Microsoft Office 2013: Excel review

Flash Fill


When bulk importing data into Excel, we often had to spend an inordinate amount of time removing the separators, and manually pasting them into separate columns. Flash Fill aims to make such reformatting and rearranging of data a whole magnitude easier. It completes the remaining data. No formulas or macros are required on your part. Here's an example: If you have a set of data consisting of both first and last names listed in a column, and you want to extract just the first names into cells in the adjacent column, type the first name a couple times to establish a pattern. Excel will guess what you are trying to do, and show you what it thinks should be the correct data for the remaining cells. If Excel is correct, hit Crtl+E to fill up the rest of the cells.

Quick Data Analysis


Quick Analysis is a great way to discover a different ways to visually represent and interpret your data. Simple select the data, and click on the Quick Analysis icon that pops up at the lower right of the highlighted data. You'll be presented with a range of formatting, chart, calculation, and pivot table recommendations that you preview by hovering the cursor over the options. You can add conditional formatting (such as data bars and color scale), perform common calculations ( such as average and running total), add Sparklines (which are micro-charts), and even see different pivot views. Yes, you heard us right – Excel can now create a pivot table for you in just a matter of clicks.

Recommended Charts


Like the Recommended Pivot tables feature, this feature found in both the Insert Ribbon and Quick Analysis. Because it's context sensitive, the algorithm will look for patterns on how your data is arranged before suggesting a list of chart types. In past versions of Excel, you've create the chart to evaluate its appropriateness; now, the preview just pop up as you hover over the options. And don't be mistaken: this live preview already has you data in it. That said, not all chart types available in Excel are used by the chart will never be recommended. If you need these specialize charts, you can still find them via the individual chart type button on the Insert Ribbon.

Integrate Apps


With the new Excel, you can embed little apps into the spreadsheet. In fact, other apps in the Office suit like Word and Outlook can have these apps inserted into them too. You can get them from the Office Store (not to be confused with the Windows Store); those with specific requirements (organizations, typically) can build their own. While custom solutions for Excel aren't new, what's important this time around is that by way of these small Office apps (which are essentially web pages), you'll be able to extend Excel to include web services content. This mashing up of local data with data and visualizations available on the web enables you to do more in Excel. For example, the Bing Maps app lets you use location data from a given column and plot it on a Bing Map, giving you a new way to visualize the data.
Microsoft Office 2013: Excel review Microsoft Office 2013: Excel review Reviewed by Echo on 9:38:00 AM Rating: 5

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