'

Excel 2002

office-xp-thumb.gif
  • Editors' rating
    Not yet rated
  • $229.00

Pros

  • Cross worksheet and format-based searching
  • Watch Window
  • formula evaluator
  • error-checking Smart Tag.

Cons

  • Charting engine still needs work.

You might think that there would be little room for improvement with Excel, but this latest version manages to introduce a number of innovations to an already excellent application.

Other than the addition of Smart Tags and Data Panes which we cover elsewhere, Excel 2002's main advancements are centred on handling Web data. A reworked Web Query interface makes selecting data from an Internet source as easy as cut and paste, using a browser-style interface that lets you click on the elements to be imported along with options to manually or automatically update. This is useful if you want to track exchange rates or stock prices, for instance. Alternatively, if your Web site or corporate intranet runs from information held on a spreadsheet, Auto Republish lets you set up regular updates.

Excel's Web Components have also been updated to include support for native Excel files, named ranges, wrapped texts and the ability to publish entire interactive workbooks to the Web using the Save As and Add Interactivity options.

You'll find that significant improvements have been made to the Find/Replace feature, which now allows you to search across all the worksheets contained within a workbook, and display the results in a single window. You can also include cell formatting in your query. AutoSum has been tweaked, and now includes a drop-down menu for Average, Count, Max and Min functions, as well as allowing you to add your own from an extensive function list. If you can't find the function you're after, Excel's natural language query tool will let you ask questions such as 'how do I calculate interest on my investment?' and will provide results with clear explanations.

As well as the ability to trace precedents and dependents in the Formula Auditing toolset, you can also select Watch Window. This allows you to keep track on a cell value anywhere in your workbook while you alter values or formulae elsewhere. Additionally, Evaluate Formula will take you through any problems with complex formulae step by step until you find where you went wrong.

Excel 2002 also improves on previous document protection with an option to use 128-bit RC4 encryption to both password and document contents -- which is also found in Word and PowerPoint. Other useful additions include the ability to send selected cells via email (although this only applies to consecutive cells), colour coding on sheet tabs as well as EuroConvert for currency conversion, making Excel 2002 one of the best reasons for upgrading to Office XP.

Specifications

General
Packaged Quantity 1
Localization English
Category office applications
Subcategory office applications - spreadsheet
Package Type retail
Distribution Media CD-ROM
Software
Subcategory office applications - spreadsheet
Category office applications
License Type box pack
Min Supported Color Depth 8-bit (256 colors)
License Category shrinkwrap
System Requirements
Min RAM Size 72 MB
OS Required Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP6
OS Family Windows
Additional Requirements CD-ROM, SVGA monitor, mouse or compatible device
Min Processor Speed 133 MHz
Min Processor Type Intel Pentium
Header
Brand Microsoft
Product Line Microsoft Excel
Model 2002
Localization English
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility PC
Software Family
Microsoft Family MS Excel
Microsoft Version 2002
System Requirements Details
Min Operating System Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP6
Min RAM Size 32 MB, 40 MB, 72 MB

Top ZDNET Reviews