Adobe LeanPrint initial test in Excel
Downloading and installing LeanPrint
LeanPrint is compatible with Excel 2007 and 2010. Mac is not currently supported.
The download and install ran through easily with no issues.
Running LeanPrint in Excel
After downloading LeanPrint, the functionality is instantly available in Excel (I was using Excel 2010). The add in gives you access to a secondary print option, with the standard printing moved to "Conventional Print":
You then have the option to choose either Super Saver (Which aims to save both paper and ink) or Toner Saver (just ink).
Once you've made your selection, LeanPrint then runs through optimising the document for printing.
The first thing that hits you is that it takes a while to get there. For me printing from Excel is one of those things that you expect to be instant. Using LeanPrint in Excel you will need to be a little patient. Admittedly 1-2 minutes isn't a huge wait, but it certainly feels like it when you are busy and waiting for a print to come out.
Using LeanPrint in Excel certainly delivers on the Toner Saver option as you can see from the results below, however bare in mind that this is being achieved by printing in an enhanced draft quality and grey scale.
I'm not sure if I just missed the point with the super saver option but it didn't seem to deliver much on any of the spreadsheets that I use regularly. This may of course be because they are already set up to print optimally.
So far, it looks like a great tool for improving and automating draft quality printing and if the savings numbers it reports stack up it should easily cover the $99 fee within a year if you are an average business user.
I'm going to continue to use the add in during the 30 day trial and will post updates via Twitter (@HowToExcel) and this blog once I've had more of a play.
Simple Test Results
23 multipage Excel spreadsheet with a mixture of graphs, tables and text:
1 page dashboard with 8 Pivot Charts:
(nb all savings are as estimated by the software, I have not independently verified the savings)
Environmentally friendly add in for Microsoft Excel
Adobe have launched Adobe LeanPrint, software designed to make printing from Microsoft Excel "lean, clean and green" offering a possible 40% saving on printing costs.
Adobe LeanPrint plugs into Excel (as well as the other Office applications and Adobe products) via an add in. The software offers various printing modes using new Adobe technology to reduce the amount of ink used and "print-optimise" Excel spreadsheets by reformatting their layout.
Here are some of the key benefits according to Adobe:
Super Saver mode - Conveniently optimise Excel spreadsheets for printing without losing vital content or readability with a single click.
Measure savings instantly - Get a clear picture of the money saved on each print job in the Excel print preview.
Hassle-free printing from Microsoft Excel - Eliminate the tedium of printing large tables or multisheet files in Microsoft Excel.
Smarter printing of charts - Retain the impact and meaning of charts in Microsoft Excel. Adobe LeanPrint replaces resource-intensive colours and grey areas with unique patterns to substantially reduce toner use without sacrificing the meaning.
Toner Saver mode - Take advantage of intelligent printing techniques to significantly reduce toner consumption without impacting the layout of your Excel spreadsheet.
If the software can really deliver the 40% saving claimed without reducing the value of printing for the user this could be a real money saver for larger organisations and hopefully do some good for the environment in the process. I can't imagine that the likes of HP and Epson will be too thrilled though.
Full review coming soon.
You can follow us on Twitter @HowToExcel.
Hadoop + Excel = Powerful business intelligence toolset?
Microsoft and Hortonworks are extending their partnership to develop an enhanced Hive ODBC (open database connectivity) driver. This enhanced driver will enable users of the open source Hadoop database and Hive data warehousing tools to use Excel as their presentation tool.
Microsoft showed its initial support for the Hadoop project last year when it announced it would work with Hotonworks on developing a windows server compatible version of Hadoop. Microsoft are now taking the next logical step and opening up their market leading spreadsheet software to Hadoop users.
Using the power and flexibility of Pivot Tables and Powerpivot, an Excel user will be able to interrogate, analyse and summarise vast amounts of data held in Hadoop and then output the results to decision makers via Excel based reports.
This is clearly a significant step forward for Hadoop who stated on their website:
"We have stated on many occasions our vision that Apache Hadoop will process half of the world’s data within the next five years (or less). The Microsoft contributions are a very important step in making that vision a reality."
It also has the potential to be a significant development for business users as Windows based businesses now have another open source database solution to consider when making those all important data warehousing decisions.
To keep up to date on developments follow us on Twitter @HowToExcel.
Microsoft Excel coming soon to a tablet near you
Microsoft is putting its new operating system Windows 8 on show at an event in Barcelona today. It will then be made publicly available for testing. All very interesting but why should we really care?
Microsoft Vista's woes highlighted the importance of a sensibly thought out operating system and what can go wrong, but Windows 7 seems to work OK so what will Windows 8 bring to the table?
The question in fact should be what does it bring to the tablet? The answer: The office suite.
Excited? You should be!
According to Bill Rigby of Reuters, Windows 8 will work on Intel processors for PCs and laptops and also on ARM processors for tablets and smart phones. A Windows tablet offering business users seamless compatability with their existing office suite presses all the right buttons.
Portable touchscreen Excel spreadsheets, now that's what I'm talking about.
How to use the IFERROR formula in Excel 2007
Formula overview : IFERROR()
Before this great new formula came along you needed to use the following formula to manage errors in Excel:
Whilst this worked perfectly well you ended up with a long and sometimes difficult to audit formula. Also because of the repetition of the original formula it was inefficient.
For Excel 2007 Microsoft came up with the the following new formula:
A great step forward from Microsoft.
The next step for the Microsoft team will be to build the error handler into the original formulae themselves. Fingers crossed...
Auto run a macro on open or on close in Excel
You can set a macro to run when an excel workbook is opened or when it is closed. This is particularly useful for setting protection or hiding/unhiding specific worksheets.
In order for an on-open or on-close macro to work you need to enter the code into the Excel workbook rather than in a module:
In VB explorer (ALT + F11 to open) > Microsoft Excel objects > This workbook.
Type the following into the code window for action on open:
Private Sub Workbook_Open()
ENTER YOUR CODE
or the following for on close:
Private Sub Workbook_BeforeClose(Cancel As Boolean)
ENTER YOUR CODE