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What’s New In Microsoft excel 2013 ?

Posted by Hemprasad Y. Badgujar on July 9, 2014


Microsoft’s updated spreadsheet tool isn’t getting a lot of new, whiz-bang features, but it is becoming more functional. That’s something both new and experienced users will enjoy—especially a new approach to an old problem that used to require a cumbersome workaround. Complex tasks become easier to perform, thanks to tools such as Recommended Charts and Recommended PivotTables tools. Other changes place choices closer to your data, and use big-business brawn to crunch data right into Excel.

To help you get up to speed, read on for 10 new features that make your work easier in the new Excel. Want to know more about the new Office suite? You’ll find our full review of Office 2013 here, as well 10 killer features in the new Word 2013 here.

Start screen sets the scene

Excel’s new Start Screen helps you get to work more quickly. Along its left edge are the most recently used worksheets, any of which can be pinned to your Recent list so they will always be visible. Here, too, you can click Open Other Workbooks to access your files from a disk or the cloud. The Start Screen’s top-right corner also shows the SkyDrive (or SharePoint) account you are currently connected to.

A range of templates appears here to help you quick start a project. These can also be pinned, or you can use the search feature to look online for other templates. A list of suggested searches can help you get started.

New users will appreciate the template choices, and existing users will likee the Recent file list and quick access to existing files. Although the Start Screen can be disabled, I find it useful enough to stick with it.

The Open tab has links to recently accessed files and locations.

Enjoy a new Backstage View

The Backstage View, introduced in Office 2010, is accessible from the File menu. In Excel this has been revamped to show exactly what you’re doing so you can choose the appropriate task.

The Open tab now gives you access to recently accessed workbooks, making it a combination of the Open and Recent tabs from Excel 2010. You can pin worksheets to this list or click Computer to access recently accessed locations (any of which you can pin permanently here, too). There’s also access to your SkyDrive account, and the option to set up additional SkyDrive or SharePoint accounts.

Want to split first and last names into two columns? Look to the new Flash Fill feature.

Make Flash Fill magic

The most whiz-bang new feature is the Flash Fill tool. Its predictive data entry can detect patterns and extract and enter data that follows a recognizable pattern. It solves some common problems that currently require cumbersome workarounds to achieve.

One such problem is extracting a person’s first name from a column of full names. In a blank column adjacent to the one that contains full names, you simply type the first name and then click the Home tab, and select Fill, Flash Fill. The first names of everyone in the list will be entered into that that column immediately. You can use the same process to extract last names, to join first and last names, to extract months, days or years from dates and even extract values from cells.  While you could have always done this with formulas, now Flash Fill ensures anyone can do it very quickly and easily.

Take the guess work out of which chart to choose to best display your data.

Simplify choices with Recommended Charts

This falls somewhere between a whiz-bang new feature and something that makes working in Excel more intuitive. Recommended Charts shows only a subset of chart types that are appropriate to the data you’ve selected. It will help inexperienced users create charts that help explain the data and don’t confuse the viewer.

To use the tool, select the data that you want to chart, click the Insert tab and selectRecommended Charts. A dialog appears with a range of charts to choose from—click each in turn to see how your data will look plotted on that chart. Select the desired option and click OK, and the chart is created automatically.

Change the look of your chart by selecting options from the pop-up menu.

Chart tools get smarter

In previous versions of Excel, when a chart is selected, the Chart Tools tab revealed three additional tabs: Design, Layout, and Format. The interface is simpler in Excel 2013, with only the Design and Format tabs to choose from.

In addition, a set of icons appears outside the top right edge of a chart when it is selected. Click any of these buttons—Chart  Elements, Chart Styles or Chart Filters—to reveal additional chart formatting options. Click Chart Elements to add or remove elements, such as axis titles and legends; click Chart Styles to change the style and color of your chart; or click Chart Filtersto view filtered data using a live preview.

Quick Analysis offers formatting, totals and charts for analyzing your data.

Quickly analyze your data

The new Quick Analysis tool can help both new and experienced users find options for working with selected data. To use it, select the data to analyze, and the Quick Analysis icon  appears in the bottom-right corner of the selected data.

Click that icon, and a dialog appears showing a range of tools for analyzing the data, such as Formatting, Charts, Totals, Tables and Sparklines. Click any option, and a series of selectable choices appear; preview those choices by mousing over them. Next, click the option you like to apply it to your data. This feature speeds up the process of formatting, charting and writing formulas.

PivotTables just became ridiculously simple to create.

Answer questions instantly with Pivot Tables

Pivot Tables are a powerful tool for analyzing and answering questions about  your data, but they’re not easy for new users to create. For the first time, though, if you can click a mouse key, then you can create a meaningful Pivot Table, thanks to the new Recommended PivotTables. To use it, select your data, including headings, and chooseInsert, Recommended PivotTables. A dialog appears showing a series of PivotTables with explanations of what they show. All you need do is to select the table that shows what you want to see, click OK,and the PivotTable is automatically drawn for you.

Excel 2013 now integrates Power View for beefy analysis and reporting.

imelines

A timeline lets you filter records in a PivotTable—it works similar to a slicer, but you’ll filter by dates. For instance, Figure E shows a PivotTable and timeline. (I used the same data range used in #3.) Once you have a PivotTable arranged, adding the timeline is simple:

  1. With the PivotTable selected, click the contextual Analyze tab.
  2. In the Filter group, click Insert Timeline.
  3. In the resulting dialog, check the date field (in this case, that’s Date) and click OK. Excel will embed the timeline alongside the PivotTable.

 

Excel_New_Ftrs.FigE.jpg

 

Use the new Timeline with a PivotTable.

To use the timeline, just drag the scroll bar or click a tile to further filter personnel totals by specific months. In the upper-right corner, you can change to years, quarters, months, and days. To clear the timeline filter, click the Clear button in the upper-right corner.

Make quick reports with Power View

The Power View add-in, available for previous versions of Excel, is now integrated inside Excel 2013. Power View is typically used for analyzing large quantities of data brought in from external data sources—just  the sort of tool that big business might use.

Incorporated within Excel, it’s now  accessible to anyone. To see it at work, select your data and choose Insert, Power View. The first time you use it, the feature installs automatically. Then a Power View sheet will be added to your workbook, and the analysis report will be created.

You can add a title and then filter the data and organize it to display the way you like. The Power View tab on the Ribbon toolbar displays report format options, such as Theme and text formats, as well View options for Field List and Filters Area panels that you can use to filter and sort your data.

Try to work on a worksheet that someone else is editing? You’ll be warned that it’s locked. You can view and download it, but can’t change it.

Share files and work with other people

Working with other people on shared files in real time is a double-edged sword. While it’s useful to do this, you will face problems when two people try to change the same item at the same time. In Excel 2013 you can share and work collaboratively on files with others via SkyDrive using the Excel WebApp, and multiple people can work on the same file at the same time. However, you cannot open a worksheet from SkyDrive in Excel 2013 on your local machine if someone else is currently working in the same worksheet. This protects the worksheet against conflicting changes.

Instead, if one person is editing an Excel file that’s stored online, others with permission can view and download it, but they cannot change the original, whichis locked until the person working with it is finished.

Like other applications in the Office 2013 suite, Excel 2013 saves files by default to the cloud. You can open, view, and edit Excel files  online in a browser using the Excel WebApp without having Excel 2013 on the local hard drive.

Share your cloud-stored worksheets with friends on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

features to explore

Get started quickly

Some of the templates that are available in Excel

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’ll 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. Give this feature a try 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’ll know exactly what data you’re looking at.

One workbook, one window

Two workbooks, two windows

In Excel 2013 each workbook has in its own window, making it easier to work on two workbooks at once. It also makes life easier when you’re working on two monitors.

New Excel functions

New Web functions

You’ll 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 OneDrive or your organization’s Office 365 service. It’s also simpler to share your worksheets with other people. No matter what device they’re 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 the Web.

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 Online or open the embedded data in Excel.

Share an Excel worksheet in an online meeting

No matter where you are or what device you’re 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, seePresent a workbook online.

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, seeSave a workbook in another file format.

Top of Page TOP OF PAGE

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. And there’s a brand new button for combo charts—a favorite chart you’ve asked for. When you click a chart, you’ll 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 that is shown. To learn more about it, see Format your chart.

Richer data labels

Bubble chart with data labels

Now you can include rich and refreshable text from data points or any other text in your data labels, enhance them with formatting and additional freeform text, and display them in just about any shape. Data labels stay in place, even when you switch to a different type of chart. You can also connect them to their data points with leader lines on all charts, not just pie charts. To work with rich data labels, see Change the format of data labels in a chart.

View animation in charts

See a chart come alive when you make changes to its source data. This isn’t just fun to watch—the movement in the chart also makes the changes in your data much clearer.

Powerful data analysis

Create a PivotTable that suits your data

Recommended PivotTables for your data

Picking the right fields to summarize your data in a PivotTable report can be a daunting task. Now you can get some help with that. When you create a PivotTable, Excel recommends several ways to summarize your data, and shows you a quick preview of the field layouts so you can pick the one that gives you the insights you’re looking for. To learn more about it, see Create a PivotTable to analyze worksheet data.

Use one Field List to create different types of PivotTables

Add more Tables in the Field List

Create the layout of a PivotTable that uses one table or multiple tables by using one and the same Field List. Revamped to accommodate both single and multi-table PivotTables, the Field List makes it easier to find the fields you want in your PivotTable layout, switch to the new Excel Data Model by adding more tables, and explore and navigate to all of the tables. To learn more about it, see Use the Field List to arrange fields in a PivotTable.

Use multiple tables in your data analysis

The new Excel Data Model lets you to tap into powerful analysis features that were previously only available by installing the Power Pivot add-in. In addition to creating traditional PivotTables, you can now create PivotTables based on multiple tables in Excel. By importing different tables, and creating relationships between them, you’ll be able to analyze your data with results you aren’t able to get from traditional PivotTable data. To learn more about it, see Create a Data Model in Excel.

Power Query

If you’re using Office Professional Plus 2013 or Office 365 Pro Plus, you can take advantage of Power Query for Excel. Use Power Query to easily discover and connect to data from public and corporate data sources. This includes new data search capabilities, as well as capabilities to easily transform and merge data from multiple data sources so that you can continue to analyze it in Excel. To learn more about it, see Discover and combine with Power Query for Excel.

Power Map

Power Map

If you’re using Office 365 Pro Plus, Office 2013, or Excel 2013, you can take advantage of Power Map for Excel. Power Map is a three-dimensional (3-D) data visualization tool that lets you look at information in new ways by using geographic and time-based data. You can discover insights that you might not see in traditional two-dimensional (2-D) tables and charts. Power Map is built into Office 365 Pro Plus, but you’ll need to download a preview version to use it with Office 2013 or Excel 2013. See Power Map for Excel for details about the preview. To learn more about using Power Map to create a visual 3-D tour of your data, see Get started with Power Map.

Connect to new data sources

To use multiple tables in the Excel Data Model, you can now connect to and import data from additional data sources into Excel as tables or PivotTables. For example, connect to data feeds like OData, Windows Azure DataMarket, and SharePoint data feeds. You can also connect to data sources from additional OLE DB providers.

Create relationships between tables

When you’ve got data from different data sources in multiple tables in the Excel Data Model, creating relationships between those tables makes it easy to analyze your data without having to consolidate it into one table. By using MDX queries, you can further leverage table relationships to create meaningful PivotTable reports. To learn more about it, see Create a relationship between two tables.

Use a timeline to show data for different time periods

A timeline makes it simpler to compare your PivotTable or PivotChart data over different time periods. Instead of grouping by dates, you can now simply filter dates interactively or move through data in sequential time periods, like rolling month-to-month performance, in just one click. To learn more about it, see Create a PivotTable timeline to filter dates.

Use Drill Down, Drill Up, and Cross Drill to get to different levels of detail

Drilling down to different levels of detail in a complex set of data is not an easy task. Custom sets are helpful, but finding them among a large number of fields in the Field List takes time. In the new Excel Data Model, you’ll be able to navigate to different levels more easily. Use Drill Down into a PivotTable or PivotChart hierarchy to see granular levels of detail, and Drill Up to go to a higher level for “big picture” insights. To learn more about it, seeDrill into PivotTable data.

Use OLAP calculated members and measures

Tap into the power of self-service Business Intelligence (BI) and add your own Multidimensional Expression (MDX)-based calculations in PivotTable data that is connected to an Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) cube. No need to reach for the Excel Object Model—now you can create and manage calculated members and measures right in Excel.

Create a standalone PivotChart

A PivotChart no longer has to be associated with a PivotTable. A standalone or de-coupled PivotChart lets you experience new ways to navigate to data details by using the new Drill Down, and Drill Up features. It’s also much easier to copy or move a de-coupled PivotChart. To learn more about it, see Create a PivotChart.

Power View

Power View

If you’re using Office Professional Plus, you can take advantage of Power View. Simply click the Power View button on the ribbon to discover insights about your data with highly interactive, powerful data exploration, visualization, and presentation features that are easy to apply. Power View lets you create and interact with charts, slicers, and other data visualizations in a single sheet. Learn more about Power View in Excel 2013.

New and improved add-ins and converters

Power Pivot for Excel add-in

If you’re using Office Professional Plus 2013 or Office 365 Pro Plus, the Power Pivot add-in comes installed with Excel. The Power Pivot data analysis engine is now built into Excel so that you can build simple data models directly in Excel. The Power Pivot add-in provides an environment for creating more sophisticated models. Use it to filter out data when importing it, define your own hierarchies, calculation fields, and key performance indicators (KPIs), and use the Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) language to create advanced formulas. Learn more about the Power Pivot in Excel 2013 add-in.

Inquire add-in

If you’re using Office Professional Plus 2013 or Office 365 Pro Plus, the Inquire add-in comes installed with Excel. It helps you analyze and review your workbooks to understand their design, function, and data dependencies, and to uncover a variety of problems including formula errors or inconsistencies, hidden information, broken links and others. From Inquire, you can start a new Microsoft Office tool, called Spreadsheet Compare, to compare two versions of a workbook, clearly indicating where changes have occurred. During an audit, you have full visibility of the changes in your workbooks.

Cloud support

Microsoft claims that its cloud support is the true shining star of the Office 2013 suite. If you need it, you probably agree; many organizations aren’t taking full advantage of it yet. If you’re curious, you can quickly hook up to SkyDrive or your organization’s SharePoint team site by using the Save As (or Open) screen, as shown in Figure F. Doing so has two advantages:

  • You have quick and easy access to your Excel files on any device that runs Excel 2013 (including a Windows tablet and smartphone).
  • Using Office 365 (you’ll need a subscription), you canreview and edit your workbooks online using almost any web browser.
    Excel_New_Ftrs.FigF.jpg

Data Model and Relationships

Excel 2013’s new integrated data model support is well beyond a simple recommendation tip like this. You’ll want to study and familiarize yourself with all of the possibilities:

  • Create PivotTables based on multiple tables.
  • Create one-to-one and one-to many relations between tables.
  • Easily connect to OData, Windows Azure DataMarket, and SharePoint.
  • Drill down to detail levels in a PivotTable or PivotChart.
  • Drill up for a high-end view.

Apps for Office

This new feature provides quick access to specialized programs at Office Store. Just a quick click and you’re shopping! To install an app, click the Insert tab and then click Apps for office in the Apps group. You’ll need an account at the store, which the feature will help you create the first time you use it. Figure G shows Bing Maps as an installed app.

Excel_New_Ftrs.FigG.jpg

 

After creating an Office Store account, adding Bing Maps took just a couple of clicks.

Present online

Sharing a workbook online used to take a bit of preparation, but in Excel 2013, on-the-fly sharing is no problem. First, install Lync. If you have Office Professional Plus, you already have it, but you’ll need to configure it. Before sharing, sign into Lync. Then, return to Excel 2013, close all workbooks that you don’t want to share, and do the following:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Choose Share in the left pane.
  3. Click Present Online (in the Share section).
  4. Click Present.
  5. Choose a Lync meeting or create one, and click OK.

At this point, you can share the workbook and even allow others to update it.

Share work to your social networks

Here’s a handy way to share a to-do list, an event planning worksheet, or whatever spreadsheet you desire with your social network. You can now share Excel workbooks with Facebook and more from within Excel 2013 itself. To see the Post to Social Networks option, the best way to save the file first to SkyDrive.

If you haven’t saved your file to SkyDrive, then choose File, Share, and click Invite People. You’ll be stepped through the process of saving the file to the Cloud so that Save Asoptions later appear automatically. Once this is done, you are returned to the Share panel where the Post to Social Networks option now appears. Here you can select any social network that you have linked to your Office 2013 account. You can select whether viewers can view or edit your shared worksheet, and you can include a message, and then post it for review.

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One Response to “What’s New In Microsoft excel 2013 ?”

  1. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am having troubles with your RSS.
    I don’t understand why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting identical RSS problems?
    Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

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