Bill Jelen's Sternly Written Policy on Posting Your Worksheet to the MrExcel Message Board

January 24, 2020 - by Bill Jelen

Bill Jelen's Sternly Written Policy on Posting Your Worksheet to the MrExcel Message Board

Effective January 9, 2020, there are two acceptable ways to post your worksheet to the MrExcel Message Board: (1) Paste a screenshot or (2) post code generated by the official XL2BB.xlam add-in developed by Suat M Ozgur (aka smozgur at the board). I will not support any other methods for posting worksheets to the board—and I'll tell you why.

As of this writing, there are 5 million posts at this board. From 2009 to 2019, we welcomed various methods of posting to the board. I loved the creativity of Colo, Richard, Excel Jeannie, HTMLMaker, and others.

However, during 2019, when we were planning on converting from vBulletin to Xenforo, converting from HTML to BBCode, we discovered around 200,000 spreadsheets posted to the board using 36 different styles. My goal is to preserve every single contribution because it enriches the community. We had to write code to convert each old style to the new style.

Keep in mind that we had to do all the conversions in one weekend to minimize the time the board was down.

We were able to convert 120,000 posts using the converter code. However, 80,000 posts still need to be manually cleaned because they don't follow the convention of any known spreadsheet maker's software.

Let that sink in: 80,000 posts. If you could fix the code for 1 post every 5 minutes, it would take you 3.2 years to get through all the posts. Or it would mean a lot of boring work for our new team of temporary workers.


MrsExcel will tell you that I never think ahead. I never think about the consequences of my crazy whims. Never. I also won't let something go. Those 80,000 posts must be fixed.

But today, I am going to think ahead. Ten years from now, HTML5 will become HTMLX. The web will be different. There will come a day when Xenforo is obsolete, and we decide to move to some other software. I don't want smozgur, in 2030 to face another monumental cleanup task like this one.

I generally have a pretty laissez-faire attitude. Do whatever you want. Do what makes the community happy. But in this instance, I am sternly setting the rule that the MrExcel board will only render code created by XL2BB. If you post a spreadsheet produced by some other code, we will render that as a #VALUE! error. (I was going to call it a #RENDER! error, but this is an Excel board, and I generally try to be funny, so #VALUE! it is.)

If there is something you need that XL2BB is not doing, write to me at the address in the screenshot below with your feature request, and we will consider adding it.

Email Address

For those creative souls who feel compelled to write their own versions of code to post, could you direct that creative energy toward helping solve the 80,000 broken posts problem?

Thanks for reading this. Thanks for hanging out here at MrExcel. Thanks for your contributions to the Excel community and, in particular, to the MrExcel world. And thanks for understanding the need for my sternly worded policy. I really love what I do. I have enjoyed creating and building our relationships and hope and plan to continue this site for the rest of my life. Thanks, and have a great day.

-Bill Jelen, founder of

Left Cover Photo: Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash
Right Cover Photo: Jen Theodore on Unsplash
Workers Photo: Chris Curry on Unsplash

Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of:
Advanced Excel Techniques - Online Course

Understanding data is crucial, and the easiest place to start is with Microsoft Excel. In this guide, I've compiled advanced skills and formulas in Excel that you should know to analyze and understand your data easier and faster.