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Looking Forward with the New Microsoft Excel 2013


Excited about the new Excel 2013? Awesome, so are we! BUT we would recommend waiting a year before implementing a platform upgrade. The reason for this is due to the unpredictable nature of new feature sets and changes to existing ones in any departure from a known-working platform. Our experience shows that it usually takes approximately 1yr (and sometimes a lot longer!) to work out any bugs a new platform release may have that could potentially inject errors or unpredictable behavior into a work environment. 


With that being said, the first thing you will see when you open Excel 2013 is a brand new look. It is cleaner, and designed to help you get professional-looking results quickly. You will find many new features that let you get away from walls of numbers and draw more persuasive pictures of your data, guiding you to better-informed decisions.

Get started quickly

Some of the templates that are available in Excel 2013

Templates do most of the set-up and design work for you, so you can focus on your data. When you open Excel 2013, you will see templates for budgets, calendars, forms, and reports, and more.

Instant data analysis

Data Analysis Lens

The new Quick Analysis tool lets you convert your data into a chart or table in two steps or less. Preview your data with conditional formatting, sparklines, or charts, and make your choice stick in just one click. To use this new feature, see Analyze your data instantly.

Fill out an entire column of data in a flash

Flash Fill in action

Flash Fill is like a data assistant that finishes your work for you. As soon as it detects what you want to do, Flash Fill enters the rest of your data in one fell swoop, following the pattern it recognizes in your data. To see when this feature comes in handy, see Split a column of data based on what you type.

Create the Right Chart for your data

Recommended Charts

With Chart recommendations, Excel recommends the most suitable charts for your data. Get a quick peek to see how your data looks in the different charts, and then simply pick the one that shows the insights you want to present. Try this feature when you create your first chart.

Filter table data by using slicers

Table slicer

First introduced in Excel 2010 as an interactive way to filter PivotTable data, slicers can now also filter data in Excel tables, query tables, and other data tables. Simpler to set up and use, slicers show the current filter so you will know exactly what data you are looking at.

One workbook, one window

Two workbooks, two windows

First introduced in Excel 2010 as an interactive way to filter PivotTable data, slicers can now also filter data in Excel tables, query tables, and other data tables. Simpler to set up and use, slicers show the current filter so you will know exactly what data you are looking at.

New Excel functions

New Web functions

You will find several new functions in the math and trigonometry, statistical, engineering, date and time, lookup and reference, logical, and text function categories. Also new are a few Web service functions for referencing existing Representational State Transfer (REST)-compliant Web services. Look for details in new functions in Excel 2013.

Save and share files online

Online places to save your workbook

Excel makes it easier to save your workbooks to your own online location, like your free SkyDrive or your organization’s Office 365 service. It is also simpler to share your worksheets with other people. No matter what device they are using or where they are, everyone works with the latest version of a worksheet— and you can even work together in real time. To learn more about it, see Save a workbook to another location or Save a workbook to the Web.

Embed worksheet data in a web page

Embed worksheet data in a web page

To share part of your worksheet on the web, you can simply embed it on your web page. Other people can then work with the data in Excel Web App or open the embedded data in Excel. Share an Excel worksheet in an online meeting. No matter where you are or what device you are on—be it your smartphone, tablet, or PC—as long as you have Lync installed, you can connect to and share a workbook in an online meeting. To learn more about it, see Present a workbook online.

Save to a new file format

Save to a new file format

Now you can save to and open files in the new Strict Open XML Spreadsheet (*.xlsx) file format. This file format lets you read and write ISO8601 dates to resolve a leap year issue for the year 1900. To learn more about it, see Save a workbook in another file format.

New charting features – Changes to the ribbon for charts

Chart Tools

The new Recommended Charts button on the Insert tab lets you pick from a variety of charts that are right for your data. Related types of charts like scatter and bubble charts are under one umbrella. In addition, there is a brand new button for combo charts—a favorite chart you have asked for. When you click a chart, you will also see a simpler Chart Tools ribbon. With just a Design and Format tab, it should be easier to find what you need.

Fine tune charts quickly

Chart buttons to change chart elements, layout, or chart filters

Three new chart buttons let you quickly pick and preview changes to chart elements (like titles or labels), the look, and style of your chart, or to the data shown. To learn more about it, see Format your chart.

Another great article to look at exists here at First look: Excel 2013

If you are interested in custom Excel solutions for Microsoft Excel 2013, contact us today.  We would love to hear from you.