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posted by martyb on Monday November 26 2018, @02:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the putting-it-all-together dept.

If you've ever tried to use the CONCATENATE function in Microsoft Excel to merge the values in a range of cells, you know it doesn't work unless you add each cell to the function, one by one.

You might have noticed the following message in the support article for CONCATENATE:

Important: In Excel 2016, Excel Mobile, and Excel Online, this function has been replaced with the CONCAT function. Although the CONCATENATE function is still available for backward compatibility, you should consider using CONCAT from now on. This is because CONCATENATE may not be available in future versions of Excel.

Meet the alternatives: CONCAT and TEXTJOIN

for CONCAT and TEXTJOIN:

Note: This feature is not available in Excel 2016 unless you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

While it is admirable that Microsoft is finally fixing some of the idiosyncrasies of its software, I fear the future will bring a level of fragmentation unseen since the office 2003 to 2007 switch.


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  • (Score: 4, Touché) by Snospar on Monday November 26 2018, @02:47PM (7 children)

    by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 26 2018, @02:47PM (#766448)

    What will become of us? I'm sure, like everyone else here, Excel is my default tool of choice for combining text strings - I cannot conceive of how I will cope without the CONCATENATE function!

    In other news I also iron my clothes with a hammer.

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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by DannyB on Monday November 26 2018, @02:58PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 26 2018, @02:58PM (#766449) Journal

    My word processor of choice is MS Paint.

    You can type text with it. Erase it. Re-arrange portions of text. Far superior to typewriter and paper. How did we ever do without such an amazing tool!

    --
    Never use a needlessly simple solution to a problem when a much more complex solution would suffice.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26 2018, @05:18PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26 2018, @05:18PM (#766502)

      And it's best feature: it's made by the default vendor, Micro$oft!

      Why would anybody ever change default settings?!!!1 Insane!

  • (Score: 2) by ilsa on Monday November 26 2018, @03:36PM (3 children)

    by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 26 2018, @03:36PM (#766460)

    I've found it incredibly convenient for one offs when I have a list of strings that I need to manipulate quickly. I'm actually seriously pissed off about this.

    Looks like I'm going to have to familiarize myself with LibreOffice, or maybe get a regex tool.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Freeman on Monday November 26 2018, @06:10PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Monday November 26 2018, @06:10PM (#766525) Journal

      I've done some regex, but it can definitely get convoluted quickly. I've used LibreOffice and MS Office over the years and they both have worked well enough for me. I don't buy it myself, but when it's on your work computer it's simpler to just use MS Office. I keep hearing how you can't do everything in LibreOffice that you can in MS Office, but I've yet to come across a Must Have feature that isn't in LibreOffice. I'm guessing it's more of a "I don't want to learn something that may be slightly inferior" as opposed to a "this won't work" kind of thing. I can see why they wouldn't want to change, where people have been using MS Office for their entire working career and are used to certain things. Then there's the other side of the coin. Should you even be using a spreadsheet to track the data you're tracking? At a certain point, a spreadsheet becomes a lot more complicated and less useful than a database.

      --
      Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ilsa on Monday November 26 2018, @06:40PM

        by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 26 2018, @06:40PM (#766540)

        Tell me about it. Oh yes, people are really good at adapting existing tools to do things they were never iTentended for, such as using a spreadsheet as a database. And then things get more and more convoluted... they continue to push the boundaries farther and farther until something finally breaks, and then they're shocked and frustrated and blame the "crappy" system instead of accepting that they made a poor choice to begin with. :P

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26 2018, @11:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26 2018, @11:40PM (#766703)

      Why don't you just use the concatenation operator? =CONCATENATE(A1,B2,C3) gives you the same results as =A1&B2&C3

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26 2018, @04:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26 2018, @04:28PM (#766479)

    Considering what a pain it is to do those things outside of a spreadsheet on Windows, it's a pretty big deal. On *NIX systems you can concat manually using the included tools if you so choose. A bit of a pain, but you can do that stuff via script if you need to.

    On Windows, it's possible, but it doesn't appear there's one tool, you wind up having to use a lot of different ones to do the job.