What's new in Excel 2013
Part two of a seven-part series of blogs

Excel 2013 contains radical changes to charts, pivot tables and the user interface. This review explains all the new features of Excel 2013

  1. Excel 2013 - the Wise Owl Review!
  2. First Impressions - the Excel 2013 Look-and-Feel (this blog)
  3. Excel 2013 changes: working with files
  4. Excel 2013 changes: pivot tables and data analysis
  5. Excel 2013 - Changes to Charts
  6. What's new in Excel 2013 - general changes
  7. Excel 2013 - summary and recommendations

Posted by Andy Brown on 30 January 2013

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First Impressions - the Excel 2013 Look-and-Feel

As always, Microsoft have changed the Excel icon for this new version:

Excel 2013 icon

The new Excel 2013 retro icon.

 

When you try to create a new workbook or first load Excel, you can see the way the wind is blowing:

Excel 2013 interface

You can choose Blank workbook to create a new Excel file.

I've got to admit, I don't like the general look of Excel:

Look of Excel 2013

Hate those menus in CAPITALS!

Compare this with Excel 2010:

Excel 2010 interface

Maybe I'm just used to the Excel 2007/2010 ribbon ...

A particularly horrible feature (this isn't going to be a negative review; I really like Excel 2013 in general!) is impossible to show in a screen shot:

Sliding cell selection

When you click on another cell, it's isn't selected immediately; instead, the cell selector slides towards it. Some animation makes sense; this one doesn't.

 

There is now a sensible little icon for adding a new sheet:

New sheet icon

What a sensible idea!

 

In general, however, I don't think the large amount of money Microsoft probably spent on redesigning the user interface was money well spent.

Except it probably was.  The look-and-feel is called Metro design, and its main purpose is to make Excel usable on tablet computers with touch screens.  Lose that mouse!

Having looked at first impressions of Excel, let's now look at changes to how you can work with files in Excel 2013.

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