Latest TIPs for Microsoft Excel in Office 365

Excel’s power comes from its simplicity. At its core, Excel is three things: cells of data laid out in rows and columns, a powerful calculation engine, and a set of tools for working with the data. The result is an incredibly flexible app that hundreds of millions of people use daily in a wide variety of jobs and industries around the world. With the power of AI (artificial intelligence), Excel continues to improve and help you be more efficient and productive. 

Maybe you have the basics down or feel like a master already, here are some tips and new features that you may have not yet discovered with Microsoft Excel in Office 365: 

Saying goodbye to manual data entry

You read that correctly! With Insert Data from Picture, you can take a picture of a hand-drawn or printed data table with your Android device and convert that analog information into an Excel spreadsheet with a single click. New image recognition functionality automatically converts the picture to a fully editable table in Excel, eliminating the need for you to manually enter data

Finding fresh ideas

Ideas is an AI-powered insights service that helps people take advantage of the full power of Office. Proactively surfacing suggestions that are tailored to the task at hand, Ideas helps users create professional documents, presentations, and spreadsheets in less time.  Identify trends, patterns, and outliers in a data set and understand your numbers in seconds with Ideas, which is basically like having a data guru look at your numbers and provide suggestions as to what it could indicate—solo! Ideas also helps you graphically display your data in the best chart or graph format for the data type. To get Ideas, click the lightning bolt icon in the top right corner of the ribbon under the Home tab.

Calculating with ease using dynamic arrays

Dynamic arrays sound labour intensive but Microsoft continues to invest in making advanced formulas easier to use. Using dynamic arrays, any formula that returns an array of values will seamlessly “spill” into neighbouring unoccupied cells, making it as easy to get an array of values returned as it is to work on a single cell. You can immediately harness the power of dynamic arrays by using one the new FILTER, UNIQUE, SORT, SORTBY, SEQUENCE, SINGLE, and RANDARRAY functions to build spreadsheets that would previously have been nearly impossible. So now, rather than writing many complex formulas to solve a multi-cell problem, you can write one simple formula and get an array of values returned.


A feature you probably already know and love has added new capabilities. VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, and MATCH functions operating on large data sets will now execute in seconds instead of minutes. There is also improved performance on many key operations like copy/paste, undo, conditional formatting, cell editing, cell selection, filtering, file open, and programmability. 

Co-authoring is coming to Excel

Co-authoring is enabled in Excel on Windows desktops for Office Insiders Fast. This allows you to know who else is working with you in a spreadsheet, see where they’re working and view changes automatically within seconds. 

There are plenty of resources for better ways to utilize Microsoft Excel – check out the or @office365 on Twitter.