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Add HTML field editing to Excel for Work Items

When viewing/editing TFS work items in Excel, fields that are HTML type fields are read-only for existing work items. See the following blog:

Please modify TFS or Excel to allow cells to contain and allow editing of this HTML data in the next Visual Studio release.

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    Chris Beers shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    We don’t want to allow the user to modify the actual HTML in Excel. We have considered this scenario, but we think that the validity of the data is more important than the bulk update scenario.

    Ewald Hofman
    Program Manager, Team Foundation Server


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      • Serge commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If my team can't be productive enough then TFS is not the correct product. But thanks for trying!!

      • Francesco Sclano commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I understood that HTML is not managed in Excel but in the below link I just ask to properly manage a trivial carriage return (new line) inside the text of an Excel cell and the asnwer was "won't fix"!!!

        I proposed to use TFS in a very big IT project and then I discovered this not documented bug. Furthermore when I ask to resolve this bug, Microsoft asnwers "wont'f fix". I would like to know how Microsoft can justify this bug directly to TFS users ... it is too easy a simply "won't fix"!!!

      • JM commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I do not understand why this was declined. I am more prone to making mistakes by manually and painstakingly copying/pasting descriptions than I am by doing it through bulk.

      • Brad Leach commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Declined? Really? I'm trying to copy 600 test cases from one team project to another. It stinks that we don't have a good tool to copy between projects already, but I thought I could do this task via Excel. Now I see the Steps are separated via HTML formatting. Since it strips the formatting, all the Steps end up as one mega Step. Geez. Please reconsider this request

      • Paul commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        At a company that uses Excel for everything. Not having ability to edit description in bulk, not even line breaks totally ruins the data.

      • Andy Reynolds commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Any update? Our stories contain detailed, structured description fields that become very difficult to read when changing any value of the story through excel. This effectively means we need to keep separate lists!

      • Karen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Any update on this? I need a way to edit the HTML fields through the Excel Addin. At a minimum, i need a way to enter a carriage return in Excel that is maintained when published to VSTS.

      • John Henckel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You are wrong. Bulk upload is much more important than ensuring validity. The users of bulk upload are obviously power users. They know how to validate their own data. They don't need to be coddled by the tool. i agree with other posters, we NEED a minimal set of HTML tags. How about bold and line breaks. How about markdown, for crying out loud! Using the web interface to edit dozens of Stories is too tedious.

      • Ann Neel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Authors need to maintain user stories in a format that is readable by the business. For those of us working in an IT shop in a non-IT industry, we cannot expect the business to use TFS; they need a Word document.

        There is a work-around for carriage returns within a user story pasting to multiple rows in Excel, as found here:
        But this doesn't solve the other formatting issues of bolding, bulleted or numbered lists, etc.

        With these formatting issues, the bulk upload and download with Excel still requires us to essentially key user stories in two places. You should either fix the formatting lost in the bulk download and upload, possibly by interfacing with Word tables instead of Excel, or you need to create an output document from TFS for user reading.

        Declining such a request forces us to look for a third party add-on tool or to ditch TFS for a competitors tool. This is lost business, short-sighted at the very least.

      • Tony Danza commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is insane logic. This effectively blocks my ability to bulk upload requirements into TFS, since many are multi-line.

      • Peter Johnson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please consult with the community about this one. I think the data is invalid if you strip the most basic formatting from the text being edited.

        Can you at least maintain line feeds (New Lines, Carriage Returns) in the formatting?

        Ideally it would minimally support Bold, Italic, Underline, Line Feeds.

        The behavior is very inconsistent, on first bulk loading of the data line feeds are maintained but on subsequent edits it strips all of the line feeds out.

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