Function name changes in Excel 2010


Office for Mere Mortals
Your beginners guide to the secrets of Microsoft Office
Invalid email address
Tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook from Microsoft Office experts.  Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office for Mere Mortals has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy

Excel 2010 changes function names like STDEV and VAR partly for Microsoft’s own benefit.

Excel 2010 has revamped all the Standard Deviation STDEV and VAR functions with the old version ‘deprecated’ or demoted.

There is now STDEV.S and STDEV.P for the sample and population versions of the function.

STDEV and STDEVP are still available for compatibility with Excel 2007 and previous version of Excel so there’s no need to rewrite your worksheets. However you will need to be careful using the new form functions in any worksheet that might be opened in an earlier version of Excel.

Similarly the VAR and VARP functions are retained for compatibility with new names VAR.S and VAR.P apparently preferred.

There is apparently NO difference in the functions themselves – only the naming has changed.

STDEVA, STDEVPA, VARA and VARPA are unchanged from earlier versions of Excel. They also calculate standard deviation but include logical values and text. Text and FALSE logicals have the value zero while TRUE equals 1.

Why the name change for STDEV.S and STDEV.P with the addition of the dot? It’s part of a new Microsoft initiative to make Excel function naming more consistent. In a complex worksheet it easy to mistake STDEV and STDEVP so adding the dot might help readability.

But if Redmond was truly interested in consistency why are the ‘A’ versions of the same functions unchanged? Surely we should now have STDEVA.S and STDEVA.P or even STDEV.A.S and STDEV.A.P ?

 

The new form functions are given prominence as you type with the old versions at the bottom with a warning icon against them.

1339 Excel 2010 list of STDEV functions as you type - Function name changes in Excel 2010

This makes it easier for the unwary to choose the new name and lose the broader compatibility.

 


The Corporate Agenda

Another benefit to Microsoft (not users) is to make Excel worksheets less compatible with rival products.  It might not have been the prime reason for the change but it certainly helps Microsoft that two common statistical functions now have names that OpenOffice and Google Docs don’t recognize? 

And it’s another little encouragement for people to buy Excel 2010 too.

subs profile e1563205311409 - Function name changes in Excel 2010
Latest news & secrets of Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office experts give you tips and help for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.  Office Watch has been running for over 20 years, we've never, ever revealed or sold subscriber details.  Privacy policy
Invalid email address