5 thoughts on “Potentially Problematic Excel Features

  1. There’s a command in Excel (I forget what it is) to replace formula cells with formula values. (One gotcha; it only works one sheet at a time.) That helps with the .csv problem, but there’s still information loss — the formula itself would have to be reverse-engineered from the result. If it’s non-obvious…

  2. Christopher Cole says:

    I found about this project through Lee Dirks and am enjoying.This is an excellent topic and i like to share an issue I often have with library metadata. We are bringing data into Excel to manipulate that is in utf-8 or another format than Unicode-16. When Excel encounters a character it can’t decipher, it substitutes various symbol combinations. many of these are known problems and we programatically clean-up the data with find and replace. Nevertheless if you are moving data sets into Excel from other applications, character recognition can be a problem..

  3. […] dataset changes is known as provenance; generally Excel is terrible at documenting provenance. I wrote about this a few years ago on the blog, and we mentioned a few of the more egregious ways people abuse Excel in our […]

  4. […] and prevents researchers using Excel from producing fully replicable research. Read “Potentially Problematic Excel Features” to learn more about the pitfalls of […]

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