What’s NEW in Excel

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Posted by: briansittley Comments: 0 0 Post Date: June 6, 2017

Recently the editors of Computerworld laid out a nice overview of all the new features in Microsoft’s Excel 2016 – a cheat sheet of sorts in giving readers a quick summary of What’s New for 2016.
These new features are available to users of both the standalone Excel version and the one incorporated into their newer Office 365 suite subscription.  We’ll provide the link to the full article at the end of this post, so you can review it yourself.  Meanwhile, a quick summary:

  • The Tell Me feature makes Excel simpler to use by letting you tell Excel what you want to do – say, create a Pivot Table – and get instant direction with shortcuts on doing what you requested, so you can start building that table right away.
  • Smart Lookup lets you do research online in the background while you’re working on your sheet. It uses Bing to do a web search on words at places like Wikipedia, and lets you “define” words or further “explore” as well.
  • New chart types:
    • Histograms – for statistical analysis
    • Waterfalls – for showing running financial totals, say from gross revs to net income
    • Hierarchical Treemaps – to help find patterns in data
    • Sunbursts – for showing graphical relationships between categories and their sub (and sub-sub-) categories
    • Pareto (80/20) – a “sorted histogram” that shows both bars and lines to better display cumulative totals of percentages (you could see, say, primary machine “downtime reasons” at a glance)
    • Box & Whisper – for deeper drilldowns than a histogram to see frequencies within data sets.
  • Improved Collaboration for users of the online version (only). A better way to share spreadsheets and see who has made what changes and when.  You can do some “simpler sharing” with the desktop version, with some limitations, to allow changes by more than one user at a time.
  • Quick Analysis is a new feature that lets you quickly highlight select cells and then click a little lightning bolt icon to perform instant analysis (for Greater Than purposes, numerical averages, or a chart on the fly).
  • Forecast Sheet lets you build forecasts based on historical data if you are working with time-based historical data in your worksheets.
  • Get & Define (formerly Power Query) is a BI tool that lets you import, combine and shape data from a variety of local and cloud sources.
  • 3D Maps allow you to plot geographic and other information on a map. You’ll need of course suitable data and to prepare it for 3D Maps.

As a bonus, Computerworld provides a nifty 2016 Ribbon Reference Guide and 2016 listing of Keyboard Shortcuts at their site as well.  You’ll find it all here: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3193992/desktop-apps/excel-2016-cheat-sheet.html?cid=cw_nlt_computerworld_microsoft_2017-05-16

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