Hello from the Microsoft Excel team! We are the team that designs, implements, and tests Excel on many different platforms; e.g. Windows desktop, Windows mobile, Mac, iOS, Android, and the Web. We have an experienced group of engineers and program managers with deep experience across the product primed and ready to answer your questions. We did this a year ago and had a great time. We are excited to be back. We'll focus on answering questions we know best - Excel on its various platforms, and questions about us or the Excel team.

We'll start answering questions at 9:00 AM PDT and continue until 11:00 AM PDT.

After this AMA, you may have future help type questions that come up. You can still ask these normal Excel questions in the /r/excel subreddit.

The post can be verified here: https://twitter.com/msexcel/status/661241367008583680

Edit: We're going to be here for another 30 minutes or so. The questions have been great so far. Keep them coming.

Edit: 10:57am Pacific -- we're having a firedrill right now (fun!). A couple of us working in the stairwell to keep answering questions.

Edit: 11:07 PST - we are all back from our fire-drill. We'll be hanging around for awhile to wrap up answering questions.

Edit: 11:50 PST - We are bringing this AMA session to a close. We will scrub through any remaining top questions in the next few days.

-Scott (for the entire Excel team)

Comments: 6806 • Responses: 94  • Date: 

Nam-Redips4146 karma

For the love of GOD could you please enable two excels to be open in separate windows without having to open up excel separately??

EDIT: Looks like I need to Upgrade!! ~Thanks!

2nd EDIT: Tons of great suggestions below on how to make it easier to do if stuck w/ older versions of Excel, thanks!

Also... Thanks for the gold!! (first time)

MicrosoftExcelTeam2936 karma

in Excel 2013 desktop and beyond this is possible just by opening the files. -Sam

MicrosoftExcelTeam543 karma

This was enabled in Excel 2013 and newer. - Howie

meneedmorecoffee3179 karma

How come when I have a csv file, even though I've not changed anything, it still alerts me that saving this as csv can distort formatting? It was already csv, after all. And how come when I save it I have to overwrite the same file every time?

MicrosoftExcelTeam1960 karma

When we load any file type from disk we load it into the same set of data structures in memory. When you go to save it we have to translate it back to whatever file format you want and don't re-open it. Since we don't guard the user from doing things that might not be compatible with the destination file format (like font changes, charts, colors, etc.) we pop that warning as a courtesy to make sure you are aware that something might have gotten lost even though you might still see it on your screen. -- Kevin

stoneimp1609 karma

Could we get an option to turn off this suggestion? I work extensively with .csv files, and getting that pop-up every time can get annoying. I understand having it on as default, but I think you can trust power users to know what they're doing.

MicrosoftExcelTeam1430 karma

I agree with everything you are saying - we don't really deal with CSVs as nicely as we could. I'd appreciate it if you could all post your suggestions up here: http://excel.uservoice.com

That isn't a void where we are dumping things we don't want to do - that's how we manage our backlog so getting these asks up there is the first step to getting them done. -- Kevin

BFG_90002927 karma

Hi Guys,

Thanks for doing this.
I only have 1 question...

Why oh why can we not use a negative value as a column reference in VLOOKUP?

I know that we can use INDEX/MATCH - but that's 2 functions that take longer to type...!

MicrosoftExcelTeam3388 karma

That's a great point of feedback - thanks for bringing it up! Totally agree with you - we're working on it!


Tainerifswork2273 karma

Any particular reason why the clipboard gets cleared anytime anything happens? Kind of makes me want to punch a kitten. Oh, you copied a couple thousand rows.. oh, you alt tabbed to verify the data? LOL copy it again scrub, it's GONE

Thanks_Obama612 karma


MicrosoftExcelTeam1421 karma

It's a tricky balance as it is easy to put a lot of data into the clipboard and it takes up a surprising amount of memory. Maybe we aren't balanced right? Save a kitten and drop some comments on the feedback site here instead: http://excel.uservoice.com

-- Kevin

BulbousCodswallop2138 karma

In your MS cafeteria, do you guys eat at Pivot Tables?

EDIT: OMG, my first gold for that terrible pun?!! Thank you generous Redditor!!

MicrosoftExcelTeam2707 karma

Of course! ...and then head down to the formula bar for happy hour!


snuffy2531948 karma

If all the Microsoft Office programs were thrown together in a Hunger Games style competition, would Excell win?

MicrosoftExcelTeam3589 karma

Yes. The OneNote team is pretty scrappy though.

farmboi1237 karma

Have you guys implemented any Easter eggs in excel?

MicrosoftExcelTeam2102 karma

Back in the day we did. Now it's an Office policy not to include Easter eggs (for a bunch of reasons). It's a bummer sometimes, but we still do get to have fun on April 1 sometimes :-)

-Dan [MS]

MicrosoftExcelTeam667 karma

We don't have any recent ones (unless someone has been sneaking them by me), but one of our favorites was in Excel 97:



Tinkleheimer859 karma

What does your accounting department think of your work?

MicrosoftExcelTeam2045 karma

I'm not sure about our accounting department but my wife works for an accounting firm and she tells me it's an Excel-lent tool and an integral part of their day to day. When I attend one of her company events, it's like a mini-AMA :) - Sherman

MicrosoftExcelTeam896 karma

Our finance guys are big users of Excel and periodically come by to show us the cool stuff they've done. - Howie

sexrockandroll806 karma

Does the Excel team have a number of mathematicians on it to develop the formulas and recommend what types of statistics users may want access to? Do the developers learn more about mathematics to implement these?

MicrosoftExcelTeam995 karma

We have a couple of team members who are math experts, but we also contract and work with key members of the academic maths community when we make improvements/changes to calc

Cheers, Dan [MS]

MicrosoftExcelTeam510 karma

We also work a lot with Microsoft Research -- people like Simon Peyton Jones -- http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/people/simonpj/ -- lots of great deep math and stats experts.

killcrew467 karma



Welp, we found the Brit.

MicrosoftExcelTeam467 karma

Was wondering if anyone would catch that. I'm now getting teased for it in the room, since I'm a California boy :-)

Cheers, Dan [MS]

Up2KnowGood785 karma

Has anyone ever really used the true parameter in a vlookup?

MicrosoftExcelTeam438 karma

Yes - it's useful for folks who want to find the closest match to a numeric value, without requiring an exact match. - Howie

Fishrage_766 karma

Any thoughts on updating/replacing VBA?

Killkill46708 karma

I would love to see a plugin that allows me to use python, javascript, etc instead of VBA.

MicrosoftExcelTeam863 karma

JavaScript you say? See my answer here


MicrosoftExcelTeam360 karma

We love VBA, and we plan to keep it around for the foreseeable future. As we add new features to Windows Desktop and Mac versions of Excel (where VBA is supported), we’ll continue to add object model for those features (see http://dev.office.com/blogs/VBA-improvements-in-Office-2016), so you have programmable access to all of the capabilities of the application.

That said, the VB runtime was built long before today’s cross platform world (on the VB6 platform which the Visual Studio team has talked about on UserVoice – see http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/3440221-bring-back-classic-visual-basic-an-improved-versi), and with the significant investments we’ve made to run Office across multiple platforms, we want to bring all the great scenarios VBA enabled into this new world and we also want to take advantage of the new opportunities this new world creates for our customers. This has caused us to explore new approaches in order to address the new opportunities of a cloud anchored, cross device world (service connectivity, cross-platform authoring and execution, standards-based languages, cloud based deployment/management, and more).

An early stage of this work is the cross-platform JavaScript APIs available to developers in Office 2016, and we are actively working on dramatically extending that API set to be in line with the existing VBA/COM OM. The good news here is that the new APIs will work regardless of the Excel endpoint/device, which will mean that solutions will be much more universal than they are today. Once we’ve broadened the API set, we’ll start working through some of the tooling (a more modern editor than the VBE) and macro recording.

Cheers, Dan [MS]

epicmindwarp627 karma

From the Mod team and redditors over at /r/excel - Welcome and thank you for joining us today! We have a selection of questions already asked for you here, should you get a moment to go through them

What is the best addition, in your opinion, of Excel 2016?

Also, Clippy - how's my buddy doing?

MicrosoftExcelTeam465 karma

For the more technical users, the new JavaScript APIs are starting to catch up to the functionality of VBA - these will continue to get better with monthly updates. I much prefer building solutions in a modern, cross-platform language


MicrosoftExcelTeam345 karma

The new charts are pretty cool. Clippy was the admin assistant for Cortana, last I heard... Jim

diegojones4212 karma

I would like to emphasize /u/RobKhonsu's question about cells staying highlighted when Excel loses focus. Is there any plan to make that happen? It would be a dream come true for anyone that does data entry.

MicrosoftExcelTeam201 karma

I recommend that suggestions for features to be added to future versions of Excel be logged at http://excel.uservoice.com. Folks can vote those suggestions up, and the ones that have a lot of votes will be seriously considered.

MicrosoftExcelTeam150 karma

We're arm wrestling on new additions :-) Many people really like the new charts, i like the Waterfall chart -- Kirk

MicrosoftExcelTeam227 karma

Ask Cortana if she likes Clippy too

MicrosoftExcelTeam50 karma

I like the integration of the Power Query capabilities as "Get & Transform" in the Data ribbon.

latecherry475 karma

Why is the graph function so bad?

Why has it taken decades to see any inprovement?

(I'm giving the benefit of the doubt that your survey will lead to changes.)

Primer: Problems with using excel for statisics

The majority of the graph types are variants on stacking series and displaying discrete piles. They are (over)used for some types of information like types of energy. The simple bar type ones aren't good ways to present information. The other geometric variants are worse.

Each variant has pseudo 3D effects options that add nothing and hinder comparison of data. They shouldn't be used by anyone, ever.

There is only one type, IIRC, that has confidence intervals/error bars. This should be available to add to a whole range of graphs, particularly scatter plots.

Histographs. Bin sorting data is very useful. Unfortunately the algorithm for the x axis labels and bins is mind bogglingly bad. It picks and labels the bins bizarrely, with strings of digits that show zero comprehension of use of numbers and precision when conveying information. The bins should also be much more flexible and user defined. (see primer link)

Another actually useful graph type is the 3D surface plot. It only has only one colour scale available for data and it's unique. You would need to force feed LSD coated skittles to a bunch of chameleons, put them in a kaleidoscope and centrifuge them to get a multicoloured vomit covered mess that could compare with an Excel 3D surface plot!

Scatter plots are the main workhorse graph and they are mediocre. There's a great deal of formatting needed to create something presentable. Even then if you save one as a template it saves every title, axis scale, everything and not just the formatting. There's no way to create an extensible colour sequence/scheme for data series, new data gets the next auto generated one. This is an improvement on the days when monochromatic graphs were needed for journals and finding enough ways to format a black line to be differentiable was excruciating. (see above re error bars.)

Back in the 486/P1 days there was a huge memory leak in there too. Probably still there but not noticeable now.

In short it sucks and has been that way for decades. Fix the existing graphs before adding new ones.

MicrosoftExcelTeam277 karma

This is great feedback. We have plans to deliver more visual analytic features in the future. Our first delivery of this was with the new chart types in Excel 2016; e.g. Box & Whisker, Histogram, etc. However, we have gotten feedback (similar to yours) about these v1 new chart types. We are actively evaluating solutions to address this feedback. If you have specific ideas, please post them to http://excel.uservoice.com. This will allow others to vote on their top requests.

Scott [Excel Team]

sexrockandroll457 karma

I've done work at some jobs to take some really overloaded Excel spreadsheets and turn them into other programs. They can get really complicated! I assume you've seen some of these - spreadsheets that are created by users that end up with horrendously complex macros that push (what I assume is) the intended use case of Excel.

What do you think of users who do this?

Is this something that Excel is supposed to support?

Do you end up finding a lot of bugs from these examples?

MicrosoftExcelTeam811 karma

This is exactly how I got started in computer science in the first place! I was doing data entry for a cell phone company as a temp and it morphed into making macros that helped upsell customers on new contracts. Now I'm living the dream!

I love users who do this, Excel provides a great bridge for people who want to do some programming type stuff but don't know how to get started. Yes, they do get out of control quickly but I like to think that is a sign of that crazy Excel workbook adding a lot of value to a business by empowering people who do the work to make their own lives easier without having some big IT project that usually doesn't hit the mark right.

These are also the most fun people to talk to about Excel because they have a deep love for Excel and it's really fun to blow their minds when I introduce something more advanced like Pivot Tables or Data Models that they might not have heard of before and you see their eyes light up with possibilities.

Yes, we support that and yes, we do find some really interesting bugs from this.

-- Kevin

MicrosoftExcelTeam313 karma

It's amazing sometimes what people can and do use Excel for. I used to do a lot of market research. One common thread across all the product categories that I talked with people about was how much people tend to stick with the tools they know. If they can make a familiar tool work, many folks will tend to do so. You mix that tendency with Excel's broad capabilities and you can end up with some pretty elaborate workbooks. If it works for folks, who are we to judge? Jim

nmgoh2375 karma

Why is there still not a hotkey or context button to make selected characters superscript or subscript?

Every time I'm writing formulas I have to go through a whole rt click menu process to do what should be a simple button press or hotkey by now.

Ctrl+Shift+ [+/-] is super/subscript in MS word, and has been since at least 2003, why it still hasn't been ported into MS Excel is a fact that boggles my mind today

MicrosoftExcelTeam182 karma

Great suggestion, i was just thinking the same thing :-) Would be great if you can add to http://excel.uservoice.com/ -- kirk

antidense365 karma

Hi, thanks for doing this!

Have you considered overhauling the date/time system? Could we please have ISO 8601-compliant dates (yyyy-mm-dd) that could also work consistently across different time zones?

MicrosoftExcelTeam317 karma

We actually pull the list of date/time formats from your operating system, which gives you a specific set based on your region. If you don't see it in your list, you can add a custom number format "yyyy-mm-dd" in the Format Cells dialog. This format will work anywhere you open the workbook!


David_ON314 karma

While working with large(ish) spreadsheets, I frequently get "insufficient resources" errors in 32bit Excel 2013. I'm about to upgrade to Office 2016 - would my laptop's 4GB be enough to gain at least some advantage from 64bit Excel? Thanks!

MicrosoftExcelTeam358 karma

Yes, you can address more than 2GB of memory with 64bit Excel. We did a bunch of work starting in Excel 2010 to allow Excel to take advantage of more memory in 64bit versions.


orangelight104 karma

Along these lines though MS is still strongly recommending 32bit Office for installs. Are there plans to do a hybrid install of Office that has both 32bit and 64bit sort of like Adobe does with CC?

I'd love to have 64bit Excel while maintaining the high level of OS integration that 32bit Office offers me.

MicrosoftExcelTeam235 karma

I think the 32 bit recommendation was more around maintaining compatibility with 3rd party add-ins, if you don't have any compatibility issues I'd totally go with the 64 bit install.

I'm not aware of a hybrid implementation in the works because we share a lot of code across Office apps and mixing 32 and 64 bit binaries in a single process doesn't work well.

-- Kevin

Jackmay2311 karma

I've always wondered, in the early beginning what was the original purpose of excel? Why was it created?

MicrosoftExcelTeam438 karma

Good question - back at the time that Excel was introduced 30 years ago, there was a huge opportunity to help people and organizations be more productive as PCs were becoming more common.

There's a cool interview with some of the original team members who worked on v1.0 you can check out here:



SQLDave258 karma

Minor-yet-somehow-gigantic annoyance: Why can't the clipboard remember what I've copied into it even after I do some action which causes the "moving dashed line" around the selected/copied cell(s) to go away?

MicrosoftExcelTeam194 karma

One of the reasons it works this way at the moment is there are various cases where things can affect the cut/copied range. For instance, copying something, doing a bunch of other operations that cause calc to fire and change what's copied - the paste could wind up giving the 'wrong' answer in some cases. So the model tries to keep things consistent and avoid cases like that. Of course, it's software and there's other ways to do it, so I'd encourage folks that want to see changes here to post/vote for it on http://excel.uservoice.com


mdcsd237 karma

Do you guys ever fight with the Word or PowerPoint guys?

MicrosoftExcelTeam1411 karma

Sometimes but they tend to be verbose and have no data to support their position.

GameEconomist234 karma

Why is Mac Excel such an inferior product vs. Windows Excel? Come on!

MicrosoftExcelTeam129 karma

We have been working hard to get Mac Excel to catch up with functionality in Windows Excel. Check out the new features in Excel 2016 https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Compare-Excel-for-Mac-2011-with-Excel-2016-for-Mac-602a6c30-e6a6-47c5-9e0d-b16af397427a There is still work/feature catch up remaining and we continue to ship monthly to get to Windows Excel parity. Are there any particular features you want in Mac that are in Windows, please send your suggestions at http://excel.uservoice.com -Sangeeta [MS]

srul225 karma

Are ever going to add smooth scrolling, i.e. not always by a rowful, at least as an option?

MicrosoftExcelTeam175 karma

I totally agree with this feedback :-). While not a perfect workaround for all cases, we already have behavior where we don't snap to row/column boundaries in several Excel endpoints today: * Excel Online * Excel Mobile (for Windows) * Excel for Android

We're also removing the snapping behavior in Mac Excel in the next month or so.

Excel for Windows is a bit further out - the plan right now is to remove the snapping in about a year, but it is in our longer term roadmap (at least currently).

Cheers, Dan [MS]

David_ON182 karma

Hi, folks! After decades of using Excel, the two items below still trip me up. I appreciate that they were deliberate choices by the Team, but I've never been able to see the reason why. Can you give me an explanation, please?

(1) Knowing when Calculation is not happening automatically is obviously critical. But the "CALCULATE" indicator in the status bar can be overriden by significantly less important messages (e.g. "Select destination and press ENTER or choose Paste").

(2) When the "Find and Replace" dialogue is displayed, the focus may be in either the "Find what" or "Replace with" field (depending on whether "Find what" is empty?). This means that after <Ctrl-H>, one has to check where the focus is, perhaps move it and only then start entering details. If "Find what" was always the focus, then us non-touch typists could simply type "<Ctrl-H>old<Tab>new", only then looking up to check all is correct and hit <Enter>.

Thanks for your time,


MicrosoftExcelTeam118 karma

Thanks for letting us know about the Find and Replace thing - we'll take a look.

Dan [MS]

semicolonsemicolon157 karma

It would be awesome to be able to view multiple worksheets (in the same workbook) at once, kind of like a freeze panes or split, but with worksheets. Thoughts on that?

Frozenlazer326 karma

Not on the team - You can do that. Just goto "View" and then click "New Window"

It will open a clone of your current workbook, same as if you had a second file open, then you can arrange those with the "Arrange All" button or just by dragging them around.

Edit - You can even use it to look at 2 different points in the same worksheet. They will mirror each other if you type into one, it changes in the other.

MicrosoftExcelTeam120 karma

tyvm - this is spot on! -- Kevin

MicrosoftExcelTeam88 karma

Frozenlazer has it right (thanks for the assist!) - there are some options on the View tab, under the Window chunk, on the ribbon that should help here.


Masterbrew122 karma


  • Excel 2017, with Python scripting. Have you considered it, or something like it? VBA is many users' first contact with scripting, and it is hardly the best experience for a beginner.

  • More SQL. SQL makes so good sense when juggling data. Would you include it in more places throughout Excel, such as functions? Manipulating arrays and recordsets in VBA could also benefit from SQL support.

  • Excel 2013 introduced the =WEBSERVICE function which is pretty darn cool. Will we see more along those veins? Getting data from websites is a huge headache, and built-in functionality like that is a great help.

  • What is the justification for keeping Power Query, Power View, etc., out of the base Excel configurations? My firsthand impression with these hasn't been great, unfortunately, as I like to stay within Excel. (competing solutions do the data handling better, and Tableau does the power viewing better)

MicrosoftExcelTeam60 karma

Hi Masterbrew, hi, 1. pls add your suggestions to http://excel.uservoice.com. 2. have you already looked at Power Query addin? we've improved ability to read from the web (and lots of other sources) and performing shaping/transformations. 3. Re: addins, we've updated Excel configurations for 2016.. more information here: https://blogs.office.com/2015/09/18/new-ways-to-get-the-excel-business-analytics-features-you-need/.

  • ash

CantSeeShit120 karma

What did you guys have for lunch today? Be specific.

MicrosoftExcelTeam188 karma

It's 9:47 am in Redmond, so nothing yet ;-).

Someone did bring in bagels and coffee and fruit.



What is the most underrated tool/function in Excel?

MicrosoftExcelTeam258 karma

Everyone probably has their own favorite, but I think Tables are something that once people discover, they fall in love with. They do so many things automatically - formatting, names, referencing, totals, etc.

Joel Spolsky has a cool video that walks through a bunch of hard stuff and then shows how Tables make it much easier:


Check it out!

Sparklines are really cool data visualization tools too.


MicrosoftExcelTeam111 karma

Personally, the camera tool for me, and used with index match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEM0pp5SjMU


aer7154 karma

If you could start all over again from scratch, with no legacy or compatibility requirements, what's the first thing that you would change?

MicrosoftExcelTeam100 karma

In general - I'd say let's have world peace.

Scoping the question just to Excel - I wish we had perfect compatibility between versions of Excel and different platforms. There are so many weird technical problems supporting the different versions of Excel it makes things very confusing for both us and our customers as we have all sorts of weird if statements in the code for special cases that I'm not sure are used any more and make the code hard to understand.

-- Kevin

Close49 karma

I know it's a long shot, and this thread has lots of suggestions, but have you thought about allowing multiline formulas?

All this IFERROR(if(this,that,if(this,this(this,this),not this)),"None") sends me bonkers, and makes other peoples spreadsheets illegible. If we could have a new type of in-cell formulas where you could type it in like a standard high level language across multiple lines it would be beautiful (e.g. python-like VBA in the formula bar).

MicrosoftExcelTeam96 karma

You can use ALT+ENTER to insert a blank line into you formula that is treated as white space: =SUM(1,{ALT+ENTER here} 2,3)

For example will show value of 6 and will show up like so when you have the formula bar expanded: =SUM(1, 2,3)


micahfk45 karma

Will native regex formula ever be added into Excel?

MicrosoftExcelTeam28 karma

Thanks for the input. This is something we're thinking about - I encourage you to vote for this on http://excel.uservoice.com - things with more votes tend to get done sooner.


Charles-Wall-Piano42 karma

Why is the process of producing graphs so horribly backwards?


MicrosoftExcelTeam28 karma

Could you further explain your thoughts on this?

Scott [Excel Team]

aminalsarecute25 karma

When I use excel on my Mac OS, the program only uses 1/8 cores. On my Windows OS that number scales up to 8/8 cores. The performance difference is huge. Why is the Mac version less powerful?

MicrosoftExcelTeam24 karma

We did a feature in Excel 2007 called "multi threaded recalc" that takes advantage of the cores.

If that's something of interest for you on Mac, please add a suggestion at the Excel user voice site: https://excel.uservoice.com/ ... the team monitors that and watches that as part of deciding what to work on next.

-Dave -Dave

MicrosoftExcelTeam23 karma

We're already tracking this request on on Excel's UserVoice here. Restricting calc to a single core isn't great for performance and we know that, so it's safe to say this is on our radar. Thanks!

innervisionary23 karma

When I change a value's format to %, why must it go from 55 to 5500%? You know I mean 55%, but you have to get all technical about it. I wish I could hold shift or something when I change the format to % for the "you know what I mean" percentage format.

MicrosoftExcelTeam48 karma

I've felt that frustration sometimes, too. But consider this: if you started with a cell that had 55 in it, then converted it to percentage, and got 55%, and subsequently decided to change the format back to decimal, what would you expect to get? 0.55, not 55, right? if you got 55, that would seem like a math error. The scenario described is of the "round-trip" ilk. It comes up a lot. (change something, change it back, it better be the same) So we're kind of obligated to play the mathematics pretty straight, I think... But I wish we could sense the "you know what I mean", too, sometimes! Jim

I_smell_awesome5 karma

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

My kids certain think so. -Dave

Zockman1753 karma

Are you guys EXCELlent?

MicrosoftExcelTeam23 karma

http://i.imgur.com/iRGpzT5.gif Boy, that's a tough one :) - Sherman

MicrosoftExcelTeam12 karma


BaronVonWasteland3 karma

First, I want to thank you for making work fun again.

Second, could you explain a little bit about how Excel sees dates and fractions so that I can understand why things turn out wonky sometimes?

MicrosoftExcelTeam7 karma

Dates are stored as real numbers, with the integer portion representing the number of days since Jan 1, 1900 and the fractional portion representing the portion of the day. You can see the numbers by setting the formatting to "General".

ahmedika3 karma

Why is excel on Mac so different than on PC?

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

We have been working hard to make Mac Excel as similar as possible to PC Excel. In 2016 Mac Excel, we have overhauled the UI (Ribbon, Task Pane) to look like Windows Excel, Keyboard shortcuts are now similar. Finally we continue to add more functionality to Mac Excel - Slicers, DataAnalysis Toolpak and more. Are there any particular features or the product UI aspect that you think are very different and need to be consistent? - Sangeeta [MS]

fallingshoes3 karma

What's the best way for me to learn how to master pivot tables?

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

hi there, we recently launched for advanced analytics that might be useful, here: https://www.edx.org/course/excel-data-analysis-visualization-microsoft-dat206x..

Also, there're more guides here: http://guides.officeignite.com/Excel%20Guides.htm.


pighalf2 karma

I love excel but sometimes have to use graph pad to analyze certain data and make publication quality figures. What new features can we expect with newer versions of excel?

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

What type of things make you move to graph pad?

If you want us to look at features in this or other areas, please post suggestions to http://excel.uservoice.com as the team is always monitoring that and using it as a way to help us decide what to do next.


wisevis2 karma

Will the implementation of new chart types in Excel 2016 be improved soon? They don't feel like Excel charts, no detailed level of control, missing important features (encoding color ramps to treemaps, horizontal boxplots) and several bugs.

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

We have plans to address the gaps in the new Office 2016 chart types in the coming months. If you have specific features in mind, please post those to http://excel.uservoice.com. Thanks for the feedback.

-Scott [Excel Team]

featured_spectre2 karma

Can you code in some more games please? I miss them from the old excel versions :(

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

There are a bunch of sites out there that are dedicated to games built in Excel. You can go check those out!


suaveitguy2 karma

Excel is a bit of a monster, in that you can do almost anything inside it. How many people are well versed in ALL the functionality inside it?

MicrosoftExcelTeam7 karma

Zero. Even after being on the Excel team for 16 years, I still learn new things every week. It's awesome.

Dan [MS]

TheCoreyMatthews2 karma

What considerations are in the pipeline for size and speed improvements? Given the rapidly growing amount of data being collected and growing popularity of alternative analytic platforms such as R, SAS, Tableau, etc., is anything in the works to allow Excel to compete with these platforms? What is currently limiting size and performance now that 64bit processing is ubiquitous?

-Group of consulting analysts

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

We're always looking at performance improvements. 64bit Excel can handle much larger amounts of data, although sometimes folks have to stay with 32bit Excel because they have some older add-ins that were developed only for 32bit. The many platforms that you mention target different scenarios, and we think that integrating with such platforms is important. While Excel functionality overlaps with many of these, it's not a competitor/replacement for such platforms. -Howie

H64-GT181 karma

I find it slightly rewarding being better adapted to Excel than MATLAB. I recently used Excel to do Monte Carlo simulations, which makes me wonder..

Will the Team be making an Analysis Tool Pack using/concerning uniformly random numbers (or other probabilistic models for that matter)? Instead of using the RAND function, is a Monte Carlo analysis tool possible for development?

MicrosoftExcelTeam4 karma

Hi there. If you want us to look at features, please post suggestions to http://excel.uservoice.com as the team is always monitoring that and using it as a way to help us decide what to do next.

Also, there are a number of good add ins that partners build to provide Monte Carlo functionality - Crystal Ball, At Risk, and Frontline Systems are top of mind, but there are probably more if you do a search.


loganalarcon1 karma

How's it going! My question is as a student, how focused are you on making the excel platform mobile? I'm huge on writing papers/spread sheets while on the go etc. The old palm Treo had a full mobile word application & that was awesome.

MicrosoftExcelTeam4 karma

Hi loganalarcon! We're 100% committed to providing the best spreadsheeting experience on mobile platforms. We have apps for Windows 10, iOS, and Android


MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

Yes we are totally committed to supporting excel platform mobile. you can download the Excel app from the iOS, Android app stores and it's the full functionality available on the mobile platform. And the best part is that Excel Mobile app is free! - Sangeeta [MS]

The8bitplaya1 karma

Opening up a second spreadsheet (for side by side) is a pain in the rear end.

I have to open up another version of excel and then load the document.

Why can't it just be easy as a right click?

MicrosoftExcelTeam10 karma

Which version of Excel are you using? 2013 desktop and beyond should open side-by-side just by opening the files.


[deleted]1 karma


MicrosoftExcelTeam4 karma

Thanks for the kudos - of course I've got my own opinion, as does probably everyone else on the product team, but I think this one is actually best answered by the community.

We love to hear what people like about the product as well as what they want to see improved.


MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

The people on the team. Seriously.

-Dan [MS]

programmingguy1 karma

  1. What development languages do you use for the windows version of excel?

  2. Is there a lot of C programming with the current versions?

  3. Trying to recall but what was the role of Joel Spolsky in the initial excel versions of Excel?

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

We use a lot of languages in Excel these days. We use at least: 1.C 2.C++ 3.C# 4.HTML 5.Javascript 6.CSS 7.BASIC 8.XML 9.SQL 10.Assembly 11.objective-C 11.Java 12.XAML

Cheers, Dan [MS]

sc2rook1 karma

When having 2 workbooks open side by side, and then opening a search dialog, that search dialog is shared between the 2 workbooks. Any idea if this will change to have a separate instance of a search dialog for each open workbook?

Currently, it gets a bit clumsy when working in larger workbooks and I need to search.

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

One way to accomplish this would be to open each workbook in its own instance of Excel. After one workbook has been opened, hold down the ALT key, right click on the running instance of Excel in the task bar, and choose Excel. You will get a prompt asking if you want a new instance of Excel. With two distinct instances of the program running, they won't share anything (including the search dialog.) - Howie

medicoLegalThrowaway1 karma

Why is excel so shitty on Macs ? The color wheel seems to pop up even for the simplest of things!

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Which version of Mac Excel are you using? - Sangeeta [MS]

NomNuggetNom1 karma

How hard is it to manage all the use cases of Excel? It seems like there would be a lot of head scratching and spaghetti code behind the scenes to accommodate every possible use!

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

You're right, it's a big challenge. Excel seems to have approximately a gazillion use cases. We generally try to group them into categories, focus on those, and try to keep the spaghetti down. Jim

barbrady1231 karma

Since it sounds like VBA is here to stay, any plans to at least update/redo the horribly outdated IDE/interface? Make it something like more visual studio? Update the hot keys so they aren't totally different than other microsoft products? Anything?

one1two2three1 karma

Hi! I regularly use Excel for work, just to produce tables, store information, produce the odd graph etc but I know that I'm only scratching the surface with it. I'd love to explore it more but I would prefer to use some examples and exercises.

Can you recommend any tutorials/resources?

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

we recently launched for advanced analytics, here: https://www.edx.org/course/excel-data-analysis-visualization-microsoft-dat206x.. it has various labs and exercises that will help you really master some of the advanced capabilities!

There're also more guides and videos under "Explore Excel" here: http://excel.uservoice.com/.


  • ash

InsaneEngineer1 karma

Are there any members from the original excel team remaining?

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

I think the last one retired last year, but many of the members of the Excel engineering team have worked on the product for a long time. We're very proud of our product and our work, and we tend to be a committed bunch! -Dave