Previous 1 2 3 Next 93 Replies Latest reply: Jan 6, 2014 10:03 PM by Yellowbox
SGIII Level 6 (8,526 points)

Well, somebody has to look on the bright side, to balance the What has been lost in Numbers 3.0 upgrade? thread. 


The new Numbers 3.0 plays better with Numbers for iCloud than the old Numbers, not least because the old Numbers doesn't play with Numbers for iCloud at all any more.


And Numbers 3.0 does bubble charts, something the vast majority of users surely have yearned for. 


What else does Numbers 3.0 actually do better than the old Numbers and its competitors?  Seriously.

Numbers 2.3, 3.0
  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 (29,960 points)

    Some of the menus use larger text and are easier for me to read. That's balanced out by the controls that have no labels at all and you have to guess what they are for. It's a wash in that area, I guess.



  • SGIII Level 6 (8,526 points)

    With all that competition from the "What has been lost..." thread it's getting really, really lonely in this thread!


    Our brains (say those in the field of behavioral finance) are hard-wired to feel "losses" much more than gains of the exact same amount.  So, to test the possibility that maybe we are overweighting our losses relative to our gains here, I set about to do a highly scientific measurement, using a shiny new tool... the bubble chart!


    Here are the, as I say highly scientific, results:




    Now can anybody name any other free app that lets you do a genuine bubble chart on the Mac and take it with you and admire it and modify it on an iPad and bring it back to your Mac?  Or vice versa?


    The 24 "Features lost" were a COUNTIF on Jerry's list in the "What has been lost thread" as it stood at the time I started struggling with figuring out how to do a bubble chart. COUNTIF still works just fine.


    The 9 "Gained" in my admittedly small sample size are:


    - bubble charts (can't forget those)

    - sharing via iCloud

    - crescent moons instead of parentheses in formulas (actually useful to avoid mismatches)

    - star rating cell format

    - filter tables from "right click" in any cell

    - handy Tips

    - chart animation

    - the larger text in menus that Jerry mentioned

    - and another one I forget, but I needed to add something so the second bubble would not be *too* small.


    Others to add to the list? Surely there are more.



  • Johnny Hands Level 1 (15 points)

    I took a look at the Numbers 3.0 Function Browser list and compared it to that of Numbers 2.3, and there are five functions in 3.0, not in 2.3:












    These five are also in the new iOS Numbers 2.0 Function Browser.


    Does this count as five things gained or just one ;-)?

  • Ratz227 Level 1 (15 points)

    One important, to me, function lost in the new Numbers is the way it handles COMMENTS. I have a spreadsheet with a dollar number in a cell. That value is the sum of numerous credit card purchases. Previously, I would add a comment listing all the vendors, dates, and prices. I would leave the Comment open and drag the box to the edge of the spreadsheet. Easy to see the separate charges.


    In the new Numbers, the Comment opens directly above the cell containing it. No way to move it aside. There is room for about 30 characters and 5 rows. No way to resize it. The only way to see what the contents, is to click in the box, and use the scroll arrows to move about. A big problem. Five rows of only 30 characters is not very many. And when I scroill down, obviously text scrolls off the screen above. When the comment is first selected, a scroll box appears for about one second. No way is it there long enough to grab it. And NO way to leave it open.


    Summary: No way to resize. No way to move it aside. No way to leave it open.

  • Johnny Hands Level 1 (15 points)

    A small gain in the function building dept.  When you type an = in the cell, the Inpector on the right makes way to the Function Browser, with the help for the first alphabetic function, ABS, the default selection, below that.


    Two things:


    1) is the fact that the Inspector is at the right of the window automatically, without having to click on the Inspector button at the top right of the window as in Numbers 2.x, another gain for 3.0?


    2) What if, after you typed in enough of the function to tell Numbers which function you're doing, say, after you typed in the left parentheses, e.g., "=INTERSECT.RANGES(", that the function browser at the top would disappear and the function help for that function would come to the top so you could see more of it?  Would this be a worthwhile feature request to make for an Numbers 3.x improvement?

  • SGIII Level 6 (8,526 points)

    Does this count as five things gained or just one ;-)?


    I'll count it as just one. But now that we have that shiny new Star Rating cell format, I'll give it 4 stars, how's that? 


    Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 10.26.40 PM.png


    I would have given it more if it weren't for the fact that I'm a little hazy (another way of saying I haven't a clue) how the new functions might be used, though they clearly exude power.


    I plan to use the star ratings (which maybe under the hood are just 0,1,2,3,4,5, or something like that) as weights to "even the playing field" against that imposing "what has been lost" list Jerry has compiled, maybe even produce an Interactive Chart to wow myself on my iPad. Maybe bubbles can march across the screen and expand and contract to reflect changing star ratings and gained/lost ratio, or some such thing. Gazing at static bubbles is so yesterday!



  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 (29,960 points)



    Love the chart.



  • Yellowbox Level 6 (8,947 points)

    Hi SG,


    Thanks for starting a thread that lists the good features of Numbers 3. There are some good features, many of which have been the basis of discussions in the Numbers forum for some time. Perhaps Apple does take note of user feedback. Some new features make it easier to perform common tasks. For example, we now have the ability to rotate axis labels on charts (graphs) which was only possible by an awkward workaround in Numbers 2 (by using text boxes to cover the non-rotatable axis labels).


    I ask everyone to take some time to play with Numbers 3 with **disposable copies** of their old files, or start with a blank Numbers 3 document. Nobody likes change thrust upon them, but sometimes taking a walk around a new neighbourhood is a good way to take note of good features that were not available in the 'good old' home.


    At first, I could not delete a Table. Click at the top left on the 'move' handle (bullseye) then press the delete key.


    Delete Table.png


    Or delete a Sheet. Click on the Sheet name.


    Delete Sheet.png


    I saw a comment that we can no longer add a shadow to a Table. Oh dear! But a Numbers 3 workaround will do it:




    A bit of lateral thinking suggests inserting a rectangle Shape, add a shadow to the rectangle, then


    Menu > Arrange > Send to Back


    and slide it behind the table.


    Shadow how to.png


    The alignment guides are still there to assist in resizing and moving the rectangle. Turn on the alignment guides in


    Numbers > Preferences > Rulers




    Gosh! We can even change the colour of the alignment guides back the colour they had in Numbers 2.


    Take a walk around the block in Numbers 3 and play with some new documents. See what Numbers 3 has to offer.


    Warning: do not try this with the only copy of an old Numbers document. If you save it in Numbers 3, the conversion is not reversible.





    P.S I could not resist posting a tacky example of my playing in Numbers 3:



  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 (29,960 points)



    Nice summary, and interesting news on the Chart labels.



  • Yellowbox Level 6 (8,947 points)

    Hi SG,


    What else does Numbers 3.0 actually do better than the old Numbers and its competitors?  Seriously.


    Yes, let's be positive. Keep this thread alive.


    1. Another feature added to Numbers 3. As well as comments attached to Table Cells (as in Numbers 2), we can now add a comment to a Chart (graph), a Shape or a Text Box. Select the object then click on the Comment button in the Toolbar. A coloured square shows that a comment is attached to that object.


    If nothing is selected, a comment box will appear on the canvas and can be moved by dragging (as in Numbers 2).


    Neither the comment nor the square will print (which I think is the right way).


    2. Yet another feature (I learnt this from the Pages forum) is an easier way to manage Templates. In Template Chooser, right click (or control click) on one of My Templates. Rename or delete. No more hunting for the hidden My Templates folder. Good move, Apple!


    Hint: if you have set Numbers 3 preferences to open a preferred Template upon startup (or Menu > File > New), you will need to hold down the good old option key to see New From Template Chooser in the File Menu.


    Perhaps other users could try the option key, or other modifier keys as they play around in Numbers 3. Maybe more secrets will be revealed for reporting to this thread.


    Nobody likes change thrust upon them. However, with lots of perseverance and patience we can learn how Numbers 3 does things differently from Numbers 2.


    I must admit I prefer Numbers 2, but here is an example of a reasonably acceptable scientific graph in Numbers 3.


    Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 12.56.55 am.png


    I had to play around to change the view from Numbers 3 defaults. But I found that the the Numbers 3 defaults are no worse than the default Excel paradigm of salesmen in North, East, South and West districts reporting on sales for each quarter year! (Yuk.)




  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 (29,960 points)



    If you are willing to serve, I would like to appoint you** to keep the list of improvements. As you must know, I've made a list of what's gone. You could do improvements, and if you don't mind, a list of things that are simply hidden, and where they are now.




    **Not that I have any authority

  • SGIII Level 6 (8,526 points)



    These is helpful pointers. All is not lost. I figure, best to look on the bright side just in case, as the the movie title goes, it's "As Good as It Gets." I figure with all the new users coming in from iOS, where the real growth for Apple is these days, maybe by popular demand Numbers 3 will get better, though I must say it's been a bit of a shock on the Mac (it is better now on iOS).


    @Jerry We know you have authority.   Ian, should he choose to accept the mission, could take over the table underlying the bubble chart and perhaps even "share" it on iCloud so we can all watch the bubbles grow. The sharing and dynamic charts must be good for *something*.  With sharing is it possible to set up permissions where only one person can edit? Or does everybody who has the link share in editing privileges? The traffic seems to have exploded here in the discussions and that would not work. Curation is needed by someone who knows the old and new Numbers well. Ian?



  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 (29,960 points)

    I haven't stepped into the sharing pond, so I know little of its workings.



  • Yellowbox Level 6 (8,947 points)

    Hi Jerry,


    It's a deal.


    I now call upon all users to post to this thread (started by SG) any improvements that Numbers 3 has over Numbers 2.


    It will make my job easier if:


    • you post here (I can not search all threads);
    • you confine your comments to improvements;
    • you can reveal hidden improvements (without complaining that Numbers Help did not tell us);
    • any tips or tricks you have found to work around anything that appears (for the time being) to be missing.


    Please do not use this a whinge thread. We have enough of those. This thread is for those who have discovered the charm of Numbers 3 and want to help other people.


    Warning: if you have downloaded Numbers 3, beware of opening and then saving old documents in Numbers 3. Conversion back to Numbers 2 may not keep all the features of your Numbers 2 documents (even with Menu > File > Export To  > Numbers'09).


    Hint: if you are looking for your Numbers'09 (Numbers 2) app, it is in your Applications folder, inside a folder called iWork'09. You can run both versions of Numbers at the same time. Just be sure which one you are using (Menu > Numbers > About Numbers) before saving.


    I am using Numbers 2.3 and Numbers 3.0 on a Mac running OS X Mavericks (10.9). I know very little about iOS, so you will need to explain to other iOS users




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