Simon Fell > Its just code > Office 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I seem to be collecting Office suites that don't quite do what i want. I upgraded to iWork '08 when it came out because i was looking for something better than Excel 2004, which is bloated and sluggish (even on my 4 core mac pro). However Numbers has no way as far as i can see to get external data into it, no support for AppleScript, and no equivalent to Excel's Web Query feature, so its largely sat on the sidelines gathering dust. So, my copy of Office 2008 turned up last week, I figured the new Intel native version would at least be snappier than its rosseta stone older sibling, but no, somehow it feels about as sluggish as the previous version. Now, i was expecting the loss of VBA macro's but i didn't realize that they'd completely abandoned any document integration at all, yes I can write apple script to manipulate spreadsheets, but these scripts aren't stored in the document, i can't assign an applescript to say a button in the document, there doesn't seem to be any sort of event integration, so i can run scripts on save, or load. I now have a single menu item with a (potentially) bucket-load of apple scripts and I've got to remember which one goes with which document. And just to rub salt in the wound, Web Queries seem to be broken, you can create new one's fine, but goto do a refresh and you'll get the cryptic and unhelpful message "selection can contain a single cell only", nice, you should be able to return broken software. Guess I'm stuck with Excel 2004 for a while longer, ho hum.