The web based GUI for MS CRM 4.0 offers essentially the same user interface to edit picklist attribute values as version 3. There's a tidy web form with all the buttons you'd expect in order to manage individual values (add, edit, delete, etc.), but if you want to add a range of values, say copy and paste them from an Excel spreadsheet, you'll be forced either to add them one-at-a-time, or to use one of the tools out there to generate xml to paste into the right place in your entity definition.
There is a very nice web based tool to help you do just that, but unfortunately anyone creating new entities or customizing existing ones will have to be comfortable manually editing those xml entity files - not something everyone may be happy to do.
The screen capture below demonstrates an alternative: customizing the edit attribute form to add an "edit all" button that allows multiple picklist value / label pairs to be edited and copied at once. In this example, I'm setting up an entity to manage NAICS codes. Rather than having to enter the 20 economic sector codes one-by-one, I can simply copy and paste the value / labels pairs from a spreadsheet.
In follow up posts to this one, I'll go over the details of how to set this up. This will involve creating a new aspx page and writing code to do the behind the scenes work.