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Excel 2013 contains radical changes to charts, pivot tables and the user interface. This review explains all the new features of Excel 2013
Posted by Andy Brown on 30 January 2013
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What's new in Excel 2013 - general changes
Along with changes to file-handling, pivot tables and charts, there is a wealth of miscellaneous changes made for Excel 2013. Below I've picked out the main improvements.
It sounds exciting - and it is! Flash fill recognises patterns in your data, and extrapolates. You can use it to parse names, phone numbers, addresses, etc. To see how it works consider this example:
I've typed the first 3 entries in, and selected the entire column to see if Excel can work out what I'm up to.
Suppose that you type in the first 3 entries above, which give the first name of the bride and the first name of the groom, then select the column and choose to flash fill it:
Click on this icon to flash fill any selected range.
What happens is that Excel correctly works out the data pattern, and fills in the blank cells!
Excel fills in the rest of the bride-and-groom partnerships correctly.
If you're wondering why I typed in 3 names to start this off, it's because with 2 names it didn't quite work correctly!
You can now insert pictures from (as the icon tooltip says) a variety of online sources:
You can now insert pictures from Flickr, Bing searches, etc.
When you choose the icon above, you can choose your source:
You can insert pictures and videos from Flickr and from other online sources.
Inserting Office Apps
Microsoft have obviously noticed Apple's app store, and decided that they can emulate Apple's success. You can therefore insert other people's apps into Excel (and other Office 2013 applications):
You can click on this icon to insert apps.
Here is a selection of apps avaiable at the Office store:
Some of the apps available for Excel.
At the time of writing there are about 30 apps available, all written for the US market. To this naive blogger apps sound like add-ins with a fancy name!
New Excel Functions
There are a whole host of exotic new Excel functions, but they're nearly all specialist statistical or mathematical tools. There are, however, 3 new functions which caught my eye:
|ARABIC||Want to know what a number in roman numerals represents? As an example, =ARABIC("XIV") would return 14!|
|DAYS||Use this if you want to know the difference between two dates in days. How many days are there at the time of writing until Christmas? The answer is given by =DAYS("25/12/2013",TODAY()).|
|FORMULATEXT||Suppose I put the DAYS function formula above into cell F18. Then =FORMULATEXT(F18) would return the formula as text. No more typing apostrophes in front of formulae to turn them into the underlying text!|
If you've subscribed to Office Professional Plus, you'll have access to the Inquire and Spreadsheet Compare add-ins. Here's what these allow you to do:
|Add-in||What it lets you do|
|Inquire||Do a sense check on a workbook to spot potential problems (invaluable for testing spreadsheet models, for example).|
|Compare||Compare two workbooks to see where they differ.|
You can see a good summary of what these add-ins do at AccountingWeb.