Thursday, October 19, 2006

Inconsistency, thy name is Microsoft

So I just found out yesterday that the universal window-focus-rotation method on a Mac is the Command-~ combination. That's to rotate the focus on the windows within a single app, whereas of course Command-Tab rotates through your apps. (Yes, I have had a Mac for nearly two years now. What's your point??) So I'm happily rotating through my windows in Firefox, and Photoshop, and then today, I have Excel open, so I'm happily rotating through the... WTF! It doesn't work!

Turns out that window-rotating in Excel for Mac works exactly the way it does in the Windows world: Ctrl-Tab. Now what you need to understand about Microsoft Office for the Mac is that it's not a straight port of Office for Windows. Hell no. It's a completely fookin different application (although it can share docs with the Windows one). But virtually everything is different, including all of the fargin keyboard shortcuts in Excel. Now when you've been using Excel in Windows since the friggin thing was invented, you get certain keyboard shortcuts more or less burned into your brain. Alt-= for the sum command, for example. F2 to edit the cell. And just hitting return to paste. Does that work in Excel for Mac? Fark no. Why would it? The famously hard-core Mac team at Microsoft have completely rewritten Excel for the Mac, dude! None of that Windows crap here!

Except for... the one thing where it makes SENSE to change, to fit in with the system-wide Mac way of doing things... oh, maybe we'll leave that in.



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