Around this time, Excel really blew it. Starting in late 2018, I ran into a serious bug. Every time I tried to sort columns of data alphabetically or from highest to lowest, Excel crashed. I am not the only person who encountered this bug—at least four other members of the Quartz newsroom reported having this issue. This was a real breakdown in our relationship. I lost important work when it crashed. The bug is fixed by updating your version of Excel, but this is a hassle, and something you never have to worry about with Sheets. Because Sheets lives in the cloud rather than on your local computer, bugs are immediately fixed for everyone who uses Sheets.

But maybe it was me who changed. In the years since I started my relationship with Excel, I began using the statistical programming language R for complicated calculations and making charts (it’s undeniably better than Excel for that kind of work). This left me needing spreadsheets for only the simplest tasks. That said, if you haven’t learned a coding language like R, Python or Julia, Excel is probably still a little better than Sheets for statistical, graphical, or financial analyses.

Whatever happened to me and Excel, I will always cherish the time we had together. But it’s time to move on.

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