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Microsoft Excel and Its Features

What is Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program that comes as part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Worksheets (spreadsheets) are created in Microsoft Excel to store and organize the data in a table format.

Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used spreadsheet programs on the planet. Excel has powerful tools and functions, and it is used in a wide range of applications by global IT companies. Data entry, reading, and data manipulation are all simple. Excel organizes data into rows and columns in a table format.

Here’s an example of a Microsoft Excel document:

microsoft excel
Excel Document

What is Excel in Computer?

Excel is a spreadsheet application included in Microsoft 365 and Office 2019 Pack. It is one of the most widely used applications in the business world. In spreadsheets, we can store any type of data in Excel Ranges or Excel Cells. Images, Shapes, Charts, and Pivot Tables can all be inserted into Excel Sheets to help us understand the data.

Features of Excel

Excel’s features have made it the most widely used application. Excel is an extremely popular application due to its extensive set of features and powerful tools. Microsoft added numerous features to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Office Online 365 with each release. The following are the main features of Microsoft Excel.

Main Features of Excel

The main features of Excel can be divided into three categories: Graphical, Data Base, and Functional.

Graphical Features of Excel

Excel has several graphical features for representing data in charts and diagrams.

  • Charts: We can use charts to represent data in a richly visualized graphical format.
  • Shapes: To represent data in shapes and infographics, we can create a variety of shapes. With Excel’s free form feature, we can draw any shape we want.
  • SmartArt: SmartArt can be used to align data in creative designs and visually communicate information.
  • Clip Arts: We can include ready-to-use clip arts to visually represent our message.
  • Images: To enhance the objects, we can insert any image. Worksheet, Shape, and Chart Background Examples.

Data Base Features of Excel

Excel can be used as a database and to perform various data operations.

  • PivotTables: Using Summarize the data, we can create powerful cross tables.
  • Slicing Tools: Slicers are new in Excel 2010, and they will allow us to connect multiple pivot tables and filter the data with buttons.
  • Tables: Tables are used to display information. We can create tables from data in the records and fields format. It will be useful for performing additional analysis quickly.
  • Sparklines: The following are some examples of sparklines: We can insert lightweight charts into cells, which was introduced in Excel 2010.
  • Database: To store the 1 million records, we can use Excel as a database. We can connect to numerous databases and import data into Excel.
  • Sorting: In Excel, we can sort the data. With one or more columns, we can sort Ascending or Descending.
  • Filtering: In Excel, we can filter the data. To filter with the required options, we can specify the number of options. To perform more complex filters, Excel has an Advanced Filtering option.
  • Validations of data: The Data Validation Feature allows you to restrict the cell’s acceptance of specific types of data. We can also provide a drop-down menu from which to select from a pre-defined list.
  • Grouping: With parent and child records, we can group the rows and columns.

Functional Features of Excel

Excel Tools and Functions will assist in performing powerful calculations and improving the Excel Application Features.

  • Functions: There are over 300 built-in formulas in Excel Cells. The consistency of the formulas (Text, Date, String, Maths, etc.) will aid during the performance of a wide range of calculations.
  • VBA Macros: Excel includes VBA programming. Macro’s feature can be used to automate repetitive tasks.
  • Excel Add-ins: We can create Excel Add-ins using VBA or.NET to enhance Excel functionality.
  • Hyperlinks: We can use hyperlinks in Excel to quickly navigate through the various sections of the Excel Workbook.
  • Conditional Formatting: We can format data based on specific conditions. It helps to draw attention to the important data range.
  • Spellcheck: The built-in spell check feature assists us in avoiding grammatical and spelling errors in the data.
  • Protection: Excel offers Workbook, Worksheet, and VBA protection options.
  • Excel has many add-ins for data analysis and the ETL process.

Excel can be used for a variety of purposes. Here are some of the applications of Microsoft Excel. Excel added a ribbon menu in Office 2007 and a variety of features in subsequent releases:

Features of Excel 2007

Excel Ribbon Menu is the most notable new feature in Excel 2007. And a slew of other useful features:

  • Ribbon Menu: Excel 2007 introduced a ribbon menu, and the look and feel of the spreadsheet are more modern.
  • Open XML: Open XML File was introduced.
  • More Rows and Columns: This enhancement allows for the storage of more records and fields in each spreadsheet.
  • Themes and Styles: This feature allows you to switch between color schemes.
  • Improvements and new features in Formulas, Charts, and PivotTables.

Features of Excel 2010

Slicers and Sparklines are new features in Excel 2010:

  • Slicers: Excel Slicers for PivotTable allow you to filter multiple PivotTables with the click of a single button. 
  • Sparklines: Using the Sparkline feature, you can create dashboards with graphs in Cells.
  • Mobile Excel for Windows 7 and many other performance features included Excel 2010.

Features of Excel 2013

Excel was known as MDI (Multiple Document Interface) until Excel 2010. It is a single document application. Excel 2013 introduced a smart and modern look and feel to the application, as well as many more performance features.

  • Excel 2013 debuted a new Start Screen.
  • The ribbon menu has been improved. It is similar to the application menu in Windows 8/10.
  • Charts Quick Tools
  • Excel 2013 introduces Quick Data Analysis Tools.
  • Excel 2013 now has improved graphics and image quality.
  • Many more color schema XML files were added in Excel 2013.

Features of Excel 2016

Excel 2016 is starting to resemble Excel 2013.

  • What you’d like to do? A new tool for instantly searching commands.
  • Sunburst, Waterfall, Histograms, and Pareto charts are among the new charts.
  • Scalable Vector Graphics: Insert SVGs into Excel
  • A new command that allows you to browse the office icons and insert ready-to-use vector icons.
  • The shapes are drawn with a pen.

Features of Excel 2019

Excel 2019 includes a slew of new and improved features and capabilities.

  • Enhancements to the Data Import Tool
  • Workflow automation
  • 3D images: Excel 2019 now includes a new 3D imaging capability that allows you to rotate a 3D model of an object.
  • Custom functions: Excel 2019 now allows users to create their own custom functions using JavaScript.
  • New functions: New or improved functions: Excel now includes six new improved functions: IFS, SWITCH, TEXTJOIN, CONCAT, MAXIFS, and MINIFS.
  • Custom visuals: Microsoft has integrated its Power BI suite of apps into Excel to provide more visual ways to display and present your data.
  • Map chart improvements: Map chart enhancements include the ability to project your maps in Albers, Mercator, or Miller layouts (which means you can display your map charts as flat or curved).
  • Chart improvements: In Excel 2019, new options allow you to control axis information on funnel charts, such as tick marks and number formats, and you can now create color-coded heat maps.
  • Co-authoring: When your file is stored on the SharePoint or OneDrive platform, new co-authoring capabilities allow you to share your workbooks with others so that multiple users can edit the same workbook at the same time.

Features of Excel Online

Microsoft is developing numerous tools and hastening the release of its Online Version of Microsoft Office. Except for the VBA Macros, most of the features are functional in the Excel Online version.

Another feature for Excel on the web is Show Changes, which allows you to monitor changes made to Excel spreadsheet or workbook by other collaborators.

Author: Jace Mrazz is a Microsoft Office expert with 5 years of experience in the technology industry. He has written technical blogs, white papers, and reviews for a variety of websites, including office.com/setup and office365.com/setup