Excel - Advantages to Table Feature in Excel 2007?

Asked By Jugglertwo on 25-Jan-10 08:26 PM
I have a question that I have never had to deal with as an Office 2000-2007
Trainer at my company. One of our departments needs to know how to use the
various Excel 2007 features. One thing on their list is the Excel 2007 Table

1) It seems like an interesting option that automates many of Excel's
features. I typically do not use the Table feature and teach how to do the
various options without using the Table option.
This upcoming training has me thinking. Should I just teach the Table option
and not worry about the students understanding many of the underlining
automated features like naming the table, calculations using the =subtotal
functions, various formatting?
What are the advantages and/or disadvantages to the Table feature for a
basic Excel user? Does it automate too much?
Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!

T. Valko replied to Jugglertwo on 25-Jan-10 10:01 PM
Just my opinion so consider it for what it is worth!

There are 3 types of spreadsheet "consumers".

Number crunchers (like me!)
Paper shufflers (people who put together reports)
Managers, executives (they read the reports of the numbers I crunch)

What kind of info you want to include in your training materials depends on
who your audience is.

From my perspective, a spreadsheet starts with a good solid understanding of
how to crunch numbers. So, I'd want more training on formulas. If I was a
paper shuffler I'd want more training on things like tables, pivot tables,
charts. If I was a manager/executive I probably would not be too concerned
with any of that. I'd just want a "pretty" report!

You might want to include a little bit of everything but if your audience
leans one way or the other include more info depending on which way they

Personally, I rarely use tables, pivot tables. In my line of work they seem
very limited in scope (not much good for anything beyond very basic stats).
But on the other hand, some people use tables/pivot tables for everything!

Microsoft Excel MVP