Excel Comparison: Features of Excel 2007, 2013, and 2021

Explore the features and functionalities of Excel 2007, 2013, and 2021. Compare their capabilities and make informed choices for your spreadsheets.
Excel 2007, 2013, and 2021 comparison

As the go-to spreadsheet software for millions of users worldwide, Excel continues to evolve with each new release, offering enhanced capabilities and improved user experiences. 

By understanding the unique features of each version, you can leverage Excel's full potential to streamline your work, analyze data efficiently, and boost productivity.

Whether you're a professional, student, or avid Excel user, this article will guide you through the key differences between Excel 2007, 2013, and 2021, helping you unlock new possibilities and maximize your spreadsheet proficiency. 

Let's dive in and discover the power of Excel's evolution.

Table of Contents

  1. Excel 2007
  2. Excel 2013
  3. Excel 2021
  4. FAQs
  5. Final Thoughts

Features of Excel 2007, 2013, and 2021

Let's compare Excel Excel 2007, 2013, and 2021

Excel 2007

Excel 2007 brings new and improved features, significantly differentiating it from previous versions. Let's delve into the key features that make Excel 2007 stand out:

Excel 2007

The Ribbon System

The tabbed Ribbon system has replaced the traditional menus and toolbars. This results-oriented user interface divides the Ribbon into task-oriented tabs, making accessing relevant commands and features based on the task at hand easier. 

Larger Spreadsheets

Excel 2007 significantly increases capacity, offering approximately 1,500% more rows and 6,300% more columns than Excel 2003. This expanded capacity is particularly beneficial for power users handling extensive financial data or managing large-scale budgets and client lists.

Improved Formula and Function Features

Formulas and functions receive enhancements in Excel 2007. The resizable formula bar ensures that lengthy formulas don't obscure cell data, while formula AutoComplete suggests possible functions as you type, streamlining formula creation.

Enhanced Sorting and Filtering

Sorting and filtering capabilities have been upgraded. Users can now sort information by color and filter by color or dates. Additionally, multiple items can be selected for filtering, and data in PivotTables can be filtered more efficiently.

Themes and Styles

Excel 2007 introduces themes and styles, surpassing the previous AutoFormat Table feature. Themes offer predefined sets of colors, fonts, lines, and fill effects that can be applied to the entire workbook or selected areas. Styles provide predefined formats based on the chosen theme, allowing for quick and consistent visual customization.

These features, combined with enhanced conditional formatting, new table functionality, updated PivotTables, advanced charting tools, additional file formats, and more, make Excel 2007 a powerful and user-friendly spreadsheet software. With Excel 2007, users can create professional-looking spreadsheets that store, organize, calculate, and present data in engaging and visually appealing ways, revolutionizing the Excel user experience.

Excel 2013

Excel 2013 introduces several new features and enhancements that make data analysis and manipulation easier and more efficient. Here are the top features to explore in Excel 2013:

Excel 2013

Get started quickly

Excel 2013 offers a wide range of templates for budgets, calendars, forms, reports, and more, making it easier to start working on your data immediately.

Instant data analysis

The new Quick Analysis tool allows you to convert your data into charts or tables in just a few steps. You can preview your data with conditional formatting, sparklines, or charts and choose the best option with a single click.

Flash Fill

This feature acts as a data assistant, automatically filling in data based on patterns it recognizes in your data. It saves time by quickly completing entire columns of data for you.

Chart recommendations

Excel 2013 recommends the most suitable charts for your data, allowing you to preview how your data looks in different chart types. Simply choose the chart that presents your insights effectively.

Slicers for table data

Slicers, originally introduced for PivotTable data, can now filter data in Excel tables, query tables, and other data tables. They provide an interactive way to filter and visualize your data.

One workbook, one window

Each workbook in Excel 2013 has its own window, making it easier to work with multiple workbooks simultaneously, especially when using multiple monitors.

Save and share files online

Excel 2013 makes it convenient to save your workbooks to online locations like OneDrive or Microsoft 365 and easily share them with others. Collaboration in real-time is also possible.

New charting features

Excel 2013 introduces the Recommended Charts button, providing a variety of suitable charts for your data. Additionally, you can fine-tune charts quickly, use richer data labels, and view animations in charts to understand data changes better.

Powerful data analysis

PivotTable enhancements include easily creating PivotTables that suit your data with recommended field layouts. The Excel Data Model enables analyzing multiple tables and using Power Query and Power Map for advanced data analysis and visualization.

New and improved add-ins and converters

Excel 2013 includes add-ins like Power Pivot for building sophisticated data models and the Inquire add-in for analyzing and reviewing workbooks.

These features in Excel 2013 enhance productivity and provide advanced data analysis capabilities, making it a valuable tool for professionals and data enthusiasts.

Excel 2021

Here's a guide highlighting the new features in Excel 2021 for Windows:

Excel 2021


Collaborate with colleagues on the same Excel workbook in real-time, allowing you to see each other's changes instantly.

Modern comments

Enjoy a consistent commenting experience across Office apps, allowing you to control when you send comments to co-authors for better collaboration.

Workbook collaboration

Easily track who else is working on the workbook and where they are.

Visual refresh

Experience a modernized Start experience and refreshed tabs in the ribbon, featuring a clean, clear style with simple visuals.


Find data in tables or ranges row by row with ease, returning exact matches by default without the need for specification.

LET function

Assign names to calculation results, similar to variables in programming, enabling intermediate calculations and defining names within a formula.

Dynamic arrays

Write one formula and retrieve an array of values, benefiting from new functions like FILTER, SORT, SORTBY, UNIQUE, SEQUENCE, and RANDARRAY.

XMATCH function

Search for specific items in an array or range and return their relative position or corresponding values.

Sheet views

Create customized views within an Excel worksheet without affecting others, allowing for personalized organization.

Accessibility tools

Access all the necessary tools to create accessible content through the Accessibility ribbon.

Performance improvements

Enjoy enhanced performance, stability, and speed across Excel, including faster calculations with common functions.

Enhanced stock media

Access an expanding collection of stock images, icons, and more through the Office Premium Creative Content library.

Microsoft Search integration

Easily find text, commands, help, and more through the new Microsoft Search box integrated into Office apps.


Upload files to OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint Online to automatically save updates as they happen.

Support for OpenDocument format (ODF) 1.3

Excel now supports the latest features introduced in the ODF 1.3 specification.

Updated Draw tab

Quickly access and customize inking tools for simplified ink usage, including the Point Eraser, Ruler, and Lasso.

Workbook statistics

Get a quick summary of the size and contents of your worksheet or workbook.

Hex color values

Enter Hex color values directly in the Colors dialog, eliminating the need for conversion into RGB values.

Sketched style outline

Apply a casual, hand-drawn look to shapes in your workbook with options like Curved, Freehand, or Scribble under Format Shape.

This comprehensive list outlines the notable features introduced in Excel 2021 for Windows, providing users with improved collaboration, functionality, and customization options.


Q: What is MS Excel 2007 and its features?

A: MS Excel 2007 is a spreadsheet software released by Microsoft. Its features include the Ribbon interface, enhanced data visualization, improved formula functionality, and increased worksheet capacity.

Q: What are the major differences between Excel 2013 and Excel 2016?

A: The major differences between Excel 2013 and Excel 2016 include introducing new chart types in Excel 2016, improved collaboration features with real-time co-authoring, enhanced data analysis capabilities, and integrating Power Query and Power Pivot.

Q: What are the features of Excel 2013 that you consider very useful?

A: Some useful features in Excel 2013 include Flash Fill for automatic data entry, Quick Analysis for quick data formatting and analysis, Recommended Charts for visually appealing chart suggestions, and the Inquire add-in for auditing and analyzing workbooks.

Q: What are the functions and features of Excel?

A: Excel offers various functions and features, including mathematical and statistical functions, data analysis tools, conditional formatting, pivot tables, charting options, data validation, automation through macros, and the ability to import and export data from various file formats.

Q: What are the features and functions uses of Microsoft Excel?

A: Microsoft Excel provides features such as data organization and management, calculation and analysis of numerical data, creating of charts and graphs, generating reports, performing complex calculations using formulas and functions, data validation, conditional formatting, and collaboration through shared workbooks and online collaboration tools.

Final Thoughts

Excel 2007 introduced the ribbon interface, making it easier to access features, but lacked some advanced capabilities found in later versions. Excel 2013 added new features like Flash Fill and Quick Analysis, improving productivity and data analysis. 

Excel 2021 further enhanced collaboration with co-authoring, introduced powerful functions like XLOOKUP and LET, and focused on modernizing the interface. Overall, each version brought significant improvements, with Excel 2021 providing the most advanced features for efficient teamwork and data manipulation.

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