Not just the design has changed in Excel 2013. The newest version of Excel offers some new features for processing and understanding data that are worth a second look.
- For those familiar with the fill handle in previous versions of Excel, the 2013 release has a similar functionality called Flash Fill. Excel 2013 watches the context of the data you are entering and suggests fill down options based on patterns in adjacent columns and other contextual data. For example, if column A is a list of names, and you begin typing the matching initials in column B, Flash Fill will suggest initials for all of the adjacent rows in column B.
- Timelines – Previous versions offered only check boxes to select time frames, but with Excel 2013, you can filter your data by date by dragging the selector to include the dates you want.
- Quick Analysis – After you select any group of data, a Quick Analysis box will appear in the bottom right hand corner. Hover over the options to see suggested charts, totals, tables, or Sparklines.
- Improved Charts – Editing chart colors, formats, elements, and data is even easier with Excel 2013. Check boxes for the data and elements that you want to have displayed. Edit colors from a variety of pallets and templates. As you change data in your chart it updates with a quick animation.
Microsoft has also added a few formulas and functions that could be useful, but most of the changes are with the design. The look and feel has been streamlined for tablet use and faster loading.
Private Excel 2013 classes are available now, and Public Excel 2013 classes will be on our calendar later in the year.