Do Anything with Text in Formulas


inspector text is currently compatible with Excel 97 and later. Compatibility with Excel 97 and 2000 requires an XLA file, inspector text.xla.

Excel 2002/XP and later allow eliminating that file by moving to a "COM Add-In" architecture (COM Add-Ins were introduced in Excel 2000, but it was not possible to do custom worksheet functions in COM Add-Ins until Excel 2002/XP).

Eliminating the XLA file by going to a COM Add-In would simplify programming and maintenance. However, maintaining two versions -- one with an XLA file for Excel 97 and 2000, and one as a COM Add-In for Excel 2002 and later -- would be too much extra work.

Eventually I plan to move to a COM Add-In, dropping compatibility with Excel 97 and 2000. But not until the number of inspector text users who want to use it with Excel 97 or  2000 is extremely small.

It's all but impossible to get a good read on how many inspector text users would want to use it with what versions of Excel. But the evidence indicates that hardly anyone is still regularly using Excel 97, and only a tiny percent are still on Excel 2000. As of early 2009, the majority are still on Excel 2003, with Excel 2007 in a strong 2nd place, and Excel 2002/XP a distant 3rd.

I tentatively plan to continue compatibility with Excel 97 and 2000 until 2012, when moving to a COM Add-In would still be compatible with the previous 10 years' worth of Excel versions (Excel 2002/XP and later). But if Excel 2000 usage drops to almost nothing like Excel 97 usage has, I might do it sooner.

Whenever I do drop compatibility with Excel 97 and 2000, the last version compatible with them would still be available on this web site until any demand for it is long gone. But there would be no further updates to that version.


What does all this mean to you?

If you are using inspector text on Excel 97 or 2000, and plan to continue doing so for some time, or if for some other reason it's important to you that inspector text remain compatible with Excel 97 and/or 2000, let me know.


Download inspector text for Excel 97, 2000, 2002/XP, 2003, 2007, and later






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