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Excel 2016 New Features – The new excel 2016 version of Microsoft Office was recently released and all the Office geeks are going gaga over it! MS Office comes loaded with excel 2016 features and user friendly options that will, hopefully, make life easier for us, the computer people.
MS Excel has always been more of an office used programme rather than a home based, as opposed to MS Word or MS PowerPoint. Therefore, it was crucial for Microsoft to step up their game and come up with something innovative and useful so as to make this already valuable programme even better. Microsoft Office has run course for 27 years and has managed to change the market with almost zero competitors.
For the beginners, who do not know what MS Excel is, let start off by giving you a brief introduction. MS Excel is a spreadsheet which has been developed by Windows. It enables the user to feed, change and manipulate data.
It has rows and columns and intersections of these two which are called cells. You can use MS Excel to handle data arithmetically as well as in forms of charts.
Using MS Excel, you can build three dimensional graphical display sets which enable you to display data in diagram forms. That being said, MS Excel has a lot of features that are super useful but can take some time getting used to.
The new MS Excel has a ton of excel 2016 new features that could be game changers. Excel already has a ton of great features but not all of them are so obvious, and many of them are even hidden. So what happens is, an easy one click task becomes a convoluted serious of calculations.
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There are not a lot of ways to know it – either you hear from a feature from the Internet or a friend, or you discover it on your own once you start using it regularly.
Visually, not much has changed. It does come with a lot of great excel 2016 new features though, many of which are an amalgamation of old and new.
So let’s save you time by diving straight into the good stuff- new as well as hidden features of MS Excel 2016, which will enable you to work faster and smarter.
Excel 2016 Features;
What is Power Query? It is a data analysis feature available on Excel which allows you to combine, refine and discover new data. This feature enables you to find and connect data from across a wide variety of sources. It can help you merge and shape data sources to match your data analysis requirements, while prepping it for further analysis.
It also allows you to create custom views. The user can use the JSON parser to create data visuals over Big Data and Azure HDInsight. You can also perform data cleansing operations as well as import data from multiple file logs.
What makes this feature even more noteworthy is its ability to pull in and supply data from such a large number of sources like web pages, Access, Oracle, Sybase, XML files, txt. files, Teradata databases and SharePoint list to name a few of the many. Power Query used to be a separate plug in in the Office 2013 version.
In the new version of Office, Microsoft has deemed reasonable to integrate this super useful feature as a standard feature. This feature allows you to pull in useful data from a large number of sources, and integrating them in your spreadsheet with minimal hassles.
It can be natively found on Excel 2016. You can access this feature under Data tab, under the Get and Transform group. It will then show you various options from which you import data from.
One Click Forecasting
Next time your boss calls to ask you the forecast for next month’s sale, answer without any hesitation. This is an awesome feature which has infinite uses. It mines and infers your data and predicts trends and patterns for a certain period of time. It comes with a ‘Tell Me’ search bar. The previous version offered only linear forecasting as an option – which was a long drawn out process at its best.
To access this feature, go to Data tab, click on the Forecast Sheet to gain a visual insight to your data. It also has a wizard which has various options to set and control the parameters of your data calculation. The One Click Forecasting works best on a well-planned, and reviewed worksheet. The more accurate your data is, the more accurate your forecast will be.
This feature generates multiple forecasts taking in consideration variable factors. It also has a ‘data cleanser’ which does not consider missing values and adjusts the forecast accordingly. It allows you to save the configuration of your choice so that you can run it again in the future.
Text lines in a cell
Well, as the veteran users of MS Excel already know, when you type in a cell and want to start a new line, pressing the Enter key does not help (as it goes to the next cell). What you can now do is press Alt+Enter on a Windows PC and on a Mac; you can press Control-Option-Return. This little piece of information can save you valuable time as well as frustration. It is a feature you must know.
We are all pretty familiar working with the PivotTable. Microsoft has brought in a lot more features and improvements to make the experience even more rewarding, hence making it more productive. Here are a few of the features introduced.
- Creating, editing and deleting custom measures: This can now be done directly from the PivotTable menu, as opposed to the methodical analysis required earlier. It saves up on a great deal of time.
- Automatic Relationship Detection: Ah, the much awaited feature. This feature enables the programme to go through your various spreadsheets and discovers and creates relationships between all your relating data, making life easier for you. All it takes is one click.
- Search in PivotTable: This feature kind of speaks for itself. It helps you get fields that are important to your data from across your entire data set.
- Automatic Time Grouping: This feature enables you to group all your data based on time. It auto-detects similar time zones and groups them for you. Once it is done, you can simply drag the group down and begin your analysis.
- PivotChart Drill-Down buttons: These buttons allow you to zoom in and out across groupings of time and other structures which are available in your data.
- Smart Rename: This feature gives you the power to rename any columns or tables in you workbook without any hassle. One feature of this that I like is that Excel 2016 automatically updates the names and related calculations across the workbook you are working on so that you don’t need to.
- Multiple usability improvements: A few more change have been made. For example, delayed updating allows you to perform manifold modifications in Power Pivot without the having to wait until each is spread across the workbook. The changes will be updated at one time, once the Power Pivot window is shut.
Multi Select Slicer
You can select multiple categories in the Excel slicer as opposed to the one on previous versions of Excel. You can enter this mode by the multi select mode by using a new button that is location on the slicer’s label.
So your report is complete. Now what? It is not of any use if you can’t share it with the correct people. Once you are finished with your spreadsheet, you can share it with your boss or your client with once click with the Power BI. Once it is published, you can construct interactive reports. You can use this feature to display completed Excel worksheets.
This feature has been deemed as the future of Excel and rightly so. You can monitor all your data from across you organization and from all the apps that you use. This feature also enables you to create rich and interactive reports which can be shared and edited by others with the due credentials.
What makes Power BI so attractive is that it can pull in data from a lot of applications and platforms like Zendesk, Salesforce, QuickBooks, Twilio and even Google Analytics, which are just few of the many. It has rich visuals to offer which will definitely make your data come to life.
Newer, better charts.
I personally found the options of charting in the previous versions of windows a bit underwhelming. In the 2016 version, Microsoft recognized the limited options and made the needed improvements.
It has introduced a large number of new and modernistic charts which bring data to life. While Microsoft has tried to retain the ‘old-new’ feel, it has a large number of new charting options with rich formatting options (which I found surprisingly easy to use).
It has six new charting options, namely Treeman/Sunburst, Waterfall, Histogram, Pareto or Box and Whisker. You can access these charts by clicking on Insert > Insert Chart. You can also click on Recommended Charts > All Charts to view all the new charting options.
Do you work across platforms of the Office? If you do, then this is the feature you need to look out for. Rather than switching apps in between, Microsoft offers you an option to share documents within office, in different programs.
If you want to share documents with different people, you can simply ‘co-author’ them. Or you can share them while chatting on Skype which is all Office integrated.
“People often start and end their work in Office, but there is often a messy middle that involves a lot of discussion – in person, phone or via various tools -as well as multiple (sometimes conflicting) inputs,” Microsoft’s head of Office Kirk Koenigsbauer said, and I agree. This was an important point that needed to be added in order for Office to give more to its users.
Data Loss Protection
I cannot tell you how many times I have had to rummage through my purse to input critical data while working on an important project just because I was too wary to save my personal data on a computer. Well, no more.
This is originally a feature that was found in Outlook and was much loved by all. Microsoft geniuses have taken a definite step forward and gone ahead and introduced Data Loss Protection or DLP in Excel 2016 as well. Data Loss Protection enables real time scan of content that is based on a set of predefined policies for sensitive data.
It saves data like credit and debit card numbers, bank account numbers, at the user’s discretion. One more plus point of this newly introduced feature is that it will allow synchronisation of this personal data across all of Microsoft, in Word, PowerPoint etc. It also allows you to share this data across platforms like Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive.
New features like ‘Tell Me’ and ‘Smart Lookup’
Excel is one programme that can get a little difficult to navigate. Its previous versions housed a personal assistant called Clippy, which though cute, wasn’t of any real help. Microsoft has promised its users of delivering a smart ‘assistant’ which is fresh, new and improved beyond recognition.
They have called this the ‘Tell Me’ feature. This feature allows you to search for excel 2016 functions that you may not be able to find. This feature provides you with a large number of menus which are more useful than a single menu. Meanwhile, the ‘Smart Look Up’ feature allows its user to select a word or a phrase from the typed data and allows you to ‘look it up’.
While the older version of this feature enabled you to look up a word in the inbuilt dictionary, or redirected you to the Internet, this new feature brings extra information and related imaged into the sidebar without ever leaving the programme.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about What’s New In Excel 2016 so just go through the link.