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In Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author Curt Frye gives a comprehensive overview of Excel, the full-featured spreadsheet software from Microsoft. The course covers key skills such as manipulating workbook and cell data, using functions, automating actions, printing worksheets, and collaborating with others. Exercise files accompany the course.
Your life as an Excel user is simplest when everyone in your business uses the same version of the program. Unfortunately, that's rarely the case. In this movie, I'll show you how to work in an environment where you and your colleagues are using different versions of Excel. But first, I'm going to run through and just summarize some of the common scenarios for using Excel across multiple versions. The newest version of Excel for Windows is Excel 2010, and the good news is that Excel 2010 for Windows and Excel 2011 for Mac are completely compatible. You can open any Excel file, and that includes files that were created in any earlier version.
It knows how to read all of them, it can open them, and either save them in their native format, the format they originally came in, or save them as Excel 2011 or Excel 2010 files. The next common scenario is that you are working with someone who's using Excel 2007 for Windows or Excel 2008 for Mac. As I mentioned earlier, you can open any Excel 2007 file or Excel 2008 for Mac file using Excel 2011. A user that has Excel 2007 for Windows or 2008 for Mac can also open your Excel 2011 files, but they won't see content using new Excel 2011 capabilities, such as sparklines, or any of the new conditional formatting or be able to use the new functions that are available in Excel 2011.
The most limited scenario is when you work with individuals who are using Excel 2003 for Windows or Excel 2004 for Mac. You of course can open their files and save your files in their formats, but they can't open your Excel files unless they install a software converter that's available online through the Microsoft knowledge base, and you see the link here in your file, and we'll also have it in the additional resources movie at the end of the course. Now what I'll do is I'll switch over to Microsoft Excel 2011 and also 2008, and show you how to work the files across different formats in those programs.
So, here I have a file in Excel 2011, and it's in the Excel 2011 format, and let me show you how to save that in another format. To do that, you can go to the Save As dialog box, click File and Save As, or you can also press Command+Shift+S, but in this case I'll just click Save As. And you can select the format you want to save your file in here by clicking the Format list boxes down arrow. So when I click that, you see that you have a list of common formats and also down at the bottom a list of specialty formats.
I'm going to concentrate just on the common formats up here. The normal format is .xlsx, and this is the new file format that was introduced in Excel 2008 for Mac and Excel 2007 for Windows. Excel 2008 for Mac and Excel 2011 for Mac have the same basic file format, .xlsx. So that means that saving an Excel 2011 file also saves it so that it is readable in Excel 2008. As I said before, you won't be able to use the 2011 functionality in 2008, but the underlying data will be there.
The other common format that you'll use is for Excel 97 through Excel 2004, and on the PC side, that file format is used in Excel 97 through Excel 2003, and that is the .xls format. So if you want to save a file in the 2004 format or for use in any version of Microsoft Excel from 97 through 2003 on the PC or 97 through 2004 on the Mac, you'd use that format. Now before I actually save the file in one of those formats, I'm going to show you one last thing, and that is the Compatibility Report.
So let's say that I select .xls or the 97 through 2004 format and then click Compatibility Report. This report will tell me if there are any issues. So when I ran it, you'll see that I have the Compatibility Report over here, and it indicates that there is several issues. There's a sparkline, which is a new feature in Excel 2011, and then there's also other features that are not available in earlier versions, and also I used some formulas to perform calculations on dates that might not produce the same results in Excel for Windows.
So those are all issues that I need to take into account, and I can either click OK, which aborts the save, and then I can go over to Compatibility Report and click an individual issue and get a further explanation here, or I can close the Compatibility Report and then File > Save As, save in the 2004 format, understanding that there will be some limitations in the data that I'm saving, and click Save.
When I do, Excel verifies, one more time, that I want to continue because I will lose some features, and when I click Continue, Excel saves the file in the earlier format. Now, I'm going to switch over to Excel 2008, which I also have installed on my system. And I'll go to File > Open. And I'm going to open Version2011, but I'm going to open the Excel 2011 version of that file in 2008, just to show you what happens when I do it. So I'll click that, click Open, and when I open it, you'll notice that a couple of things have changed.
I'll resize it a little bit. First, you'll see that the formatting has changed, because there are formatting options that aren't available in 2008 that are available in 2011, and also you'll notice that I had a small graphic here. I'll switch back to the Excel 2011 file, so you can see the difference. Here we have this formatting, and then also I have a small graphic over here on this side. This is called a sparkline. It's what appeared in the Compatibility Report earlier, and when I flip back to Excel 2008, you'll see that sparkline isn't there.
That's because the feature isn't available in 2008. There was no way to translate it, so Excel doesn't display it. The good news about working with multiple versions of Excel is that all of your data and most of your formulas should transfer between versions without any problems. If you do create a formula using a function that's not available in an earlier version of the program, your colleague will see a name error when they open the file. The formula will still work for you though, so you won't lose any data.
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