Microsoft Hopes to Offer Proactive Working Experiences with New Excel Features

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Microsoft improves Excel with new features for enhanced work efficiency across web, Mac, and Windows. Updates include data editing in the Chart Task Pane, hyperlinks in comments, and improved conditional formatting. These enhancements aim to provide a seamless experience and support users in data analysis.

In April, Microsoft Corp. reportedly introduced a slew of new features and improvements in Excel across the web, Mac, and Windows.

Adding these new features is part of the company’s effort to augment customer experience while also providing more efficient and productive ways to work with Excel, according to Neowin. Microsoft consistently adds new features to Excel, especially targeting organisations that already leverage Microsoft’s tech stack.

Recently, the company issued a roundup detailing the new functionalities it has brought into Excel this April. With new functionalities consistently being introduced, Excel for the web is quickly getting the same treatment as the desktop version, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft has reported that the Chart Task Pane of Excel for the web now supports data editing. This new edition allows users to edit a chart’s data range, delete a series, or choose which axis to plot their data on.

According to Microsoft, this long-requested and coveted feature is currently being rolled out to production. Microsoft users now have the capability to add hyperlinks in comments and reference a source—a webpage, document, or spreadsheet—while in conversation with others.

By leveraging and optimising the comparison algorithm, Excel now allows users to efficiently filter for or conditionally format unique or duplicate values in cells. In addition, Excel users can remove “unwanted fragmenting of conditional formatting rules”.

“When a workbook is opened, this feature will merge those fragmented conditional formatting rules that are identical, within a contiguous range of cells, and with unchanged priority ordering,” explained Microsoft. “It excludes rules whose evaluation relies on a selection range like Above or Below average, Unique or Duplicate, Gradients, etc., and rules in PivotTables.”

With the latest update for the Insiders Channel of Excel for Windows, the easily customisable Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) is displayed by default in the upper-left corner above the ribbon and contains the long-requested Redo, Undo, and Save commands.

In addition, Microsoft has confirmed that the Reducing Unwanted Fragmenting of Conditional Formatting Rules functionality is still in the roll-out phase for Excel’s Current Channel of Insiders program for Mac and Windows users.

With more than 750 million users globally, Microsoft Excel has long been considered the leading spreadsheet platform when it comes to efficiently formatting, organising, and calculating data.

Bringing out new functionalities and equipping Excel with AI is part of the company’s effort to enable users to efficiently analyse and recapitulate a massive trove of data. For example, the company has announced the integration of 365 Copilot with Excel in order to streamline complex tasks.

In January, it also announced the rollout of the Automate Tab to Excel for Windows and Mac. With this new Power Automate tab, desktop users can now generate, modify and schedule Office scripts to automate their repetitive spreadsheet tasks or workflows.

However, despite introducing multiple upgrades and enhancements, creating stunning charts and graphs with Microsoft Excel is still an arduous process.

For example, some charts and graphical elements frequently used by professionals are not natively available even with the latest versions of Microsoft Excel. As a result, users have to take the time-consuming manual approach.

For professionals looking to create presentations with great-looking charts efficiently and in a short time, leveraging a high-end PowerPoint add-in like think-cell is a sensible decision.

By adding new features and functionalities to Excel each month, Microsoft is committed to delivering proactive and seamless experience to users while working with this leading spreadsheet software program.