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Microsoft Excel 2013

In this post, we will discover the new features in Microsoft Excel 2013 ranging from the new sharing options to Office Apps. Data organization has been simplified using Flash Fill, data analysis has been equipped with Quick Analysis and charting is now much more effective owing to the new Recommended charts option.


New Start Screen

The new start screen opens when you first start Excel 2013, or when you click on a File Tab from the Ribbon. On the left hand side there are options like New, Open, Save, Share, Print etc. Here you can choose whether to open the file from Recent Workbooks, SkyDrive account or Hard disk. In the New Tab there are options such as Blank Workbook, Take a Tour, Mini Calendar etc. In the Share Tab you can invite people to share your document. This screen helps you to get the work done more efficiently. 


Flash Fill

The tool can find patterns, and enter and remove data according to an obvious pattern. It can resolve problem such as extracting a person’s first name from a column of full names. There is a blank column right next to the column that contains full names where you are supposed to type the first name and then click the “Home” tab. Afterwards, select “Fill“, “Flash Fill“. The first names in the list will be instantly entered in that column. The same process may be applied to extract the last names, months, days or years when it comes to dates and for extracting values from various cells.


Simplify Choices from Recommended Charts

Recommended Charts shows only chart types that are appropriate to the data you’ve selected. To use this tool, select the data that you want to chart, select the Insert Tab and click Recommended Charts button. From the appeared dialogue box you can choose a range of charts. You can see the look of every chart. Click OK after selecting the desired chart look and the chart will be created automatically.


Chart Tools

In the previous Excel version, when a chart is selected, the Chart Tools tab revealed three additional tabs: Design, Layout and Format. In Excel 2013, there are only two tabs: Design and Format.

Icons appear next to the top right edge of a chart when you select it. To find extra options for chart formatting, click of “Chart Elements“, “Chart Styles” or “Chart Filters“. If you want to add or remove elements, like legends and axis titles, click on “Chart Elements“. To change the style and color of your chart, select “Chart Styles” and to view filtered data with a live preview, select “Chart Filters“.


Quick Data Analysis

To use the new Quick Analysis tool, select the data to analyze, and click on the Quick Analysis icon that appears in the bottom-right corner of the selected data. The appeared dialogue shows a range of tools for data analyzing such as Formatting, Charts, Totals, Tables and Sparklines. After selecting any of the options, series of selectable choices appears. Point the mouse cursor over them for preview and click the option you like to apply to your data.


Pivot Tables

There is one powerful tool that helps you analyze and answer questions about your data: “Pivot Tables”. To use the new Recommended PivotTables option, select your data, including headings, choose Insert tab and click Recommended PivotTables button. A dialog then appears showing several Pivot Tables with explanations of the contents they show.


Select the table you are interested in, click OK and this will automatically draw the PivotTable.


Quick Reports with Power View

Excel 2013 has the Power View add-in integrated in it. You can use the Power View when analyzing large quantities of data from external data sources. Select your data and choose Insert tab, then select Power View button. First, you should install Microsoft Silverlight. Then press Reload button. After this, the analysis report will be created.


If you want to filter or sort your data, the Power View tab has report format options, like Theme and text formats, and View options as well, for “Field List” and “Filters Area” panels.


Share Files with Other People and Social Networks

With Excel 2013 you can work interactively on files and share them with others through SkyDrive by using the Excel WebApp. This means that several people can simultaneously work on the same document. Excel 2013 by default saves files to the cloud. You can always open, view and edit Excel files online with a browser with Excel WebApp and you do not even have to have Excel 2013 on the local hard drive.

With this version you can also share Excel workbooks with Facebook and more, within Excel 2013. The best way to see the option “Post to Social Networks” is to save the file first to SkyDive.


Separate Windows for Each Workbook

Every Excel workbook now gets its own window and ribbon. This means you can open two workbooks, position them on different monitors, and actually copy formulas back and forth between the two.

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