32771 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Sep 4, 2007 7:50 PM by Dennis Burnham
I ran into the same problem. In my opinion, it is a glaring example of how Apple consistently fails to examine the menu commands in programs that users are expected to abandon to adopt new software. Mail is full of shortcomings that users of Eudora and Entourage bump into. Pages and Numbers suffer the same symptom.
You can't set the Print Area. Yes, you can fiddle with the proportional size of the Print View, but if there is a range of cells that you want to print while not hiding others, you can't specify that. Maybe their intention is that you should create a separate table on the sheet that is for printing, and if so, that could certainly be a cool new way for us to learn how to do an old familiar thing in a new and better way. But there's no way to migrate toward that without a Help item that is called Set Print Area, or a tutorial document explaining how to do things differently in Numbers that you formerly did the old way in Excel.
Apple is always missing this chance to win over the users of Microsoft Office. We went through several versions of Keynote before we were able to CREATE a slide with bulleted text, for example. (I'm not talking about using one of the template slides, I'm talking about creating a new slide and adding a bulleted text element or adding bulleted text to an existing slide. Of course, you have to open an older version of Keynote to see this shortcoming, because they fixed it. But not until we paid for an upgrade.
I know this is a 1st generation application, but Apple needs to cover the basics. The ability to set print areas in a straightforward manner is required.
Numbers doesn't seem to be useful in any expected way. I dislike more about this program than I like. Ten years ago I swore I'd never give microsoft another dime of my money but I'm so frustrated with not having a decent spreadsheet for my mac I'm just going to. This is ridiculous.
I have 30 sheets in my workbook, I have to futz around with each one to get it to freakin print properly?! Give me a break.
I'm outta here. I wasted $80 of my money on this stupid program (not to mention the $80 I wasted on iLife's impossible iMovie). Apple is about to lose my business.
Your frustration may well be warranted but, again this is version one. Excel has been out many years so don't compare Numbers with Excel. Also, go to the Excel discussion boards to read their frustrations as well.
Did you ever use Multiplan a MS DOS spreadsheet prior to the first version of Excel that came first on the Mac? Have you used the original Lotus 123, VisiCalc, Quattro (before Quattro Pro); I'm dating myself huh? Every product has growing pains.
As for iLife, though my systems cannot run iMovie I find the other programs useful for me. For me the $80 was worth the cost and, they integrate with each other.
Myself I use Pages for 99.9% of my word processing. Haven't had need to use Keynote. Also, I'm a power user of MS Office as well. For my outside word processing Pages is all I use. Constantly I get complements on my brochures, flyers, and newsletters.
If you must return to Excel (I use it as well) that's okay too but, do keep Numbers on your system for the updates to come. Though Numbers has a much different (neither good nor bad) way to do things it will take time to get used to those differences. When I transitioned from Multiplan to Lotus 123 to Excel I too had many frustratiing moments. Continue to use Excel but again, keep up with Numbers I see a bright future for it.
I have to the agree with those frustrated: setting the Print Area (in Excel) or Print Range (in OpenOffice) is now a pretty standard feature (how else do you properly print a spreadsheet?). I think this is clearly something Apple slipped on.
I'll stick with Excel 2004 (or OpenOffice) for the time being, but I'm sure Apple with get things right in the next version (and, well, they better - otherwise, what's the point of re-inventing Excel???).
Message was edited by: Pismo07
Message was edited by: Pismo07
If anybody at Apple is listening to the discussion about setting a print area, please also put a Page Setup command into the File menu. For goodness sake, this has been a menu item ever since Apple invented menu items in 1984, and most of the world expects to be able to decide with a menu item whether to print in landscape or portrait mode, at what magnification, etc.
The little icons in the lower right corner do this, but it is really annoying to have to look around for things like this. And by "look around" I include the documentation!
I'm terribly sorry to disagree with you guys; however, I think you're missing out on one of the greatest advantage of Numbers!
I've been using spreadsheet apps (on several platforms) steadily for the last 15 years. The traditional set-up used by the other spreadsheet apps had some major shortcomings of their own:
1. You couldn't print non-rectangular areas of the spreadsheet.
2. You couldn't print two or more discontinuous areas at the same time.
3. You couldn't mix and match portrait and landscape, or different size papers.
4. You couldn't control how the automatic page numbering went.
5. You couldn't have different zoom levels from one page to the next.
6. You couldn't mix and match charts and select which ones go on which page.
7. Most (including Excel) other spreadsheet apps also make it difficult to print multiple "tabs" at once.
The different print-management paradigm inherent in Numbers fixes ALL of those problems. Personally, I am glad never to see the arbitrary work-around (set print area) that we've all been forced to use since the dawn of spreadsheet apps. I wouldn't be upset with Numbers just because it requires a little out-of-the-box thinking.
I'm baffled. Why would you need this? Even if your spreadsheet were just one single, but massive chart, and you wanted to print a certain rectangle of equally-sized pieces, just use print-view and print the pages you want. You can even control whether the pages order from left-to-right then down, or from top-to-bottom then over.
Obviously I'm totally missing something, since you're baffled by the fact that I and others seemingly can't do what we want to do, but I can't work out how you can choose to just print a part of a worksheet, ie print some arbitrary rectangular part of it, but not all of it. I can see that you may be able to just print one of the pages, but how do you get the bit you want to print to fit exactly onto one page without some ridiculous fiddling? I've just tried doing it and the problems I have are:
1. By zooming (Content Scale) I can get the width right or the height right, but not both at the same time unless the aspect ratio of the area I want to print is eaxctly the same as A4 paper.
2. If the part I want to print doesn't start at the top left of the sheet I can't see how to set the part I don't want to print to be non-printing.
So what am I missing here?
The only way I can see that I can accomplish what I want is to severely compromise the way that I put the data onto the sheet so that the bit I want to print (and only that bit) happens to fall into the area of one sheet. If I alter the number of rows or columns, or change the height or width of any of them, I'm going to have to do this all over again.
But I accept that I may be missing something - I just don't know, and haven't been able to work out, if that is the case, what it is that I'm missing.
Ditto, to what Nick wrote. He's right.
It would sure be nice if Apple put a page online somewhere that was like a list of the forgotten things and if they said "stay tuned, we will include these in the next update" everyone would applaud instead of wondering whether we're crazy or how long do we keep looking for a way to do something.
Keynote 1 was the same problem. No way to create bulleted text. You had to wait for Keynote 2 and hope it was included when you spent your money on the upgrade.
When Detroit has a problem with a product, they recall it. When software companies have a problem, they sell us an upgrade.
Okay, I've been following this conversation, can't keep my mouth shut.
For what it's worth, I spend about 90% of my work day in excel and while I'm no power user by any means, I'm reasonably competent in it. I think in spreadsheets. It's a curse. I've used every spreadsheet there is that will run on a Mac, and none has even come close to excel's usefulness. Yes, that includes all the third-party attempts that claim to be business-ready. They're just not, and neither is Numbers.
Crazierthanu, I think excel can at least manage all of the issues you listed. For global settings you can select all the tabs you want to change and any change you make on one will be made on all of the selected tabs. So if you set Portrait and Fit to Page in page setup, all the tabs will print in Portrait and the data fitted to a single sheet. The downside to this is when there are different "sizes" of data on the various tabs; that can result in varying font sizes, another problem. Again in excel (I choose not to capitalize microsoft product names, call it a personal quirk born of extreme disgust with the company), in print view one can, with a few keyboard shortcuts, select the area to be printed and set print area from the context menu. It's very straightforward. And you can select any part of the data to print, eschewing all else. This is how you'd print non-rectangular areas. You can use this function to print discontinuous areas also, though they'll print on separate pages. To print multiple tabs at one time, select each tab you wish to print while holding down Ctnl or Shift.
Anyway. I sure don't want to sound like an excel supporter because I've put myself through a lot of suffering to avoid having to buy it. And I still haven't. I'll go a long way to keep M$ from getting any of my money. But excel is a good spreadsheet, the best there is so far. Printing should be simple. Maybe M$ patented excel's printing paradigm and no one else can use any of it. That would be par.
Many of these items are possible in Numbers. What's so frustrating is the screwy slider that makes you print the whole sheet and everything on it. I don't want to print everything on a sheet, and I want to easily select paper orientation (I think someone mentioned how to do that and I'd bet it would work globally by selecting multiple sheets in the left column).
I too think Nick hit it on the head when he said that you have to compromise sheet layout to fit within Numbers' print paradigm. That's just ridiculous. The application needs to bend to my will just a bit more than that.
Because I've invested a great deal of hope and what to me is not an insignificant amount of money, I'll learn to use Numbers. But Apple sure missed the boat with this one if they hoped to get excel users to switch. Unless they have a serious personal vendetta against microsoft, pretty much any spreadsheet user in the world will scoff at this first generation attempt and continue using excel. You can sure make "pretty" spreadsheets with Numbers, but it's awful hard to get any work out of it.
I've printed the Numbers manual and maybe I'll learn what I need to know from reading it. Heaven knows I've read enough excel books! Maybe that's what the first version of Numbers needs - someone to figure out how to use it and write a book for the rest of us. Hey, maybe that can be my retirement fund!
This may seem like it's off on a tangent, but I think there's relevance here to the way Apple is missing a HUGE opportunity to win over the customers of Microsoft Office. For a long time I thought the reason Apple didn't make a spreadsheet program was to not give MS a reason to close down their business unit and abandon Office for Mac. Well, maybe someday that will happen, but not if Office remains a superior product.
When I bought my iPhone, I began the painful migration from Entourage to Address Book, iCal and Mail. All three applications suck less than they did in their first editions, but they are so far behind Entourage it's ridiculous. I could write thousands of words listing dozens of examples, and this thread about Numbers only adds fuel to the fire.
The iPhone is a cool device, but it is severely limited with regard to contacts. Entourage can't export groups and in Address Book you have to spend hours creating groups if you want to have a prayer of finding someone in your phone while driving and not getting into an accident. If you decide to specify more than one person in a company to be alphabetized by the company name, not the individual, you can't tell them apart. Makes you wonder, with months (maybe years) of testing, didn't anybody hand one to a real live customer to try it out?
Anyway, the point is this: Office for Macintosh is not yet Universal. When they release the next version as Universal Binary for the Intel Macs that are approaching their 2nd anniversary, thousands of devoted Office users will fork up the upgrade money. You'd think Apple would realize this is a time to capture those people who are basically loyal to Apple anyway. Instead, we get these half-baked programs that are like junior elementary editions of what MS has been strong at for years.
Example: in Entourage, you can select text in a message to be quoted in your reply. If you select none, you quote nothing back to the sender. in Mail, if you select nothing, you get the entire message quoted, just like that god-awful Outlook and it's cousin, Outlook Express. Don't you despise people who just send you a novel instead of a sentence?
Example: in Entourage, you can have multiple POP accounts pointing to the same mailbox, each with its own signature, SMTP server, and other behaviors. In Mail, you can only have one. In Entourage, you can create rules that are truly powerful. In Mail, they are so lame. While reading a message in Entourage, you can use a move button to send it to a mail folder. In Mail, you can't.
I could go on. The point is: with Leopard coming and the promise (hope) of more robust editions, now is the time to impress loyal customers with superiority, not tease us with things that disappoint us and send us back to MS.