Excel

How strong is the encryption on Microsoft Office documents?

Microsoft Office

Episode 1456

Mike from Riverside, CA

Mike is wondering how good the encryption is in Microsoft Word and Excel documents. Leo says it's actually pretty good and that it's adequate, but not uncrackable. Leo says it's hard to crack stuff on the web when a service can slow the attacker down. But if someone can get a document that's locked and own it, there's nothing to stop them from trying a million passwords a second, and brute-force that document. Having said that, Microsoft has started using strong encryption on documents. The weak link will be the password.

How can I open XLS files?

Enable Trusted Documents

Episode 1365

Stan from Irvine, CA

Stan is having problems opening XLS files due to an error message from the "Trust Center." It'll open the file, but he can't write back to it or save it to his hard drive. Leo says that is Microsoft's security center for excel spreadsheets because it's possible for bad actors to embed commands into an Excel file. There is a workaround for this. Stan can enable all content in the Excel Trust Center settings. But that can be risky if he's unsure of the content in the file he's opening. If he's sure about it, then he'll be OK.

Where can I buy Microsoft Office 2010?

Episode 1283

Rene from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Rene wants to get a copy of Office 2010 and she doesn't want to download it. Leo says that downloading it from Microsoft is completely safe, but she'll need a key to get it. So if work will give her a key, that would be a good thing, and they probably have a business license. She doesn't want the new 2016 version, she wants the older version. Leo says that she can buy Office 2010 at Best Buy. Tiger Direct still sells it also.

How can I learn more about computers quick?

Episode 1227

Joanna from California

Joanna just got a new job but she's worried because she doesn't know much about Excel. Leo says that learning the basic functions of spreadsheets are totally learnable, as is managing email. It's just a matter of doing it. Joanna doesn't need to know how to take apart a computer to use one. Being familiar with Windows is a plus since most businesses use it. Windows 7 is probably what the business uses. If they have Windows 10 and she's not comfortable with that, she could just tell them she's holding off on the update until next month's "Threshold 2" upgrade. That'll score some points.

How can I change the default browser settings in Excel?

Spreadsheet

Episode 1154

Mike from East Vail, CA

Mike always ends up in Internet Explorer when using Excel, even though Google Chrome is his default browser. Leo says there may be a setting within Excel, or in the file association database, that's associating with Explorer. Leo suggests going into the control panel and look in there. He may be able to change it in the settings.

How can I get Excel to work with multiple users?

Episode 1044

Pablo from Los Angeles, CA

Pablo wants to have a single spreadsheet that can be accessed by multiple people. Leo says that's tough because Excel doesn't know which version to save and which to ignore. Google Docs is a good option because it offers version locking.

Office 365 is Microsoft's new online version and Excel can work that way. He can buy the Personal or Business version.

Will I be able to make the switch from Windows to Mac?

Episode 1037

Art and Karen from Nevada

Art's wife talked him into buying a Mac Mini. Can Art make "The Switch?" Leo says that for Art's job, Excel will work just the same on the Mac. What about the iPad? Leo says that there are spreadsheet programs like Apple's Numbers. Not identical to Excel, especially with Macros, but it's doable. What about forms? Leo says that Numbers will read Excel forms, but it may not look the same. So he'll have to clean them up. But once that's done, Art can then save them in the cloud. What about Flash? Can it work in the iPad? Leo says it can't because Apple doesn't support Flash.

Does Excel for Mac have the same functions as the Windows version?

Episode 944

Derek from Los Angeles, CA

Derek has a Mac and needs to use Excel, but has been told the Mac version doesn't handle the advanced functions. Leo says that's not true. There's different key strokes, but it's the same functions. If he has Windows, he could run boot camp and use the Windows' version of Excel. That way he doesn't have to relearn the software. The chatroom reminds him that he'll have separate partitions for both operating systems. He can use VMWare, and run Windows inside of the Mac.