About Ramesh

Product Manager of Zoho Sheet.

New in Zoho Sheet: Insert Buttons, XLSX Support, Time Zone Preference

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Zoho Sheet underwent an update last week with some cool functionality. Here are the new features in this update:

  1. Insert Button:

    Buttons which trigger VBA macros can now be inserted into your spreadsheets in Zoho. This opens up a lot of possibilities to create spreadsheet based applications. We would love to see what kind of spreadsheets you create using this. Here is a simple BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator with buttons embedded below. Just fill in your details and hit the calculate button.

    To insert a button, look for “Insert Button” under the Insert icon (plus icon) on the
    toolbar. You can then assign an existing macro to it or assign a new one by
    writing a VBA macro or by just recording a macro.

  2. Full XLSX Support:

    Earlier we supported import of xlsx files (Microsoft Excel’s file format since 2007). Now we support export to xlsx as well. Our APIs too support this new format.

  3. Time Zone Preference:

    We now respect your time zone preference and display the date and time accordingly. TODAY() and NOW() functions will give out the date/time based on your time zone setting. You can set your timezone preference by clicking on “Account Settings > My Account” link available on the top bar. You can also visit http://accounts.zoho.com and set your preferences which will be used across the various Zoho services.

Apart from the above, there are some enhancements and bug fixes as well. Refer our What’s New page for more information.

PS: Zoho Sheet is now on Twitter. Follow us @zohosheet.

Microsoft Excel 2007 (XLSX) Support & Other Enhancements In Zoho Sheet

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Zoho Sheet underwent few updates in the last couple of months after our Freeze panes update. Here are the highlights:


XLSX File Format Support

We recently added support for Excel 2007 file format (.xlsx). You can now import your xlsx spreadsheets to Zoho Sheet and edit them or publish them online. However, exporting to xlsx format is not yet supported. It will come in a future update, after which xlsx files will be supported via our Remote API too.


Collaboration Enhancements

When multiple people are collaborating on a spreadsheet at the same time, we now display who is working on which cell. Each collaborator is given a color code, and we highlight the cell which the user is working on using that color. When you hover the mouse over that cell, it displays the name of the collaborator. We have also fixed certain issues in real time collaboration. 


Cell Comment Enhancements

The cell comments user interface has been enhanced. Some pressing issues in cell comments have been fixed as well.

Apart from the above changes, we have done some performance improvements and bug fixes as well. Refer our What’s New page for more information.

IPL Gadgets for Cricket Fans – Powered by Zoho Sheet

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We are huge Cricket fans here at Zoho. With IPL (Indian Premier League) fever upon us, we couldn’t resist creating some gadgets for IPL, with Zoho Apps of course.

We created few gadgets using Zoho Sheet for IPL which automatically gathers IPL information. These gadgets can be embedded on your website or blog.

Here is a gadget that displays IPL 2009 Standings


A more comprehensive Spreadsheet with additional information is available here.

This Sheet can infact be added to iGoogle as well.

If you like these gadgets, you can embed these on your website or blog. You can find the gadgets and the corresponding HTML code to embed here (hosted on Zoho Wiki).

http://iplt20.wiki.zoho.com/IPL-Gadgets.html

If you are interested in how these gadgets were created, here is some information.

These are basically live gadgets created using Zoho Sheet and are updated without any manual intervention in Zoho Sheet. Here is how we have used the various cool features in Zoho Sheet:

  1. The above Points TableĀ is automatically updated from cricbuzz.com by using our Link External Data (HTML page) feature in Zoho Sheet,
  2. The Points Table cell range has been published using the Publish Range feature, and
  3. The Charts have been published using the Publish Charts
    functionality in Zoho Sheet.

Zoho Sheet automatically fetches the
external data at 1400 hrs PST daily and the published charts and tables are
automatically updated as the data changes. These are just few gadgets we created and we are sure you can get even more creative with some of these features in Zoho Sheet.

If you follow the league as passionately as we do, you might find these gadgets useful.

Freeze Panes in Zoho Sheet

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We are glad to announce the support for Freeze panes in Zoho Sheet. This one was pending for a long time and was the most requested feature by our users. We hope you find it useful. You can now freeze up to the first 5 rows and/or 5 columns. For more information, refer our What’s New page.

Here is a public spreadsheet with Freeze panes – http://sheet.zoho.com/public/zohosheet/superstoresales

Here is a video on how to use Freeze Panes in Zoho Sheet:

There were other enhancements and issue fixes done in the last couple of months. Some of the highlights include:

  • Save Chart as an Image
  • Performance Improvements, especially noticeable on Internet Explorer
  • API Enhancements
  • Issue Fixes

Refer this page for more details.

Keep using Zoho Sheet and let us know your valuable feedback.

Zoho Viewer – APIs and Office 2007 formats

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Zoho Viewer API

We are happy to announce APIs for Zoho Viewer.

The Zoho
Viewer API enables you to integrate your service/application with Zoho
Viewer so that you can let your users view office documents online
using just the web browser. The supported file formats are listed here.

Here is the API documentation: http://api.wiki.zoho.com/Viewer.html

Open IT Online makes use of our Zoho Viewer API. There are other services too that are working on integrating Zoho Viewer with their applications. In case you need any assistance using our APIs, kindly get in touch with us by sending an email to api@zohocorp.com.

Support for Microsoft Office 2007 formats

We have also added support for Microsoft Office 2007 formats – docx, xlsx and pptx – in Zoho Viewer some time back. These formats are also supported via our APIs.

Hope you like these new additions to Zoho Viewer.

Popular Public Zoho Sheets Causing Slowdown: Update

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Zoho Sheet was painfully slow for around 6 hours from Sunday 8:30 pm PST to Monday 2:30 am PST. We apologize for the slow response time. This happened basically due to a huge number of requests (hundreds of thousands) to couple of public spreadsheets which were linked to from a popular website. We restored the site to normalcy by redirecting public spreadsheet views to a different part of the infrastructure there by reducing load on our servers serving regular users.

We hadn’t anticipated that a spreadsheet (we are not talking about a popular video here!) would get hundreds of thousands of views in a matter of a few hours. We are working to speed up and avoid such performance bottlenecks when public spreadsheets become very popular. It is not a difficult problem to solve (caching), just one we didn’t anticipate.

Again, we apologize for the intermittent issues and slow response times in Zoho Sheet last night. Until we put in a permanent solution (about 2 weeks), please contact us at support to let us know if you expect your spreadsheet or document is going to get a lot of page views, so we can plan ahead and redirect the traffic accordingly.

Mashup with External Data in Zoho Sheet

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Zoho Sheet has this “Link External Data” functionality, which can be used to mashup with data on the web. It can sync your Zoho spreadsheet with data in public CSV files, HTML tables and RSS feeds. Zoho Sheet will basically fetch data periodically from the configured URL and update the spreadsheet automatically. You can then analyze on the external data by applying formulas or drawing charts. You can also publish / embed the resultant chart or a specific range or the whole spreadsheet. It gives you ample possibilities to mashup data from the web. A word of caution: While fetching data periodically from external websites, especially HTML pages, make sure you agree to the terms and conditions of the website.

Here is a short presentation which walks you through the various steps involved in configuring External Data in Zoho Sheet. It takes an example of automatic import of data from a public Zoho Creator view. The same can be done on a private Zoho Creator view by enabling private permalinks in Zoho Creator.

(view the presentation in full screen for better clarity)

Are you using this feature already? If so, let us know how you are using it.