cheaper pricing for students however.

United and Air Lingus will (sometimes) do cheaper fares to Houston, but it's not common unfortunately. I'll keep an eye out for you!

A:

I don't think it really has. Trump being elected president definitely has.

I don't really understand your second question sorry.


Q:

We don't know. Our focus is on DBX right now, then we'll figure out what 11 looks like.


Q:

I'm currently residing in Ireland, local to Dublin airport.

I'm more in the market for sweet holidays now than before, so I might as well try to get a freebie out of this: Can you find me an exciting deal in 5 minutes? :D

Also; what's the best European country you've been to, and what kind of deal did you land to get there?

A:

As a negative thinking person I have always wondered how some people seem to stay positive and motivated no matter what. Any insight you could share?


Q:

Hey LRR! Big fan. Today you auctioned off a tour of Wizards of the Coast. Have you ever considered donating a tour of The Moonbase? Seems like it'd be fun!

A:

Any plans to extend Microsoft excel or other office products to Linux operating systems? I know it is a longshot but having access to these would be nice.


Q:

on it. It may take me more than 5 minutes to get back to you with my inbox slowly being put to sleep however!

A:

Mindset by Carol Dweck has some good insight. I think I have been lucky genetically, and in the environment I was raised, but I think it is a mindset thing and it takes practise. Also understanding positive/negative feedback loops and how positive thinking will impact your life, might increase motivation for you to develop a positive (growth) mindset as you will appreciate the influence it has.


Q:

The moonbase is... not actually very big. It'd be a short tour.

A:

Hey there,

No plans currently in the works. We never say never, but for the foreseeable future, if you want to use Excel on Linux operating systems, it will have to be through a browser.

-Charlie [MSFT Excel Team]


Q:

SecretFlying do this and put all the flights on their website for anyone to view, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

What sort of flights have you found that I couldn't get on there?

A:

As a person with almost zero physical ability, what are your thoughts on automation, and how it will affect society?


Q:

You know Kimjongillia from insomniac gamers holds the record for most points in a single run right? I believe he got to 4 points on his own. Coulda been 5 though.

A:

What is the coolest spreadsheet you have ever seen designed?


Q:

I get the better of them sometimes and they have caught a few that I've missed. I search for UK/Ireland only while they try to manage the entire globe.

It's a good resource that I've recommended on another comment, but the trouble is that they post everything so if you are someone who typically flies out of Manchester for example, you have to sift through 100 posts to find a relevant one. They also only cover the main 1 or 2 airports in each country, so those outside of London or Dublin will rarely see a deal.

My mates like my emails because they go directly to their inbox and are generally relevant or at least from the same country!

A:

I cannot wait, even though I will. The advancement of computers, touch screen smartphones, and the internet has already enabled me to do so much. I cannot wait till Google Home, Amazon Echo or other personal AIs develop a little more so I can be as productive as before my accident. Then a wheelchair/robot that could get me from bed to chair and back would be awesome. Obviously a decent Universal Income needs to be introduced to mitigate the damage automation will cause society.


Q:

That's pretty impressive.

A:

I'm a big fan of this artist: http://www.psfk.com/2013/05/japanese-prints-excel.html -Andrew [msft]


Q:

Have you found any deals that ended up being too good to be true? As in, cheap flight advertised but they did not deliver on their advertisement. Any tips on what to watch out for, that would be a red flag to not trust the advertisement?

A:

Cheese! I was really hoping to come up with something more interesting than that but here we are. Any plans to spend some more time on the snow with a ski chair?


Q:

Would you rather 500 duck sized busses or 1 bus sized duck?

A:

What is the coolest spreadsheet you have ever seen designed?


Q:

It's not so much false advertising, as reluctance to honour mistake and error fares. The airline industry is quite complex (which works in my favour!) so if you know where to look you can find quite a few mistake fares. Some get honoured, but other times booking agents find a way to get out of it and renege on the deal.

I always recommend waiting up to a week before booking hotels and other reservations if you do catch a mistake fare.

A:

Who even is this? Show yourself. Yeah I would like to but it's really expensive to hire the equipment and instructor.


Q:

Definitely 500 duck sized busses. Jer might differ.

A:

WORD! -Sanjay[MSFT]


Q:

What's the best way to find cheap business/first class flights?

A:

Patches. You are now 1 of 2 people who know my Reddit username. What sort of money are we talking for a day on the snow?


Q:

Dear Drs LRR,

What is one thing about Desert Bus that has surprised you the most?

A:

Is there anything that you thought would be a cool feature to add then it turns out to be the most used and important one?


Q:

I typically search for economy class fares as I'm looking to spend the minimum. I've sent out 1 business class deal in the last 8 weeks, but will keep an eye out.

Best way to get those is generally points from credit cards. Airlines make a disproportionate portion of their revenue from charging up business class fares, so it's rare to score a cheap deal otherwise.

A:

Oh hey! I won't dig dw. $100/hr for the instructor and more for equipment, but the sit ski really needs to be custom built or I can't do it for long. Snowplanet is the best place. One day I'll get a custom sit ski though.


Q:

The generosity of the community. People coming back year after year to watch this nonsense. It will never stop being a delightful surprise.

A:

Not sure if you used the iPhone version of Excel at all, we added a full screen view feature there, which takes you to full screen on the phone to view only the current sheet content. It's very helpful for users to navigate the content on a small screen. I'm not sure if the most used, but it's absolutely a popular one on the phone version.

  • Jeff Zhang (MSFT)

Q:

Do you use web scraping to find these flights? If so do you have any tips?

A:

Haha I don't have anything too worrying on here. I'd be happy to throw in a bit of dosh to get you back on the slopes when the time comes! And if I can help at all with this project let me know. I can't code but I have lots of free time if there is anything else useful I can do.


Q:

Hi Team,

I spend the vast majority of my waking life working in Excel and I love it. I’ve always had one lingering question though. Working in finance, I have to geometrically link numbers (returns) quite often. The formula is relatively straight forward, something like: =PRODUCT(1+(A2:A4))-1. I understand that the product function is not expecting an array to be passed, so using this formula, #VALUE! Is returned. However, stepping into the cell and executing with ctrl+shift+enter (rather than just enter) ‘forces’ the formula to execute (becoming: {=PRODUCT(1+(A2:A4))-1}) and returns the expected result. My question: why make this a necessary extra step? What is the danger of just having this formula execute with a simple ‘enter’ command? You have no idea how many people I’ve had to explain this to over the years…

Thanks so much!

A:

All manual force! I've become quite efficient at it, so an hour or two a day and I'll find something worth sending (or booking!)


Q:

That's what the Bone thought. Cheers maaaate! I would mucho appreciate if you contribute anything at all to my kickstarter, and convince any loved ones to join you :-) Let me know when you're in town.

A:

The reason =PRODUCT(1+(A2:A4))-1 behaves like this is because Excel performs "implicit intersection" on the range A2:A4. It does this because PRODUCT expects a single value as its first argument - so Excel attempts to narrow the range you provided to a single cell.

How does this work? Excel chooses the cell in the same row as your formula. So if you input your formula in Row 2 through 4 the formula returns a result, while in all other rows it will error with #VALUE. CTRL-SHIFT-ENTER suppresses this narrowing behavior and you get your desired result.

MrExcel has a video on the implicit intersection: https://learnmrexcel.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/learn-excel-2010-named-range-and-implicit-intersection-podcast-1579/

  • Joe McD [MSFT]

Q:

Do you do any US domestic flights or have recommendations on where to go for a resource like yours that does?

A:

Do you use electrical stimulation to maintain your musculature? What kind of physical therapy to you do to maintain your body?


Q:

Why did office become a subscription based program?

Did any of you meet Bill Gates?

Did Bill give any orders on what to add, make, etc?

A:

My alerts are currently geared towards flights departing from UK and Ireland, but I do send out deals for flights going to the states. There are a few twitter feeds that I could recommend for you Yankees. Shoot me a PM :)


Q:

Yeah I use the Revitive footplate once a day to keep my feet healthy, as they can easily break down and are prone to infection due to my poor circulation. Otherwise I play wheelchair rugby, and use gloves with a theraband tied between them to exercise the muscles I have available in my upper arms and shoulders.

A:

We'll continue to have more of the value we provide to people delivered via intelligent services (like Map Charts, PPT designer, file storage, collaboration, etc.). We also update the product itself monthly, and it's excited getting to push those new features out to people on a regular basis.

Yes, a number of us have had the chance to meet Bill and present our plans to him. It's always exciting. He's definitely a big fan of Excel, and has some great opinions on the investments we're making.

-Brian [MSFT]


Q:

Why should I sign up if you don't know what flights I'm actually looking for?

Also, do you help out with flights into the UK?

A:

Were you in the earthquake a few hours ago? I noticed you never signed off and stopped answering questions. If you get a chance, check back in to let us know you are ok!!


Q:

Why can't we still not open two workbooks with the same name at the same time?

A:

No pressure at all to sign up!

I send out cheap flight fares as I find them to virtually everywhere in the world. Those who seem to enjoy my alerts most are generally travelers open to go wherever there is a good deal. I tend to send out deals for flights months in advance so if you see a fare you want to take advantage of, you have plenty of time to plan for the trip. I send roughly 3-4 deals a week, so you may find your destination on there soon!

If there is somewhere in particular you're keen to travel, let me know and I'll take a quick look to see if I can help out while I'm here.


Q:

I'm way up north but it was still really strong here! Thanks :-)

A:

Allowing two workbooks with the same name would make entering formulas that reference them quite confusing:

=[Book]Sheet!$A$1 

Which one did the user mean?

-- Alex [MSFT]


Q:

How about setting something up that only sends deals for cities that I subscribe for?

A:

What is your greatest accomplishment that you've succeeded during your life?


Q:

Hey Excel team!! As a Business major and stats minor, I use Excel daily and have a few questions.

1) What would you say is the most underutilized tool/data pack? (specifically that could be useful in business or stats)

2) How many functions can you "string" together in a single cell before excel crashes, I've written some pretty long strings but excel has spit out the answer every time

3) How come when Im working with the same data pack and functions/spreadsheets as my professors I can never get my sheets to work nearly as well as them?

A:

Wouldn't mind having it set up like that in the future, however I'm no expert when it comes to application building and such. You can probably tell by my "very professional" website :)


Q:

Tough question. Probably completing my thesis for my Masters and finding a great female friend. I'm hoping Rocket Island will be up there.

A:
  1. Some of my favorite tools within Excel are Tables, PivotTables, and Named Ranges. If you are familiar with these, you can do some pretty incredible things. Check out the Excel Sudoku Solver blog post To see some pretty great uses of named ranges.

  2. There's no direct limit on the number of functions, but the maximum number of characters in a cell is 32k and the maximum nesting level of functions is 64. Check out Excel limits and specifications for more information.

  3. I'm curious what kinds of differences you're seeing here. If you're seeing calculation or performance issues, definitely post them to https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_excel?auth=1Excel.

Jim [MSFT]


Q:

Let's be real here, you are not really a hacker are you?

A:

Hi thank you so much for doing this! I am studying to become an occupational therapist specializing in spinal cord inpatient rehab. Would you be willing to share any OT experience you had, how you would rate the experience and your therapist, and what do you wish you could've told your therapist or wish they understood that you felt they weren't being sensitive to?


Q:

Do you know of any free Excel training programs? I use it everyday at work - pivot tables/vlookup are my favorite features but I still feel like a total noob using it.

A:

You're right - not a hacker by any means. If I were, I'd probably be better at coding and have a nicer landing page :)

It's a term popularised by others in this field and this morning I thought it sounded good. Maybe I was wrong!


Q:

What country are you in? Do they have good spinal rehabs? I had really good OTs that specialised in spinal and a couple of bad ones who didn't. The trick is to encourage and motivate without belittling and undermining. Also treat every person as completely different cases and try not to expect the same out of 2 people, even if they have the same break. Usually the young OTs are good. The annoying ones are usually older grumpy OTs stuck in their ways, just to make a few generalisations :-)

A:

Great question! Please go to the Excel Tech Community and in the top pinned post or in the resources section, you will see link to all Free training programs for Basic, Intermediate & Advanced Users. https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Excel/ct-p/Excel_Cat -Sangeeta [MSFT]


Q:

Can you get me a cheap flight from Bucharest to Paris for the 15th December? Possibly not to bauvais

A:

Psychologically, what do you credit with enabling you to adjust as well as you have?


Q:

Who did the flight simulator?

A:

I can try!

One way or return?


Q:

Just knowing that a positive outlook on life would mean I would be happier, and more likely to do well and achieve my goals. I think my BSc in Psych helped me to realise that really early - within the first week. Later on, joining a wheelchair rugby team was another boost to learn to be a successful quad (aka tetraplegic).

A:

Me


Q:

Where do you think you would be if you hadn't been injured?

A:

Who did the flight simulator?


Q:

I think I would probably be worse off financially and in terms of reaching my goals. ACC provides me 80% of minimum wage for weekly compensation (until I earn more than that), which means I still live like a student, but I can focus on my passions and achieve my goals. It would have been difficult to achieve what I have with a full-time job. And my gf is amazing, so I couldn't have done better there.

A:

Nobody here did - there was a source repository mix-up and Flight Sim folks checked it in by accident


Q:

She got a sister? haha

Seriously though, good on you man. Keep it up.

A:

Is there a realization with-in the team that the naming around DAX/M/PowerQuery/Get&Transform/PowerPivot/PowerBI is super confusing to people?
Even if you aren't confused, the vocabulary to explain what these things to other people just isn't there. For example, Rob Collie has to spend a whole chapter explaining this in the latest version of his DAX book. (I recently did a PowerBI/PowerPivot lunch learning at work to a bunch of data analysts and most of the time ended up being around this...)


Q:

No but she's got a brother who's a bit of alright if you're that way inclined. Cheers :-)

A:

Hi Yawningcat,

Thanks for the feedback. Yes, we recognize the confusion, which has occured over time. Hopefully you see some improvements - for example, the Power BI brand has come from an unclear definition to being very specific around the Service and it's projections. We'll continue to improve this over time. thanks, ash [MSFT]


Q:

I'm just curious - do you think your life would be different if you'd been a woman? I constantly see disabled men who have girlfriends/wives, but very few disabled women who find men who will love them.

A:

Could you suggest the best programming that helps to automate tasks/ report for the online version of Excel ?


Q:

From my experience, someone's personality is the main reason for whether on not they find someone, rather than their gender. The three ladies I know in chairs all have partners. There are many more males in chairs than women however, which may lead to your confirmation bias.

A:

Check out the REST APIs that we expose as part of the Microsoft Graph: http://dev.office.com/excel/rest

-Brian [MSFT]


Q:

I had a friend who broke his neck diving into a lake and ended up as a quad. Great guy and he was doing his best to live his life but he had some serious depression issues. He kept a suicide bottle of Xanax and a note that he'd change the date on, periodically. He was 30 when I knew him and had been paralyzed for about 8 years. He said he just didn't know how long he could go on like that for. I lost touch with him and found out, years later, that he eventually did it.

How have you dealt with this?

Also, he actually got laid pretty frequently. He told me that there's girls who fetishize the quadriplegic situation and called them "quad hoppers". Have you encountered this?

A:

First of all: as a finance major, I love you guys and your product. You're wizards.

As far as I can tell, Excel has seemingly endless depth despite being easy to use. Where do you go from here? How are you working to improve it?


Q:

Not sure, I just have a different mindset I guess. Haha not really. It creeps me out when girls are overly interested. The gf keeps any advances at bay.

A:

Great to hear that you love the product. We continue to improve the product in terms of reliability and performance. We have millions and millions users worldwide and it is important to keep Excel as a reliable experience for all of them. See this blog post on some of the themes around Intelligent Cloud Services and Collaboration which we will working towards.. https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/26/office-365-news-in-september-at-ignite-intelligence-security-collaboration-and-more/ -Sangeeta [MSFT}


Q:

What are some surprising things about being a quadriplegic most people couldn't think of? Great to hear of all your success, good luck on your project :)

A:

What language is MS Excel written in?


Q:

Most people don't know about autonomic dysreflexia which is quite serious. Since spinal care is very specialised, most medical professionals/emergency staff know either nothing or not much about it, which makes it much more dangerous.

A:

Desktop client is mostly C++ (with some older parts that look suspiciously like vanilla C), plus a few bits of Assembly for critical parts related to the grid operation.

-- Alex [MSFT]


Q:

i Will donate some money, its not enought to bought the game but at least its something sorry, dollars are expensive here. I read some information about the autonomic dysreflexia and so you have to check every time for something "strange" low the spinal injury?

A:

Hi guys! Can I ask a tech question here please?

Why is so hard to count a set of different things, then take an average of those things from associated cells? For example an average of this years monthly sales.

I'll explain: Say I have a list of this years months as Jan-Nov. Each month appears numerous times. For example January appears 11 times, February appears 18 times and so on. Each of those month entries has an associated dollar value. These are actually recorded from my sales work. What I'd like is to figure the average dollar amount across those moths.

Far as I can tell, the way to do that is like this:

=SUM(H3:H129)/SUM(IF(FREQUENCY(MATCH(E3:E35,E3:E35,0),MATCH(E3:E35,E3:E35,0))>0,1))

Column E is the Months, Column H is the dollar values. One thing I notice is that it when I change say, "H3:H149" to H3:H1000" across all of the H's, it returns an error. This is combated by only putting in for the cells that contai data.

Is there really nothing simpler to do this? Thanks in advance!


Q:

Thanks a lot :-) That's okay, any amount is muchly appreciated!

Yeah, it's usually because my catheter is blocked, or as a warning to go poos (which can be slightly good so I don't have accidents). Sometimes it can be something more serious but it's really hard to pinpoint the problem. Having lots of kidney stones (because of lack of movement) has caused me quite a bit of trouble.

A:

If you create a PivotTable, one of the possible aggregations (summarize values as) is average. You can put the dollars column on the values axis and the months on the rows axis, then change the dollars summarization to average.

  • Carl [MSFT]

Q:

What are your plans for VR?

The natural interaction with hand controllers like on the Vive and the upcoming oculus touch controllers seem like a huge opportunity and a perfect fit for educational games, because even people without computer and controller experience can quickly jump in.

A:

What updates and features do you plan on implementing in excel?


Q:

Yeah I think it's a real opportunity to make education as immersive as possible. I've only looked at the feasibility of VR and possible ways to implement, but haven't fleshed out specifics yet.

A:

You can also check our What's new page: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/What-s-new-in-Excel-2016-for-Windows-5fdb9208-ff33-45b6-9e08-1f5cdb3a6c73

We update that whenever something new is released.

Smitty [MSFT]


Q:

Im sorry I know im extremely late but Which continent did you find to be the most accessible for you?? What was the hardest aspect of learning to drive??

A:

What updates and features do you plan on implementing in excel?


Q:

Every country was different. Italy's cobbles are bad but train service was good, South Korea didn't have many accessible taxis. I've heard Japan is better. Eastern Europe isn't great. Germany's pretty good. NZ is great :-)

A:

If you still need to get 0 and 1 values in cells, you can use something like =($A1=E1)+0 to return 1 or 0 depending on if $A1 matches E1.

-Nathan [MSFT]


Q:

This might be a dumb question, but how does sex work when you're in a chair? Do you have to move to the bed, or something like that? Your story is very inspiring. I wish you all the best.

A:

Why did you change the separator from ; to , ?


Q:

Family might read this, but we find ways :-)

A:

We use the list separator as defined for your locale. Please check what locale are you using. The definition is available here: http://demo.icu-project.org/icu-bin/locexp -Sanjay[MSFT]


Q:

Wow, very cool! I have wanted to create an educational game related to socially responsible engineering for a while. I have a computer science degree and a bit of experience with Artificial Intelligence, but I have had a hard time finding good resources on educational game design. Would you be able to please suggest some good reading on the topic? Textbooks, articles, anything really that you think would help me design a better educational game. Thanks, love your game concept!

A:

Nearly 95% of the time I am in excel my hands are on the keyboard, but I am curious how the Surface Dial interacts with the application and couldn't find this information online. Could you or someone familiar with the Dial speak to this?


Q:

There is a good book called Mathematics Education for a New Era, that explains how to teach mathematical thinking in video games. Otherwise, Lave and Wagner (1991) teach about situated learning and the importance of teaching/testing in situations that are relevant to daily life; van Oers (2012 I think) that talks about including students in choosing what to learn, choosing their own goals and how to test skills etc to avoid them feeling alienated from learning process (which often leads to low motivation and behavioural problems); learn about differences and pros/cons for learning face-to-face or online/video games, as different environments affect social hierarchies between students, participation levels, and engagement. Learning these differences will help design the game so it compliments things students will learn in everyday life, such as social interactions and how to treat others. There might be some other stuff on my website you might find interesting :-) www.educationthesedays.com

A:

The Surface Dial in Excel uses the common Windows Dial Features of Scroll and Zoom-in Excel. With 2016 we also added Ink features in Excel ( as well as rest of Office), with the Surface Dial we support the Ink Replay feature as well.

https://blogs.office.com/2016/08/30/new-to-office-365-in-august-the-continued-evolution-of-inking-and-more/ MSFT - Leif


Q:

Being in Canadian treatment: Were hormonal treatment options, specifically human growth hormone, ever discussed or used during your phenomenal recovery?

I've always been curious how open they are about treatments like this that involve increasing growth factors specific to nerves and brain function (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF)

Thank you.

A:

1. Does the Excel team have any plans for integrating Cortana with Excel?
2. If so, what kind of ideas are you looking at?

Thanks for doing the AMA!


Q:

Not that I remember. Just some anabolic steroids

A:

Cortana in Excel - that sounds pretty cool :)

I can tell you that we're generally exploring this area and we partner with folks in Microsoft research on a range of new technologies, including new ideas in ML, AI, and natural language.

There's a ton of scenarios that we could look at, so I'd love to get your suggestions on specific stuff you'd like to see us make Cortana do in Excel by using user voice: https://excel.uservoice.com/.

  • Charlie [MSFT Excel Team]

Q:

Do you have any sensation in your penis or testicles?

Glad you seem to be doing so well man:)

A:

Any plans to add a shortcut to force selected cells to calculate as arrays?

It's a pain in the ass to go and ctrl+shift+enter 70 different cells.


Q:

None at all from 1cm above my nipples. Cheers

A:

Here are a few things to try, all of which will persist array formula property:

  • Drag-fill the formula (use $ to lock row and column references, if needed)
  • Use fill-down (Ctrl-D) or fill-right (Ctrl-R)
  • Copy formula, select destination range, paste

-- Alex [MSFT]


Q:

Can i make the music for your game? I'm also from NZ!

A:

Oh man, I've been looking forward to this all week! Unfortunately I don't need to use Excel at work that often, so most of my experience has been for personal use.

Q1 What's the most memorable/off-the-wall use of Excel that you've run into?

Q2 Did most of you have a great desire to work specifically on the Excel team beforehand? Or did most of you more or less kinda fall into the team?

Q3 Do you find yourself trying to find excuses to make spreadsheets for personal use more often now that you're on the team?


Q:

Definitely maybe! PM me. I won't decide that till next year though.

A:

Q1 - I wrote a tower defense game in Excel a couple years ago. I've also found that customers always come up with the most creative uses of Excel.

Q2 - I didn't really have a preference when I went into the interview for my internship, but I did choose Excel over the SmartArt team and this team has been awesome.

Q3 - Are they really excuses? I use it for everything from mini-golf scorecards to white-elephant party gift tracking.

-Nathan [MSFT]


Q:

With such a high injury, do you have to deal with Autonomic dysreflexia?

A:

FTLOE! Why is it not possible to create a histogram straight out of a pivottable?


Q:

All the time, it sucks. I get it almost everyday going toilet or if my catheter blocks or bladder spasms.


Q:

What does your girlfriend do when she wants some cock?

A:

Wise Edit


Q:

Thanks for doing what you're doing. Games and enjoyable hands-on projects/experiments are the best means of educating. The heads of the U.S. public education system are already aware of this but in an another example of government organization self preservation (and job preservation, in addition to some even less ethical motivations that I won't go into here) they cling to the horrendously outdated, mind-numbing, intelligence-stifling (and sometime insanity-inducing) teaching methods.
My question is: How do you think we can make games a major part of teaching in public schools when there's such strong opposition to it?

A:

We need lots of positive examples of video games, and good press behind them. Keep sharing good projects and spread the word. Public opinion is slowly changing.


Q:

How long did it take you to program Rocket Island? Also, after it takes off, do you plan on updating the game in the future? Great Kickstarter video and thanks!

A:

So far it's taken 7 months to develop and longer to design. I'd say it will take a year or so to complete, depending on funding. Yeah I would like to update it to add languages, cell-phone features and gameplay, but again it depends on funds. Cheers :-)


Q:

[deleted]

A:

Sorry but I've got nothing to give, hence the crowdfunding. I find people are more willing to give funds to support an idea or product that they feel will allow you to continue to support yourself in the future. Don't give up, it takes a lot of thinking and research, but you'll think of something if you keep trying. Have you tried training as a draftsperson, 3d modeller or designer? You can do anything on a computer these days, but it takes time and effort to learn.


Q:

What's the first video you would suggest to watch on YouTube if others are interested in your path? I think you have a spectacular idea btw! I wish you complete success.

A:

Thankyou :-)

I learned the basics of javascript and coding in general from Khan Academy. I use Unity to programme, and there are heaps of introduction videos on the Unity website which I would try first. Then search for others on YouTube, but there are lots to choose from.


Q:

This may be an ignorant question, but is there any hope for a stem cell treatment that may improve your condition?

A:

Not quite yet, but hopefully in the future :-)