<edit>: we have wrapped things up for the day, but will be taking a look for any top questions that bubble up over the next few days. Thanks for all the great questions!

Hello from the Microsoft Excel team! We are very excited for yet another AMA. After some cool product announcements recently at Ignite, we thought you might have some questions for us.

We are the team that designs, implements, and tests Excel & Power BI. We have 20+ people in the room with a combined 400+ years of product knowledge. Our engineers and program managers with deep experience across the product primed and ready to answer any of your questions.

We'll start answering questions at 11:00 AM PST and continue until 1:00 PM PST.

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 and in our online community at Office.com/Excel/Community.

The post can be verified here on Twitter

  • the Excel Team

Comments: 1185 • Responses: 113  • Date: 

Snaz5300 karma

How does it feel to know your product is on more resumes than any other?

MicrosoftExcelTeam420 karma

Makes searching for my colleagues difficult on LinkedIn - Thomas

MicrosoftExcelTeam138 karma

Not only that, many people also make their resumes in Excel! - David

MicrosoftExcelTeam58 karma

It's great. I'm also really excited that spreadsheet usage is a skill so important they have decided to include it on the Dutch Census -Ben

MicrosoftExcelTeam18 karma

It's nice to know that people recognize our product as useful in their careers! - Trent

MicrosoftExcelTeam13 karma

Excel has been the 5th most asked skill, we feel very good about it - Yana

Clippy_Office_Asst215 karma

Hey guys!

Do you miss me?!

MicrosoftExcelTeam122 karma

<3 Hey Clippy! Where were you for Friday hangout last week?

-Connie

dsmvwl175 karma

When is Python going to be added as one of Excel's official scripting languages?

MicrosoftExcelTeam107 karma

Hi there,

Cool to see the excitement around Python.

We had an awesome response to our survey on the Python UserVoice item. We’re working on the best way to address that feedback.

  • In the meantime, these are some great tools you can use like PyXLL and XLWings
  • Additionally, you can also host your backend logic via a web service in any language, including Python, and you can use web add-ins or a custom function to call that web service.

-- Keyur

sailing_the_styx29 karma

Hi guys love excel, I work a lot with Excel VBA!

Can you be a bit more specific are you actually working on it/are you guys planning on working on it?

Addressing the feedback doesn't mean anything ;)

MicrosoftExcelTeam19 karma

Hey, understood but not yet. Stay tuned to the user voice item and we'll update that when we have an update for yall :)

--Keyur

phineas_the_ferb139 karma

PLEAAAAAAASSSEEEE incorporate Python to the Excel development environment. The only reason any of us use VBA is because we can sneak it pass IT and our Citrix environments. Do you have any idea what kind of magic I could perform if Excel contained a proper OOP language? I'm begging you guys, my career needs this.

MicrosoftExcelTeam54 karma

Yes! Please check Keyur's reply to Python for Excel. We'll all eager to see what kind of magic you got :) - David

Bbilbo1135 karma

Hello, and thank you for doing this AMA!
I have a question about the feasibility of expanding your 32,767 character Limit per cell. Is this possible to do? We provide an application, used globally that allows users to export GIS-related content to CSV, and occasionally we run into overflow issues when the end user who opens the CSV in Excel when a cell has JSON formatting or lengthy descriptors.
I know to most users, 32,767 characters is more than they'll ever need, but for the Geospatial industry, and other data-intensive industries growing to be more mainstream, the need for software to grow with it will be very important.
Thanks for all you do!

MicrosoftExcelTeam96 karma

It is feasible from the technical side, and the primary concern would be that it will mess with older versions that don't understand such long text strings. I'm a bit surprised there is only one vote for this on uservoice here: https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/17281652-up-max-length-text-in-one-cell -- Alex

Rainman764129 karma

Will you at some point give the VBA editor an overhaul? Proper syntax highlighting, dark theme, more of the small things that make coding easier and more enjoyable? I like VBA, but I hate looking at the editor.

MicrosoftExcelTeam101 karma

Personally, I'd love to see VBA IDE update. Vote for this and make it happen: https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/18623191-update-vba -- Alex

MicrosoftExcelTeam34 karma

There is no plan currently to enhance the VBA editor/IDE. We've been focussing on making JavaScript based API surface richer and enhance tooling and docs around building add-ins and custom-functions. ScriptLab is one of the tool we offer that does provide syntax highlighting, TypeScript based intellisence, simple UI building using HTML, etc. -Sudhi

Aksumka110 karma

Does anyone actually mean to double click on a cell border to jump to the top or bottom of the sheet?

MicrosoftExcelTeam160 karma

Given how many users we have, I can confidently say: more than zero. -Blake

Falcon9857107 karma

Any plans to address this error message that pops up when you have too many arguments in a pivot formula?

MicrosoftExcelTeam131 karma

Interesting feature. Will notify the right team to address this! - David

Batou203485 karma

When are you going to stop using a floppy disk as a Save icon?

MicrosoftExcelTeam198 karma

What's a floppy disk? --Alex J.

MicrosoftExcelTeam160 karma

;) Shall we use CDs instead? Or maybe a punchcard?

-Connie

MicrosoftExcelTeam77 karma

"floppy disk"? You mean it is not a coffee cup coaster? :) -Tom

Fishrage_70 karma

What's the craziest use of formulae you have seen?

MicrosoftExcelTeam271 karma

One of Excel engineers wrote a functioning tower defense game using iterative calculations, no VBA. -- Alex

Teddy_Schmosby49 karma

Where can I find this lol

MicrosoftExcelTeam10 karma

Here you go: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Resources-and-Community/Excel-Tower-Defense/m-p/283795

I also wrote up some more of the history behind the file while I was digging around for my latest copy.

-Nathan

MicrosoftExcelTeam83 karma

Working Soduko solver, no VBA. -Tom

MicrosoftExcelTeam69 karma

Check out this implementation of a 3D engine in Excel - Christian

MicrosoftExcelTeam53 karma

Talking with a financial auditor recently they mentioned that sometimes it can take over a day to work out exactly what a single formula is doing in their client's file. -Ben

MicrosoftExcelTeam53 karma

Nested recursive sumifs keep me up at night.

-Connie

MicrosoftExcelTeam36 karma

Maze solver using a single copied formula that depends on iterative calc and circular references that converge. -JoeM

funknut58 karma

Do any of you participate in the Excel subreddit? it's a fun place to learn and share knowledge! Can you please release something that will end SAP forever? Competition is great, but SAP is a nightmare.

MicrosoftExcelTeam101 karma

Many of us lurk on the subreddit, but we don't post with our lurker accounts. My understanding is that anyone on the Excel team who posts in r/excel should be disclosing that they work for Microsoft. (Eric)

DonQueed56 karma

WHAT HAPPENED TO CLIPPY?

MicrosoftExcelTeam122 karma

MicrosoftExcelTeam32 karma

Do you mean u/Clippy_Office_Asst ? -- Alex

hackop50 karma

As someone who works in tech, I frequently see Excel being used for things it really shouldn't be used for (such as tasks better suited for a relational database). Do you all just sit back and smile at this evil you've unleased onto the world?!

More seriously, what are two use cases you've heard/seen and thought "No one should ever be doing this with Excel." and "Wow, we didn't expect this but it's awesome so let's add some functionality to make it easier."?

What helps guide the development direction of Excel, considering it's used for everything (whether it should be or not)?

MicrosoftExcelTeam99 karma

HAH this makes me laugh---I'm a new hire on the Extensibility team previously employed in the finance industry. I have seen no end of hilarious applications to which a spreadsheet is hardly a sound solution.

Highlights include:

  1. Options pricing spreadsheet that linked to 4 databases, processed some rather complex calculations using VBA, loaded a python script in the background, dumped the contents of a Bloomberg chat into a database after parsing through it with a rather impressive regex. It was the favorite tool of the head exotics trader and he had 2 or 3 full-time developers/quants maintaining it.

  2. A surprisingly complicated implementation of hangman created by first year traders/salespeople bored in Series 7 training. It had a full dictionary, choice references from Urban Dictionary, and a fully illustrated hangman figure with swap-able outfits.

  3. A market report automation script that was basically a full data processing and aggregation tool that sent emails to around 500 people daily with customized content. It had NO business being handled in VBA---but it was.

Bottom line is, now that I'm actually here, it's kind of cool to see Microsoft as a company supporting this kind of silliness wholeheartedly rather than laughing at "stupidity." Microsoft helps people use its tools the way they want to (even when they're not designed for that purpose). As a habitual Mac user, it's a core part of what makes the platform really cool.

My team (Extensibility) is responsible for a lot of the tools like macro recording, add-ins, etc. that help people build all these ridiculous things. There's no question that a lot of these projects should probably be handled by developers in languages and with tools that are actually meant for the purpose. But, not everyone is a developer.

Having admittedly consumed some of the Microsoft kool-aid, Extensibility's mission is to empower people to achieve more than they might with base Office alone---and to help them to do it in a way that is stable, simple, and just works for what they need. The leap from a spreadsheet to a database is a lot for many non-developers to learn. If we can provide a positive experience that genuinely is "good enough" and removes that barrier, awesome.

D

unachievablehappines23 karma

at my work we use Excel to do a simple connectivity test against our websites and send email alerts.

There's a memory leak in Excel that makes it so our 64GB server that runs this chokes and dies every few days.

I want to die

MicrosoftExcelTeam26 karma

Do you know if it's been acknowledged by Microsoft through any KB article or similar? If not, we'd love to get a file to reproduce the memory leak.

-James

MicrosoftExcelTeam20 karma

I once saw a ballet production in which everything was managed in Excel - even to the extent of having the stage itself on a sheet. Super cool to see how passionate users can take the product to places we wouldn't have imagined. -Tom

MicrosoftExcelTeam18 karma

(1) I saw one company that built up a relational database over the course of several years spanning dozens of different Excel workbooks. They were then astonished that it was slow to find records in their "database." (2) A company was using Excel tables to do localization strings. It became hopelessly bloated and led to a few bad mistranslations. - Trent

MicrosoftExcelTeam13 karma

One of my favorite things was the music video created in Excel. I don't know where to find it anymore, but there was rock video that included the music file and the video frames were actually cell values changing rather than an embedded video. (Steve)

MicrosoftExcelTeam18 karma

^ This is also the team member that does "powerpoint" presentations in Excel sheets. Lotsa cool non-standard uses for the product!

-Connie

MicrosoftExcelTeam12 karma

I just happened to look it up for another post, so here's a link to that video

Smitty [MSFT]

bposeley49 karma

Hi guys. I absolutely love your product. I have two questions:

  • Why can't I use Count Distinct in regular pivot tables that are sourcing data that isn't loaded into the Data Model?

  • In newer iterations of Excel, when I connect an excel file to a data source in a SQL Server Database for the first time, the connection no longer saves to Existing Connections the way it used to in 2013 and earlier. Why is that, and would you ever change it back to the way it was before?

Thank you for making such an incredible product. It is my number one tool in data analytics and has been for a decade.

MicrosoftExcelTeam36 karma

While it's still not available in PivotTables (unfortunately), soon you will be able to use the new =UNIQUE() function with =COUNT() to build formulas that do this. You can learn more from our Dynamic Arrays article -Micah

Icommentoncrap47 karma

I primarily use Google's software or Google sheets and such so what do you guys offer that they do not that could bring me over to your side?

MicrosoftExcelTeam137 karma

We have r/excel :-) -- Alex

funknut7 karma

Well, that answers my other question. It's a fun sub, but I didn't know there were official staffers in there. I probably said some weird stuff in there, hah hah.

MicrosoftExcelTeam29 karma

We don't run the subreddit and aren't affiliated, it's entirely your sandbox, your mods just let us play in it once a year. :)

-Connie

MicrosoftExcelTeam14 karma

It is entirely community driven, no official staff from our team. -- Alex

848337 karma

First of all, you rock!

I'd like to know if and when will the following be implemented:

  1. Making API calls, parsing JSON and displaying the data.
  2. Displaying a picture form a location/URL.

Both of these are present in Google Sheets.

Also, are there any plans on moving from Visual Basic to a C language?

MicrosoftExcelTeam29 karma

The WEBSERVICE function is one of the easiest way to get json into a cell, but after that you're left with Excel's admittedly lacking text formulas which will require you to FIND key characters and MID to slice values out (we have plans to make this better). Alternatively, you can connect to json using Get & Transform or by writing a custom UDF in VBA.

Displaying pictures from URLs is another request we're aware of - see this UserVoice post

-James

MicrosoftExcelTeam10 karma

To add to what James had to say, 1. You could also check out the JavaScript custom-functions (which is in public preview now) to make your own function to read/parse JSON and output content to the cell.

Reg. C, there is currently no plan to extend the language support beyond the current technology.

-Sudhi

MicrosoftExcelTeam8 karma

If by 'C language' you mean a C-family programming language (e.g. one of these), then we're pushing JavaScript as our cross platform extensibility language. Check out JavaScript Custom Functions and the Excel JavaScript API overview - Thomas

archerv12336 karma

Why is it that I cannot open two excel files with the same name in two different paths? There has to be a design decision around this, and i cannot fathom why.

MicrosoftExcelTeam47 karma

It's cross-book formulas - the legacy syntax =[Book1]Sheet1!A1 does not let us distinguish between two books that have the same name. -- Alex

happyamosfun31 karma

Why are leading zeros such a hassle?

MicrosoftExcelTeam21 karma

PowerQuery can help with this, because it gives you control of the data type. If you use PowerQuery to bring in the data, it will automatically treat them as numbers and remove the zero, but this is just a step in the query that you can remove. If you edit the query, there will be a step called "Change Type" which will be changing the column from text to number. If you remove the "Change Type" step, it will leave the values as text. When you load that into Excel, it should remain as text. (Steve)

MicrosoftExcelTeam8 karma

What kind of data are you working with? We're aware of the problems with zipcodes and things like that - Christian

Ivycolon31 karma

When will Median be added to pivot tables?

MicrosoftExcelTeam9 karma

I know it's an extra step, but you could also use calculated fields? The short story on the matter: Click inside the PivotTable, click the Analyze tab, and then click Fields, Items, Sets > Calculated Field. In the Name box, type Median. And make the new field like this dialog. Then when you're done, add that new calculated field to the Values area, like this. -Dave

Blissrat30 karma

Hi guys, do you have any plans to simultaneously check and print a value or formula? This is what I mean:

=IF(MyFormulaHere=0;"Zero";MyFormulaHere)

This requires me to type my formula twice. This makes some functions quite lengthy. It would be great if there was a formula like this, which would effectively do the same.

=CHECKIF(MyFormulaHere=0;"Zero")

MicrosoftExcelTeam23 karma

There are 68,719,476,736 cells on each worksheet, so it's ok to use a few for intermediate values :-)

Seriously though, interesting suggestion. -- Alex

Timbo_00723 karma

When will you support Linux?

MicrosoftExcelTeam23 karma

We don't have plans for a Linux version of Excel right now. However, you can use Excel online from multiple Operating Systems including Linux here: excel.office.com

David M

TheCigarBox22 karma

Can you explain why =BAHTTEXT was created, and why only Thai and not any other languages? It must be the most random function! :)

MicrosoftExcelTeam34 karma

Great question. I've spent the last 20 minutes trying to find out to no avail. It's peculiar that we have a number to text function, but only for the Thai language. If you find out why, let us know! - Thomas

mashu_zeke19 karma

Do you plan to pump up excel with some functionalities known from tools like Smartsheet? Automation, easy sharing, notifications, all available without coding?

MicrosoftExcelTeam16 karma

Have you seen our new @ mention support in Insiders for Excel? Great way to sync with people across your file. Sharing has always been our core, we have our share button in the top nav. As for automation, Microsoft Flow is a great tool and has strong Excel integration. -- Olaf

ehansalytics14 karma

This is all around Power Pivot and Data Model

When will we see Power Pivot in Excel be brought closer to how we interact with DAX in Power BI? Examples:

  1. a much better DAX/Measure editor – big whitespace editor of Power BI is way WAY better than either of the Measure editors (yes 2 of them!) in Excel, which don’t properly support indent/outdent, intellisense gets in the way, too easy when tabbing to be in the formatting section vs just trying to indent, etc.
  2. Ability to have bi-directional filtering on relationships
  3. Ability to create calculated tables entirely in DAX – SUMMARIZE(), UNION(), INTERSECT(), etc.
  4. Have existing DAX functions fully supported in model, intellisense, etc. Notably TREATAS()

MicrosoftExcelTeam13 karma

Yes, we are looking into how to bring the PP engine in Excel back inline with the PBI PP engine. -- Olaf

AndroidMasterZ13 karma

Any plans on REGEX(Regular Expressions) support? Google sheets has them.

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

Yes. Stay tuned ;) - David

Dalstjernen13 karma

Any plans on making Excel as powerful on Mac as PC?

turbodb6 karma

Generically, yes. They share a codebase and the team is working on enabling a bunch of functionality that hasn't existed on Mac to date.

What functionality are you interested in specifically?

-Dan

small_trunks5 karma

Please put Power query on there so that we Windows 10 users can simply give the Mac users the same advice - use Power query.

MicrosoftExcelTeam8 karma

We are actively working to enable Power Query in Excel on Mac these days. Obviously, it is a big project and we plan to deliver it in stages. Stay tuned for announcements and follow us on Excel Tech community blogs portal: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Excel-Blog/bg-p/ExcelBlog -Guy

MicrosoftExcelTeam6 karma

It would be great to know what features you'd like to see on Mac. In the past year, we have added many features to Mac so that it will be more powerful, such as multi-threaded calculation, PivotCharts, co-authoring, new chart types and more. (Steve)

small_trunks6 karma

Power query.

I'm not a mac user, but I answer mac owners' questions all the time telling them to buy a PC - which they get bent out of shape over.

I'd like to tell them this without them getting pissy.

MicrosoftExcelTeam7 karma

Hi,

We are working these days to enable Power Query in Excel on Mac. There are no concrete dates yet, but please follow us on Excel Tech Community blogs portal for news and updates on this topic:

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Excel-Blog/bg-p/ExcelBlog

- Guy

Work1Work2Work312 karma

Any chance for an advanced formula writer in the future? I love the absolutely intricate and wonderful things that can be done with existing formula, but for people who are looking to write such code without revieiwing forums/reddit/youtube videos for instructions, it may as well be hieroglyphics!

MicrosoftExcelTeam6 karma

I've seen some cool demos recently regarding the formula writer! Good things coming your way ;) - David

thedreamlan69 karma

Are there any plans for launching VBA on Android's version of Excel? I would pay good money for this feature.

Edit: I love Excel you guys are the best :)

MicrosoftExcelTeam4 karma

We continue to support VBA in the platforms it ships in. For newer platforms, we have our Office Web add-ins (based on JavaScript language) that let you build solutions across different devices. We don't have Android support there quite yet (JavaScript Language support I mean) but you can request if in the Office Dev User Voice

tjen9 karma

We've recently rolled out office 365 across our organization, which means that suddenly everyone has easy access to all this amazing stuff they didn't before - particularly referring to powerquery and powerpivot.

I can try to evangelize a bit to the people I talk to, but it is really hard to get the hundreds of people we have who do ETL tasks on the regular to make the jump to power query and start playing around with it - especially the less tech savvy ones (who would arguably benefit the most!).

For a lot of people, it's still just a glorified calculator.

What are your thoughts on good ways to make people actually use all this functionality you're coming up with?

MicrosoftExcelTeam14 karma

appreciate the question: there are many resources that can help users understand the value of more advanced features in Excel, here are a few https://www.edx.org/xseries/microsoft-excel-data-analyst and https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Excel/Excel-and-PowerBI-sessions-at-Microsoft-Ignite/td-p/520 - Yana

22rann9 karma

There’s a lot of ETL tools that exist to basically manipulate data in a database or excel. Are there plans to ever integrate more data manipulation functions to reduce the need for tools to do basic joins, etc?

MicrosoftExcelTeam13 karma

Have you tried Get and Transform (Power Query)? It is a very powerful data manipulation tool built right into Excel (as an added bonus, it's also used in Power BI!).

You can find more details here: Get & Transform in Excel

David M

MicrosoftExcelTeam8 karma

Check out dynamic arrays that will ship alongside the new FILTER, UNIQUE and SORT functions. -JoeM

rvba8 karma

  1. Those new changes to formulas that will make them "spill" in theory look good, but I am very afraid that they will break both the workflow and already designed files. Are you sure that you will not alienate "old" users and break their already existing workflow?

  2. Is there any plan to finally remove of the 10k limit on autofilters + in pivot table selections? Tons of people use Excel as a database.

  3. (if you look at filters) will you ever introduce "row" filters -> something that allows us to filter in rows (the same way as in colums)?

  4. There is this little window that allows to change source of pivot table. If you go to that window and use arrows on keyboard to try to move "left - right", you get some random gibberish instead of your cursor moving left / right. You can only use mouse clicks + backspace/delete. How to reproduce: make a pivot table. Select pivot table -> change pivot source. In that window that pops up use arrow keys (on keyboard)

  5. Pivot Table. I have 20 different Pivot Tables built on the same data source. Is there a way to add some of them to the Data Model? Only option I know is remaking from scratch.

  6. Edit links window. Let's say that I have "report" open and 4 other files (data1, data2, data3...). Report has a collection of links to those other files. I go to the "Edit links" window -> use shift to mark a lot of them. Then I cannot use "check" to check the status of all files, I can only do it one by one.

  7. In the ODBC query designer, how can you build a query that takes data from two different tables in two different databases?

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

  1. Those new changes to formulas that will make them "spill" in theory look good, but I am very afraid that they will break both the workflow and already designed files. Are you sure that you will not alienate "old" users and break their already existing workflow?

We're very excited about the potential of Dynamic Arrays. Old workbooks will continue to calculate exactly as they did in Dynamic Array aware Excel. Newly authored formulas may spill but only if they return an array which most formulas do not. Please see dynamic arrays announcement blog for more details. If you join the Insiders program you can give it a try. -JoeM

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

  1. PivotTable source - Press F2 as soon as you select the range box. That will put it in Edit mode, and let you use the arrows. This works the same with the Data Validation source box.

  2. Data model - If it's all the same data source, then that's all you should need in the data model.

Smitty [MSFT]

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

With regard to #6, normally the Check Status button will check all files, so there's no need to select them. What happens if you try that? (Steve)

hechopercha8 karma

Hi guys, first of all thank you, you've Been doing a terrific job.

As a spanish user, i usually find different versions using different formulas Names... Why Is that? Also, I love using the semicolon as a separator, thanks for that :)

MicrosoftExcelTeam8 karma

Every once in awhile we discover translations contain errors or could be improved. We'll also sometimes add new formulas that force us to reconsider existing translations (e.g. "achar" in Portuguese has multiple English translations). But we strive to keep formula names consistent as much as possible. - Trent

rvba7 karma

What is the outlook for Business Intelligence products: now we have Excel Power query, PoverPivot (in Excel, requires license?) and PowerBI (stand alone app). All those 3 tools do the same, but in a different way. Maybe you do this to have licensing money, but from user perspective this is super confusing, since 3 different products seem to do the same? Do you consider killing PowerPivot, or integrating it straight into Excel?

MicrosoftExcelTeam7 karma

We have just released PowerPivot for all SKU's. Excel, Power Bi Desktopa nd PowerBi.com all use the same engine, it is a shared dev team. This makes it very easy to move from one app to the next. I just presented at Ignite how all this works together. See Excel and PBI better together -- Olaf

DutchDolt7 karma

What's your favorite Excel joke?

finickyone52 karma

Q: How many Excel users does it take to correctly set the number formatting of a cell? ​ A: Sunday January 01, 1900

Credit /u/Ninjaninjav

MicrosoftExcelTeam9 karma

Good one! :-) -- Alex

MicrosoftExcelTeam12 karma

Hard to say, there are so many EXCELlent ones.

finickyone7 karma

Booo!

MicrosoftExcelTeam23 karma

OK OK that was a bit sheet

belhill19856 karma

Hey Puck, can you help me with this model I'm building in Excel?

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

Hey there, we have a lot of experts in our Tech Community site that would be happy to help! :) -Blake

Eisritter6 karma

Our office will be moving from excel 2010 to office 360, what major change should I expect in Excel?

MicrosoftExcelTeam9 karma

Check out Get & Transform Data. It can make data cleaning and data manipulation so much faster and repeatable. -Ben

MicrosoftExcelTeam7 karma

The biggest thing, because I spent years working on it, is the multi-client collaboration feature :) Additionally, Wikipedia also lists a bunch of the new features in v 15.0 and 16.0)

(Eric)

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

How much time do you have? There is have been LOTS of changes in the past 8 years. You can get started by looking at the What's New in Excel for Office 365 Subscribers, but you can also look at What's New in 2013, Using 2016, 2019 and the list of changes to Office 365 by month to get an idea of all we've changed. -Micah

MacHaggis6 karma

Hi, I'm a .net consultant that recently got several access/excel vba projects handed to him.

The question I've been asking myself every day is: Why is scriping in excel still done through ancient Visual Basic for Applications? It's frustrating, it's unwieldy and extremely error prone.

MicrosoftExcelTeam7 karma

There's a legacy concern that'll never go away. It's a little beyond just scripting, but if you're looking for a more modern, cross-platform solution, we do have support for JavaScript add-ins. --Alex J.

rvba5 karma

Do you plan to make some better examples for the Javascript integration? Like actual functioning sheets? The "guides" do not help much for users, since those are very technical. Maybe you could provide some examples?

MicrosoftExcelTeam7 karma

Hi rvba, Have you looked into Script Lab? It's an Excel add-in for making and running JavaScript add-ins. We have a bunch of samples using different APIs, and you can see them work right beside the add-in. You can find Script Lab under "Insert" -> "Get Add-ins". --Alex J.

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

Thanks all for the great questions, we have wrapped things up here on our end.

We really love doing these and will look forward to the next one. Remember that you can always provide feedback via the Excel apps themselves, as well as on our online Community and through UserVoice. And, be sure to follow the latest and greatest of what we are up to on our blog.

Thanks! The Microsoft Excel Team

notenoughcharact5 karma

Are you guys jealous that someone proved PowerPoint is Turing complete? https://www.reddit.com/r/compsci/comments/62x9g9/powerpoint_is_turing_complete/

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

This is most amusing! Thank you for the link :-)

Assuming for a moment that all it takes to prove Turing completeness is solving palindromes, we solve that in a single formula: =CONCAT(MID(A1,LEN(A1)-SEQUENCE(LEN(A1))+1,1))=A1

-- Alex

Nudez_PM_2_ME4 karma

Why the fuck did you out F1 and F2 next to each other? I don't want help. I just wanna edit cells yo.

turbodb15 karma

Just disable the F1 key yo. Open up VBA create an add-in that runs the following code. Load that add-in when you start Excel and badabing, you're set yo.

Sub DisableF1()
Application.OnKey "{F1}", ""
End Sub

-Dan

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

Thank you Dan. Way to go to batt for us. (Steve)

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

We've seen a number of people who compete in Excel Championships, such as ModelOff, remove the F1 key from their keyboard. -Micah

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Totally get you. Don't know how many times I've also asked for help while trying to edit cell formula. But if we changed either by default there would probably be more unhappiness involved. -Tom

GetGoodAtStuff4 karma

Is there a way I can import models into excel for my stocks and financial data? Or can any other Micrsoft program do that

MicrosoftExcelTeam6 karma

Are you asking about importing stock quotes into Excel? Our new data types include stock quotes and other financial markets data, but is currently only available to Office Insiders. Here's how to Get a stock quote, and more general information about our new data types

beyphy3 karma

I’ve recently started using ScriptLab and have been very impressed with the user interface. It looks miles ahead of something like VBE. Can we expect something like this to get integrated more tightly into Excel at some point in the future? i.e. not requiring an add-in or an internet connection

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

Script Lab is awesome. Glad you're enjoying it.

We're thinking through ways to improve to the experience and make add-in prototyping easier. Please add your request for offline support to User Voice (or to the Script Lab GitHub repo) --Alex J.

CTMalum3 karma

What do you think is the most useful Excel feature that most people don't know about?

MicrosoftExcelTeam10 karma

Some people may have not have yet heard of Excel's new Dynamic Arrays feature - great at saving the user time! - David

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

Pivot tables are incredibly powerful and they're less used than one might think! :D If you haven't tried it out, I highly recommend looking it over. -Connie

CHOCOLATEJ3SU53 karma

Who's your team's favourite member of the Wu Tang Clan ?

MicrosoftExcelTeam4 karma

Definitely whoever is behind this account on Twitter. -Blake

JTuck3332 karma

Can you make a vlookup go backwards? I would suggest either making the formula called Leftvlookup or keeping the name but allowing a negative number in the third argument. The new formula or the negative column index would trigger the vlookup formula to match the rightmost column of the array and search left.

I personally use index and match in this scenario but this increased functionality to the vlookup would be a great help to many users.

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

To maintain backcompat we rarely change the way functions work. INDEX/MATCH is the best way to do this for now. - JoeM

AllofaSuddenStory2 karma

Have you ever seen the "insane Excel challenge?"

Dude holds the arrow key nonstop until he can reach the bottom of excel

It takes all day

https://youtu.be/thvcTyJvRvM

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

Some one should help 'em take more CONTROL :) -Tom

soboi123452 karma

I primarily use Google sheets and Google docs now. But what does Microsoft offer when it comes to there sheets and docs platform ? And why should I pay for it ? Cheers . I do have a full blown office though , but the convenience of the Google sheets with web integration and it having basic features and working everywhere specially the browser and syncing throughout is what attracts me to it.

MicrosoftExcelTeam4 karma

Have you tried Excel Online? It is free works everywhere, easy sharing, .... Plus you can open it in Excel desktop anytime you want/need more features. -- Olaf

TheTrueLordHumungous2 karma

You know what would be awesome, a function to copy cell formatting like a COPYFORMAT .. or something like that?

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

Have you tried out the Format Painter in Excel? If you have and are looking for something different, what did you have in mind? -Blake

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

Hi /u/TheTrueLordHumongous, are you talking about using VBA? Would using Cells(x,y).PasteSpecial (xlPasteFormats) do what you need?

(Eric)

AdviseFearlessly2 karma

How do you feel about people using your program in fresh and new ways? For example, I'm thinking about the video of the man that paints using Excel.

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

We love people using Excel in fun, new, innovative ways!

The more creative the better! Fun fact: Excel used to have a flight simulator in it and it was aweeesome.

-Connie :)

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

I think it's awesome! One of my favorites is a music video

Smitty [MSFT]

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

Excel users are super passionate about the product indeed and find very creative ways to use it. We are happy Excel sparks creativity like that, here is one more https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2018/10/23/how-one-artist-brought-her-vision-to-life-using-excel-spreadsheets/ Yana

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

It's inspiring to see - this is one of my favourites - Melbourne Skyline - Christian

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

We often share email threads of this Excel files/articles. My favorites are the music videos made out of formulas :) - David

Assorted-Interests2 karma

How does it feel to work on a program you know millions of people use every day? Are you nervous at all?

MicrosoftExcelTeam4 karma

At first I was nervous about breaking something that people love to use, now I love working on Excel! It means I can talk to people who are passionate about Excel all the time and there is no shortage of ideas about what to work on next. -Micah

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

Very exciting, and humbling... and yeah sometimes scary :) -Tom

turbodb2 karma

Are you all in a room together, and is there pizza or something else delicious?

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

We don't have pizza but there is St Louis Bread Co. -Connie

itsnotaboutthecell2 karma

HELLO! From the winner of #HowWeExcel - thanks for the swag btw! I recently purchased Gil Raviv's book on Power Query and he shed some light on the Power Query experience between what Power BI can offer vs. what Excel can dependent upon their partners. Everyone else seems to be pulling away further and further in terms of PQ improvements (add Flow, CDS, etc. now too) in comparison with Excel. I know Azure had it first but Excel made it cool. Is there a concerted effort to close this gap?

TLDR: Excel Power Query is falling behind - KETCHUP!

MicrosoftExcelTeam6 karma

We are working to close the gap to get better parity. Improving the speed at which we can deliver updates is something we are working on - Ben

baseballoctopus2 karma

If you had the opportunity to go back in time to any point in Excel's development and change one thing, what would it be and why?

For instance, go back in time to the beginning and get rid of 1900 Feb 29th.

MicrosoftExcelTeam4 karma

This is a really good question, though most of our internal responses relate to the codebase itself. I don't think any of us are happy with how conditional formatting or data validation adjust vs other user operations like inserting rows or columns. Changing this behavior now would require a ton of documentation and user outreach to make sure they understand why their data behaves differently. Also, I personally wish we would have have enforced a more rigid componentization in our code base at an early stage. We're correcting this now, but it has been a constant pain that makes it more difficult for us to implement newer features. (Eric)

Selkie_Love2 karma

Hi there, two questions!

1) Is anything going to be done with CSV injection attacks? I recognize that it's backwards compatible, but I seriously doubt that killing direct command prompt access will impact that many people, compared to removing a fairly major vulnerability.

2) Why does power query cross-joins on refresh rearrange existing data? For more details: https://superuser.com/questions/1349372/how-do-i-get-a-cross-join-with-power-query-to-remember-values-associated-with

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

Excel security team is very cognizant of wanting to further reduce CSV injection attacks. There is active development in this area which some part of Insiders audience may already have experienced. -Tom

framm1002 karma

Do you have plans on enabling Mac users to connect to SSAS cubes in excel?

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

Hi, We are working these days to enable Power Query in Excel on Mac. As you may know, Power Query has an AS connector which will enable you to connect and import data from AS cubes. There are no concrete dates yet however. - Guy

tjen1 karma

A few years ago (last year?) there was the "Excel World Championships" - it was a lot of fun even if I didn't even qualify :( Is that something we should expect to see again?

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Nothing final yet, but stay tuned! -David M