Excel is a Microsoft spreadsheet app that was developed for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It comes in handy with calculations and graphing features, pivotal tables, and Visual Basic Programming Language. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite and is the most used spreadsheet app.
Several versions of this software are available in the market today, and each flaunts unique features that set them apart from each other. However, they are built for the same function hence they have multiple similar features.
What are the Common Features in all Microsoft Excel versions?
No matter what version of Microsoft Excel you are using, some features and qualities are uniform in all. Such could include the following:
If you need to search for values in a spreadsheet table, these are the features that aid in such. It explores the requested value and returns a matching value from another column. You can search for dates, texts or numbers with this feature.
This is one of the most preferred excel features as it is the most precise way of data presentation. Data is presented as a fraction of a complete pie. Data items are viewed as a slice of the pie.
Mixed/ Combination Type Charts
A mixed chart type combines two or more types of charts to represent data items. You can combine a line chart or a bar chart to successfully make a data presentation.
Excel lest you validate the type of values you want to enter in a spreadsheet cell. As such, whenever you enter a validation, values beyond the set validation will not be accepted.
For instance, if you restrict users to only enter whole numbers between 0 and 10 if you enter numbers beyond 10, an error is displayed.
This is a simple way to manage errors in a spreadsheet without opting for the more complex IF statements. It gives you a result whenever a formula provides an error and a typical result when there is no error.
If you are a data analyst data duplication can be a headache. However, excel deals with this problem head-on.
To remove duplicates, click any single cell inside the data set, and on the Data tab, click “Remove Duplicates.” The app goes ahead to remove all identical rows except for the first same row.
Excel allows you to change the format of your spreadsheet cells depending on the contents of the cells. You can also highlight errors and find critical patterns in your data.
This app also allows you to format numbers, fonts, cell borders, and cell colors. It also enables you to format icons, color scales, or data bars for better visualization.
You can explore your data in excel quickly through this feature. The feature hides data that is not important to you at the moment. You can easily search for values in your spreadsheet cells.
For instance, if you are looking for black cars, excel will display only a list of the available black vehicles.
What Features Define Each Microsoft Excel Version?
Microsoft Excel 2019
Microsoft Excel 2019 is the latest and most improved version of excel. It comes with an assortment of cool features that will make the Excel experience worthwhile. Some of these features include the following:
A collection of new amazing functions have been added to Microsoft Excel.
- CONCAT, far much better than the CONCATENATE function, this new function is a cool addition. It is shorter and more comfortable to type and further supports range and cell references.
- IFS, this function has is a better option for the complicated nested IF. The advantage is that you get to specify the order in which conditions are tested.
- MAXIFS returns the largest number in a range that meets single or multiple criteria.
- MINIFS is the opposite of MAXIFS and returns the smallest number in a range that meets multiple or single criteria.
- SWITCH, if you are looking to evaluate expressions against a list of values, this is the most appropriate function. It does so and returns the first matching result. If no match results, an "else" option is returned.
- TEXTJOIN combines text from multiple ranges, and a user-specified delimiter separates each item.
New charts have been incorporated in Microsoft Excel 2019, giving a new twist to data presentation. You can use the following new data presentation charts to represent your data:
Map charts can be used to show categories across geographical regions.
Funnel charts, such show values across multiple stages in a process.
Microsoft Excel 2019 has great visual features to make the excel experience better. The new features you will enjoy are:
- Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), you can now add visual warmth into your documents by adding SVGs that have adjustable filters.
- Convert SVG icons into shapes, to change the color, size or texture of your icons and images; you can transform them into shapes.
- 3D models, you can insert and rotate 3D models into your workbooks.
New ink effects such as rainbow, galaxy, lava, ocean, gold, and silver, among others have been added to your ink options.
Digital pencils and customizable pen sets are also on the menu. You can also add complex math equations into your workbooks as well as convert ink drawings into shapes.
Furthermore, you can now use your surface pen to select and change objects.
As soon as you launch your Excel 2019, you can run the Accessibility Checker to make your documents more accessible. More advanced features to match international standards are all that the new checker entails.
You can further turn on audio cues to guide you as you navigate through excel.
Sharing is Easier and Better
With the new version, you can easily attach hyperlinks to your files on both your website and cloud storage. Moreover, you can view and restore any changes made to your workbook.
Data Loss Protection (DLP)
Loss of data can be a heart-breaking and inconveniencing experience. In this regard, the new excel 2019 seeks to sort out this problem. It enables you to do a real-time scan of your content based on predefined policies for any sensitive data types such as credit cards or bank account numbers.
New and Improved Connectors
A new SAP HANA connector has been added while the existing ones have been improved. You can import data from whatever source with efficiency and utmost ease.
Microsoft Excel 2016
Some of the features that make Microsoft Excel 2016 stand out from the rest of the versions are:
Tell me what you want to do?
This is a search option that lists functions and operations matching your search terms. Instead of following complex commands and hard to trace menus, you can type what you want or where you want to go, and the app gives you options.
Even more exciting, is a smart look-up which gives you the option of searching for your content on the internet.
Microsoft Excel 2016 has a one-click forecasting tool that enables you to forecast past your last data point into the future by predicting trends. You can even draw reliable predictions on the twist of your data in the future.
Consequently, you can present your data in a line or a bar graph.
Search Fields in Pivot Tables
Sometimes working with numerous fields can be confusing; you cannot trace a field with ease and take up your time. However, with the incorporation of search fields on pivotal tables, you can quickly locate the field you need.
This version has done away with the date field repetition. Your dates will now be clustered into years, quarters and months. Nevertheless, you can expand the fields as you please by clicking the + option next to the data segment.
Microsoft Excel 2016 comes with several new impressive charts for your data presentation.
Histograms and Pareto charts, histograms will help you show frequency in your data while Pareto charts go ahead to sort out the frequencies and give a percentage line to provide you with a trend through the data.
Sunburst charts, if you need to present your values in the hierarchal form, these are the most appropriate charts. You can explore your data on different levels with such charts.
This tool allows you to import higher levels of data. It comes with its language, Data Analysis Expression.
Microsoft Excel 2013
Microsoft Excel 2016 flaunts a new and better look than what you are used to from the older versions. A start-up screen comes up when you launch it unlike the blank workbook from older versions. The new startup screen has all the tools you need and even the most recent documents are displayed here.
This feature saves you a great deal of time by filling in words for you. It senses a pattern in your data and goes ahead to fill in whatever data you aimed to enter into a specific field.
For instance if, you are entering a list of names in a field and you already have a similar list in the datasheet. Excel will sense and enter the data as soon as you type the first name.
Instant Data Analysis
A new Quick Analysis helps you find options for showing data in a meaningful way. To analyze your data, select the data and click on the Quick Analysis button or hit Ctrl+Q on your keyboard. You can then preview your data and make adjustments where you want.
Timelines allow you to filter records in a PivotalTable by dates. To add a timeline, select the PivotalTable and pick the contextual Analyze tab. Hit insert timeline in the filter group. A dialogue box is displayed in which you can customize your timeline.
If you need to obtain certain data from your data tables, the slicers come in handy. They help you filter data from any table of your choice.
Microsoft Excel 2010
Sparklines are small charts that link up data between cells. Microsoft Excel 2010 allows you to insert a small line chart, a win-loss chart or a column chart. Such help you in data analysis.
Improved Tables and Filters
Dealing with tables is easier with this version as you can filter or sort data fields as you prefer. There is also a search option that allows tracing values that are of interest to you.
New Screenshot Feature
You can easily capture screenshots of your work with excel 2010 for future reference.
Improved Conditioned Formatting
Lots of conditioned formatting options were added in this version. For example, you can have a solid fill in a cell on account of the value in it.
You can customize your ribbon to your liking by adding menus, changing labels, and defining the toolbars you want on it. You can put up what works best for you or what makes your excel experience better.
Each version of Microsoft Excel comes with its distinct features, but most of these features are a build-on, on the preceding version. Moreover, the ultimate purpose of these versions is the same. However, the more recent a version is the better feature it flaunts. Learn more about Microsoft Excel using our cheatsheet here.
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