Wednesday 21 October 2009

Excel 2008 Mac Excel 2007 PC Version Weirdness

Probably the one biggest hiccup that happens when working on the same Excel 2007 native (XLSX) spreadsheet at one point on the MacBook Pro and then on the PC is a mysterious margin change.

We have a number of fairly complicated quotation sheets that we have built in Excel on the PC.

When we set up the quote on the PC, then go in and tweak it later on via the MacBook Pro, the MacBook refuses to PDF or print the spreadsheet in the same manner as the PC.

For some really strange reason, the Mac will shift the right margin to the left by two columns (1 Pt each) and thus refuses to print the page out as we would expect.

Here is a screen clip of one of our quote sheets in Print Preview mode on a PC:


Note the fact that there is a border on the right hand side one column to the right of the Amount column. In the above screen clip, the Mac would actually clip off the column to the left of the bold boundary as well as the Amount column.

Go back to the PC though, and we will see the above properly formatted printout in the same worksheet after working on it with the MacBook Pro.

The other bit of weirdness that happens is the intermittent disabling of the auto-calculate feature in the Excel spreadsheet.

While working on this evening’s quote the sheet was mysteriously not updating any changes made. It took a few seconds and a settings check to figure out that the auto-calculate was turned off. This was after the quote was worked on while on the MacBook Pro.

When it comes to a multi-platform setup where both Macs and PCs are used to collaborate on projects, it is a really good idea to be familiar with these types of hiccups between platforms.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

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