What is new in Excel 2013?

With the recent release of the 2013 version of Microsoft Office, many people are wondering what is new in Excel 2013 and what changes have taken place in the most popular software program on the planet. The new spreadsheet tool has not undergone any drastic changes, but there are a few tweaks that make it easier to use for both novice and veteran number-crunchers. New apps and Excel 2013 new features allow users to browse through faster and compile data with less input.

Start At The Beginning

The new Office 2013 software uses a start screen that is different from the prior packages. Unlike the older versions of Excel where users chose between workbooks, calendars, and to-do lists, the start screen for Excel 2013 loads up the most recent files automatically. This allows you to keep the worksheets pinned to a list of recent activity so that it is visible and comes up without any loading. You can automatically import existing workbooks or templates from your hard drive, a disk, or the cloud. New templates can be pinned alongside the existing files to better allow you to boot up your work.

Look To The Rear

One of the popular features of Office 2010 was the Backstage View, a means of calling up different files in order to import information without swapping out tabs or pulling up a new program. This View has been re-vamped for Office 2013, with a tab that allows you to pull up recently accessed documents. This list can include email chains, computer drives, recently browsed locations, and some online databases. What's more, you can use the View to open a SkyDrive account that shares files between registered users.

Seeing The Patterns

Pattern recognition software has come a long ways since the days of Office detecting what words you are about to type based only on the first few letters. Microsoft's new algorithm can see patterns in numerical data. The Flash Fill tool of Excel 2013 allows you to find patterns within the numbers you input and then automatically fill remaining entries with the information. For those who need to apply a common figure to existing numbers, such as an increase for inflation, the Flash Fill can easily and instantly plug in numbers that would previously require using the calculator function. This applies to numbers as well as names and time, so that you can Flash Fill the projected figures months and years from now.

Ask For A Recommendation

One of the intuitive new features of Excel 2013 is the Recommended Charts app. This pulls up a subset of the figures you have input in a chart form, whether bar graph or pie chart or numbers over time. By inserting recommended charts, you can click around to see how your numbers would appear in different visual forms. All you have to do once you see the graph that looks correct is hit OK and it will be created and added to your document.

Analyze In Rapid Time

Being able to work with your information as soon as it has been entered into each cell is one of the most exciting parts of what is new in Excel 2013. The Quick Analysis lets you pull up a brick of cells or information and then play around with it. You can use Quick Analysis in order to format your numbers by dates or numerical orders; you can create new charts; you can total up the running tally; or you can create tables for other users. After previewing each tally or chart, simply click OK and it will be applied to the numbers.

View Each Number In Each Dimension

The prior versions of Excel had a compatible Power View app. In Office 2013, this app is now included in the software. Power View is great for turning a bunch of numbers into a presentable format in case you need to make a presentation or want the equivalent of a PowerPoint slide for the data. Create a working title, organize the information as you need, filter out any unnecessary parts, and use any texts or themes that you feel work best for a presentation. Preview it before it is ready to go and put it in an email or on a projector.

As you can see Excel 2013 brings some nice new features to the table. Do you think it is enough to warrant an upgrade?