Rainbow 9.3 for Excel 2016

Rainbow 9.3 for Excel 2016

Microsoft have always said that VBA (the language in which Rainbow is written) will be supported for the foreseeable future. However, it’s not uncommon for there to be a few teething problems with the VBA implementation in a major new release such as Office 2016. This happened with Office 2010, where there was an issue which interfered with Rainbow’s Inter-Sheet Logic function.

Office 2016 has some great new features, but the implementation of Excel VBA struggles with turning off screen updating. This is key to most serious add-ins like Rainbow Analyst; it enables the code to run much faster by relieving the processor of having to update the screen every time a cell is updated or a different sheet is selected. In previous versions of Excel this has worked quite smoothly, but in (the 64-bit version of) Excel 2016, screen updating cannot be turned off when a new workbook or worksheet is added.

With Rainbow 9.3 we have developed various workarounds to solve this problem; you will notice the screen flashing a few times at the start of some Rainbow functions, but it will then settle down and it won’t affect the speed or the results that Rainbow generates. And we’ve also fixed a couple of startup issues, so the Rainbow installer will now activate Rainbow for 64-bit as well as 32-bit versions of Excel, and Rainbow will automatically offer to try to change the Excel security settings to enable access to the “Visual Basic Object Model” (VBOM, see the Rainbow help documentation for more information on this).

One further minor problem in Excel 2016 concerns the status bar at the bottom of the Excel window, where Rainbow displays progress information (e.g. “Analysing sheet Inputs”). If you find that this progress information is almost unreadable (because it is shown in black text on a dark green background), this is because your copy of Office is using the default “Colorful” theme. To resolve this issue, click the File tab, then Options, and (on the General page) under “Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office”, change the Office Theme to “White” or “Dark Gray”, then click OK.

As you can see in the screenshot above, as well as updating for Excel 2016, we have added a few new features to the Summary Report and the Risk Map (and Logic Analysis) functions. In the Risk Map and Logic Analysis functions, we have added a new button to enable you to select all the risks or issues that are specific to individual cells (i.e. excluding those that are used to generate a map of the worksheet as a whole).

And in the Summary Report, we have changed column C of the worksheet analysis to show (a shortened form of) the original name for each worksheet, e.g. Sheet1 or Chart1. This can often give you some useful information about the history of the workbook and the order in which sheets were developed. And on row 11 we are now showing the name of the VBA project in the workbook; often this will simply be “VBAProject”, but in some workbooks it reflects the original name of the workbook.

Rainbow 9.3 continues to be compatible with all older versions of Excel back to Excel 2007, so you can use it with confidence with any version of Excel that employs the ribbon menu system. Why not try it now; we think you’ll be impressed!

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