TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Interactive, Built-in REPL Custom Pane
This section will familiarize you briefly with the user interface additions that Acceλerate for Microsoft 365 brings to your normal Microsoft 365 or Excel user experience.
As an Add-in to Microsoft Excel, Acceλerate for Microsoft 365 becomes accessible via the Acceλerate tab in the top menu bar. Within this tab, you will find all the tools you need to work within the Acceλerate application.
The Acceλerate Ribbon Tab
As with any Excel ribbon tab, the Acceλerate ribbon tab is where you will find all the tools you need to work efficiently in the application. You will see on the tab the following access buttons: λ Lambda, REPL, Log View, and Help.
λ Lambda Button
Under the λ Lambda button you will find a menu listing the four Lambda Functions (explored in Being Productive with Accelerate for Microsoft 365) we have designed for you. When you click on any of these Lambda Functions, the Lambda Editor will open and you can begin creating your custom lambdas.
The REPL Button
The REPL - also known as the “Read-Evaluate-Print-Loop” - provides a place where you can experiment with your lambdas before incorporating them into your workbook. Under this button, you have the choice to Show/Hide REPL Pane, Open ADB REPL in Windows Terminal, or Open Windows Terminal. These are just different options in the way to view and use the REPL. More information about the REPL can be found in Becoming Productive with Acceλerate for Microsoft 365.
The Log View Button
This is how you will access the Console Log for assistance with troubleshooting.
The Help Button
This is where you can find some quick tips and tricks regarding the development of lambdas. At this time, online assistance via this avenue is not available. We recommend referring to this guide for more in depth information.
The Lambda Editor
Acceλerate for Microsoft 365 adds a number of utilities to Excel specific to developing spreadsheets and, very importantly, working with the data behind them. The first of these is the Lambda Editor, which helps you write user-defined functions (“UDF”) that leverage the full power of the Scheme programming language in the context of Excel’s powerful calculation engine.
The Lambda Editor is designed to make it easy to read and write Scheme code that would otherwise be inconvenient to write and edit in the “flattened” form required by Excel’s formula expression language. Acceλerate for Microsoft 365 provides four core UDFs to access Scheme code as an Excel (“XLL”) add-in, and so these UDFs must follow the rules and conventions of UDFs as supported by Excel, as well as live with their limitations.
The Lambda Editor is designed to work within the flow of building a spreadsheet and is therefore implemented as a custom task pane, which appears when you select a cell that contains one of the four Lambda Functions, or click one of the choices in the λ Lambda button. You will see that the Lambda Editor can be condensed to a side tab or expanded out when needed.
The Lambda Editor has three distinct sections: Text Editor, Lambda Arguments, and Formula Preview. The Text Editor section is where you will compose your lambda expressions. It is also the section where you will choose which Lambda Function you will be working with. You will enter the variables to use in your lambda expressions, and see the result of the formula before incorporating it into your spreadsheet in the Lambda Arguments section. The Formula Preview section will show you the “minified” version of your lambda expression - or what it is you will see in the formula bar when you are in the related cell.
The Interactive, Built-in REPL Custom Pane
We have created a built-in REPL pane to make it more convenient for you to experiment with lambda expressions, formulas and functions. The REPL gives you a place to write some Scheme code, submit it to the evaluator, and see the result. This manner of “bottom up” building of software has a rich history and is an expected feature nowadays of most programming environments. We provide it here because it allows you to test ideas and experiment with underlying libraries and features of the language, which in turn will help you write better expressions in the lambda editor.
The Console Log Custom Pane
This will be used primarily for help with troubleshooting any issues you may encounter. Depending on the issue you may experience, we may ask you for the information that you can get from this informational pane.
The Acceλerate File Tab
When you click on the File tab in Excel, you will see an Acceλerate menu option. Clicking this option will provide you with general information about your Acceλerate for Microsoft 365 license and activation status. Use of the Registration and Refresh buttons in this screen will be rare. However, should you open Excel before registering and activating your license, you may use these buttons to assist you with that process. This is also where you would enable verbose logging if needed. Note: we recommend leaving verbose logging disabled, as enabling it will slow down processing time. This should only be used when a member of our Support Team requests information that can only be obtained with this feature enabled.
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