MS Excel customization

By kipale
Apr 13, 2009
  1. First of all, sorry for posting this here, but microsoft doesn't really have any community support/help forums.

    I use ms excel a lot in my job, mainly because I need to calculate stuff and I'm too lazy to learn any real programming language. The problem is that everytime I start and equation, I have to type "=". Now it wouldn't be a problem if I had standard US keyboard, but I'm Finnish and the "=" is located in very hard-to-reach place on my keyboard. Having to type it 100 times every day makes me nuts.

    So is there any way I could change that key to something else? I don't really use "Ö" or something that much in Excel, and it's right next to "L" in Finnish keyboard. You guys know of any windows registry hacks or something made for this?

    [EDIT]Oh yea it's Excel 2007 for windows vista btw. [/EDIT]
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    That is highly unlikely to be available. Customization is almost always related to the GUI presentation.

    Systems that read inputs and the interpret the meaning, eg: =sum($A5:$A9)
    would need to complicate the evaluation process so much that you would not use
    the product any more.

    think about it:
    Currently the lookups for the operations are scanning for things like
    These are precise and no possibility of mistaking them for something else.
    if you were to change just the '=' into '^' then the process would be a double lookup

    find ^
    find what is after it​
    How can the interpreter ensure that '^' is not some normal character and
    that which follows is the same as the original =sum()?
  3. kipale

    kipale TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    I didn't understand much of what you said jobeard, but I guess you made some good point. For me a character like "=" or "@" or something is just a character. It's us humans that give meaning to a character. Machines don't have to think like humans (that's why they are useful anyways) so I don't see a profound difference between "=" and any other character. If every equation started with "@" instead of "=" it would be just as straightforward.

    Anyways... google didn't find anything... amazing that a key used so many many times can't be customized and nobody has ever even thought of it. Probably because everyone is so used to "=" meaning an equation outside of excel too.

    And I found one possible "solution" too... a windows hotkey that temporarily changes my keyboard layout to US one. But pressing the hotkey and pressing the normal thing is about the same hassle so I guess it doesn't help much...

    It's not that big a problem luckily... just a little annoyance to live with. Though I kinda hoped they would have thought of that at Microsoft.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    For the human, of course, but to make the computer react for every possible substitution .... ? lot's of luck.
    As we say in the business, this is a non-trivial task with performance consequences.
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