That's a wrap for today! We'll go through the unanswered questions over the next few days.

THANK YOU for all the great questions, looking forward to our next AMA

Hi, we are the Microsoft Excel team. We build the Excel app you use everyday. Ask us anything. XLOOKUP, Sheet View, Office Scripts, and more. We’ll be taking your questions for an hour starting at about 10 AM PT.Proof:

Comments: 348 • Responses: 89  • Date: 

IXIFr0stIXI55 karma

Can we have flight simulator return in Excel as another Easter egg like it was in Excel 97?

MicrosoftExcelTeam46 karma

Not as an Easter Egg, but there are Excel gurus who work on ray tracing, so we might see it come back as a user workbook soon: -- Alex

MicrosoftExcelTeam37 karma

Easter eggs, what easter eggs ;)

-Eric (Microsoft Excel)

ouij49 karma

How do you feel about people using Excel when they really should be using real database software instead? Has this kind of “off-label” use driven a lot of bloat over the years?

MicrosoftExcelTeam64 karma

Excel is indeed likely the most popular database application in the world, despite that not being its core purpose.

We have mixed feelings. We certainly support "data tracking" scenarios in Excel and do invest in making that experience better, e.g. Tables.

At the same time, Excel favors flexibility over structure that can often violate the rules of a traditional Database application, e.g. cross-row calculations that depend on the sort order.

It comes down to getting the job done. Excel offers are level of ease of use and flexibility that database applications often don't, i.e. a typical user can create a workbook to track their data and may get lost in the complexities of a database app.

Does this flexibility benefit the job more than it hinders it? We don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends.


HalHos7 karma

I have yet to see someone using a pipe wrench to drive nails get the desired results. I have some friends who are attempting to convert an Access database into an Excel spreadsheet. The results have been less than spectacular. I prefer t use the correct tool for the job at hand.

MicrosoftExcelTeam17 karma

As an engineer that worked for a long time on Access before joining the Excel team, I definitely agree with your comment in that there are a lot of spreadsheets that could (should?) really be structured data in a database system. The flexibility provided by the Excel is awesome...and it can also cause problems if the data really should have a strict structure applied. I believe there is a lot of work to help provide structure within the spreadsheet while maintaining flexibility which helps address the scenario a bit but there is likely going to still be ongoing strong scenarios for database storage as well. As you mention, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer right now.

Thanks (Steve - Engineering)

purplepajamas42 karma

What feature is your team is most proud of creating in the recent past?

Thanks for all you do!

MicrosoftExcelTeam50 karma

We've worked hard to bring users great new features recently - it's hard to name just one!

A few recent ones that are notable:

Check out more on the Excel Blog!

-- Avani

MicrosoftExcelTeam18 karma

Well, there are a lot of cool features in Excel and we are proud of all of them! I am especially proud of Power Query in Excel, but I am biased cause I am a Program Manager of this feature :-)

Guy - Excel Team

MicrosoftExcelTeam9 karma

As the calc PM, I'm particularly proud of how we baked dynamic arrays into the core of the calc engine. You can see this by entering =A1:A10 which has no function or =SQRT(A1:A10) which spills despite SQRT being around forever. - [Joe McDaid]

MicrosoftExcelTeam9 karma

My personal favorite is coauthoring that works between our many Excel endpoints. This was a huge effort and fun piece of engineering. -- Alex

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

It's like picking your favorite child-- so many favorites! Some that're out already and some that we can't talk about, but stay tuned! ;)

Thanks so much for using Excel, we appreciate y'all so so so much!

Connie (Excel Team)

SergeantMeowmix28 karma

Why have you not fixed the scroll inactive window bug? The one that prevents a user from scrolling through an excel document unless the application is selected, which is completely contrary to every other Microsoft application? This has been ongoing for literal years. Is there some kind of limitation preventing a fix from being applied? It's marked completed, but many still face this issue, and it's a serious annoyance in an office that uses a lot of spreadsheets and documents across multiple monitors.

JonPeltier7 karma

Works for me, Excel 365 Insider Fast. 16.0.12527.20040. Windows 10 Enterprise.

  • Jon Peltier, Excel MVP

MicrosoftExcelTeam15 karma

Thanx for reaching out! This is on our radar. We noticed regressions associated with our prior solution and so turned it off. It should be back on in Insiders Fast. If you still do not see it working in Insiders Fast do send us a frown ( )

thanx, Prash

SergeantMeowmix5 karma

Happy for you, but that's not the case across the board. It appears to work for some and not for others. And since we're sharing, Excel for Office 365 MSO, 16.0.11939.20436.

emmbec2 karma

What OS are you using? What version?

SergeantMeowmix2 karma

Work computer runs Windows 10 Pro 64, version 1709, build 16299 (Redstone 3). Couldn't tell you off the top of my head what build I have on my home setup (my guess would be a more recent, better-supported version), but I experience the issue there, too.

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

You do need Windows 10 build 17133.73 or later. Also, please see my prior response on using Insider Fast.

thanx, Prash

Sunrain9222 karma

The older versions of Excel used to allow you to easily click on bars in the margins and drag them vertically and horizontally to isolate panes on the worksheet that you could then scroll independently through back and forth, up and down with. It was way easier and more functional than FREEZE PANES, which is so limiting. Now you have to hide columns or rows and then freeze panes to get the same effect. Why was this functionality removed?? Can I get it back please?

MicrosoftExcelTeam18 karma

You can still split the view into panes, but you need to go to the View tab of the ribbon and press the "Split" button to get started. (Steve - Excel team)

MicrosoftExcelTeam17 karma

Thanks for your question. It sounds like you are talking about the "split panes" feature. Here's a link to confirm:

If this is the feature you mean, it's still available in Excel.

-Johnnie, Excel Team

bugfestival19 karma

Hi guys!

Are there any plans to bring some improvements to the VBA editor, VBA language itself or the userforms? There are some great addins like Rubberduck that bring in some additional functionality to the editor, but some more love from you guys would be appreciated as many of its aspects feel really dated.

And on a similar note:

Would it be possible to add mouse native scrolling inside the userform elements when scrollbar appears? I was pretty surprised that this functionality is not present and after some googling, it apparently requires a metric ton of code involving calling windows API and what not, and unfortunately, it either does not work, or requires 32bit office. Thank you.

MicrosoftExcelTeam14 karma

Hi! Thanks for the question. In terms of VBA/User form/ActiveX improvements, we will continue to keep it healthy and ensure it stays current across versions of Excel and Mac/Windows.

Right now, as are focus is around building great experiences across platforms, we've been investing on our Office Javascript APIs (learn more:, which let you build add-ins across platform. Hope that helps!


Senipah16 karma

AI & Machine Learning are all the rage these days. Any plans to implement a new, smarter, Clippy Office Assistant to leverage these new technologies?

MicrosoftExcelTeam23 karma

BTW, if you really miss clippy, you could build an add-in that brings clippy back, via a javascript library called "Clippy.js", hehe


MicrosoftExcelTeam7 karma

This is indeed a very exciting space for us as well - with lots of interesting possibilities for innovation. As Urmi mentioned we have recently released several features that take advantage of the latest machine learning techniques and technologies – Ideas, Data Types, Natural Language, etc.. We are constantly exploring what machine learning based scenarios would delight Excel users and make their lives easier.

-- Carlos (Excel Team)

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

Check out Ideas in Excel, which even allows you to get analysis and insights on your data using Natural Language queries. In addition we have Search/Tellme where you can enter words and phrases about what you want to do next, and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform. See more here: - Urmi

Sunrain9216 karma

Thanks for creating country-specific date number formats. These are great! Could you please also add "ddd-dd-mmm" as in "Wed-12-Feb" as a date format for English Canada? (I usually do it as a custom format, but it would be great to be able to make this my default for all new files.)

tirlibibi177 karma

On a related note, it would be great if the English code letters worked in all localizations of Excel in the TEXT function. I work in an international setting and have to account for English, French, and Dutch.

MicrosoftExcelTeam10 karma

Hi There! English Canada is a flavor we have out on Mac Excel, try it and let us know what you think. We are also open to suggestions on bringing that language flavor to other Excel endpoints like Desktop and Web Excel... tell us more on Excel UserVoice

Piddoxou9 karma

As a professional VBA developer, I have felt left in the cold by your team for many years. Every couple of years there is a new Office release, and the biggest changes include UI improvements to Excel, new functionalities like XLOOKUP, etc, but improvements to the VBA IDE are next to nothing.

Some main shortcomings of the current VBA language, which have been in there for many decades already and which are considered to be basic features in any OOP language:

  • Inheritance - it's not possible to inherit an implementation of a procedure in an interface among classes. Only polymorphism is possible.
  • Interfacing - it works in a very clumsy way, e.g. if you implement a class interface to a class, you have to manually add all procedures of the interface to the class just to make the compiler happy, even if there is no implementation.
  • Overloading - it doesn't exist in its pure form. There are workarounds like doing ByRef parameters as Variant, but it's clumsy and not proper.
  • Initiating a new instance of a class which is located in an add-in (.xlam) and not in the VBProject itself is not possible. The only way to do it is by initiating the class inside the xlam, which means that you need to add an initiation procedure for every single class in the xlam if you intend to use it outside of the xlam.

I could go on, but my question is this: Why do you choose to focus on UI spreadsheet improvements, whereas clearly the VBA IDE deserves structural improvements? Do you ever intend to make such structural changes to the VBA IDE in the future? If not, why not?

beyphy7 karma

They're putting their efforts in the JavaScript API. Look into ScriptLab. It's a much better development experience than VBE. And JavaScript / typescript offer many of the features you mentioned above. (Fwiw, I'm also employed as a VBA developer)

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

Yup. As mentioned in the other VBA question we will continue to ensure VBA remains healthy and current (so while there are changes that are happening, you may not just be able to see it). As u/beyphy stated, we have our Javscript APIs.

One other thing to mention is we have Office Scripts, a new feature we announced at Ignite that lets users of all levels of experience to record actions and automate tasks. Check it out here: Team would love everyone's feedback on this.

-- Keyur

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

Yes & Office Scripts in Excel for the web is native (not an add-in). Also there are features coming that support being able to run scripts in the cloud, unattended as a part of PowerAutomate flows.

Thanks -- Jeff

vba78 karma


1) Why the edit PIVOT TABLE SOURCE window is so small? It cannot be resized in any way, what is very difficult when someone has long paths?

2) Why this window does have some strange edit mode by default? If you press left/right to change path (for example mysource2010 to mysource2019) it does some weird paths. This can be fixed by pressing F2. Why the "F2" behavior is not the default???

MicrosoftExcelTeam6 karma

Hi there,

These are all good suggestions. I encourage you to share them on Excel User Voice portal at It helps us to prioritize our investments.

Guy - Excel Team

frogstein7 karma

One "feature" that's been bothering me that's been in Excel for years: if you are typing text in a cell, and the text gets close to the right edge of the column, it adds a blank line to the bottom of the cell when you hit enter. It doesn't actually add a newline, but just makes the cell one line taller/lower. Is this intentional, and if so, why?

MicrosoftExcelTeam8 karma

Text metrics are often a little fiddly and we tend to err on the side of making sure there's enough room. But this may be something we've gotten too used to and bites users more often that we think. I'll make a note to follow up.


MicrosoftExcelTeam6 karma

r/excel any day for me. -- Alex

coryrenton6 karma

Which excel alternative do you see as your biggest competition (not in terms of market, but in terms of elegance, features, design choices)?

If you could overhaul excel without worrying about the existing user base, how would you approach it differently?

MicrosoftExcelTeam14 karma

I think the answer depends on the workbook. I've seen people implement Project Management solutions in Excel that would likely have been better off in a dedicated project management app.

It most often comes down to flexibility vs. structure. Database apps make enforcing data quality way easier than Excel, but sacrifice ease of user and ability to quickly change the rules after data has been partially collected.

FWIW our biggest competition is the previous version of Excel.

coryrenton3 karma

Which database app do you think most people with hairy project management-style workbooks should switch to? Is there anything implemented in google sheets that you wish could come to excel, but can't for whatever reason?

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

If you're looking for another great project maangement tool, check out Microsoft Project (, or for task management check out Microsoft Planner ( -Sharon

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

What features do you want to see in Excel that you don't see today?

-- Avani

teylyn2 karma

There are alternatives?

- Ingeborg Hawighorst, Excel MVP

JonPeltier1 karma

Right? - Jon Peltier, Excel MVP

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

There are none with such dedicated community and power user base, that's certain ;-) -- Alex

pheeper6 karma

Can you talk to what work, if any, has been done to incorporate Python into Excel? Do you foresee a Python IDE in Excel, similar to the VBE, anytime in the future?

MicrosoftExcelTeam4 karma

Hey! Good question.

We’re still working on a way to enable Python in Excel, and are working with our core Python team at Microsoft to build a plan that we think can majority of the scenarios you told us about and ensure it can run wherever Excel runs. We're also looking into how we can bring this into PowerQuery via a connector.

  • In the meantime, we encourage folks to check out some great tools our community has built such as OpenPyxl, PyXLL and XLWings that you can use to get Python scripting in Excel today.

  • Additionally, you can also host your back-end logic via a web service in any language, including Python, and use web add-ins or a custom function ( to call that web service.

-- Keyur

nostrovia4 karma

XLOOKUP has already been a lifesaver - thank you!

What is next with the new data types function? Stocks and Geography seem like a good proof of concept, but I'd love to see more or perhaps user-customizable data types.

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

Glad to hear you are liking XLOOKUP. I’m a big fan myself 😊

Love your ideas around new data types. Lots of interesting possibilities in this space. Which data types would you like to see added? I see several entries in the Excel UserVoice site for new data types. Please make sure to vote for your favorite ideas or add a new entry. We use UserVoice as an input to help us prioritize future investments.

Here are some I found:

-- Carlos (Excel Team)

HeartyBeast3 karma

How much functionality do you intend to lock behind Office 365 account login in the future? It appears to be an increasingly annoying theme across the Office suit. ‘Want to use this function that is in no-way related to network access? Log in’

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

Generally, the features that are created after the time when a new major version of Office is released, such as Excel 2019 (one-time-purchase license), are only made available to subscribers. Having a subscription means that you'll get the latest new features each month. -Steve

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

Also - as Ingeborg pointed out, having a subscription does not mean that network access is required to use the apps or features. You can still use Excel across different end points (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS) while offline. The O365 subscription just means that you have access to the latest new features each month.

-- Carlos (Excel Team)

wkdintent3 karma

Please, for the love of school children and engineers everywhere. Why isn't there a setting to make Degrees rather than Radians the default trig result?

MicrosoftExcelTeam6 karma

Mathematicians have a vicious lobby. -- Alex

decimalturn3 karma

What are the next big improvements we should expect for OfficeJS (Office Javascript APIs)?

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

Hey! We continue to work across and bring more capabilities for OfficeJS.

For Excel and pro-devs: We continue to iterate across a number of fronts. Recent items, we announced at Ignite coming to preview are Dynamic Ribbons APIs, improved Custom Function support with support for errors, expanding on the 2000+ JS apis we have. Learn more here ( We also have a monthly community call (, which we just had one this morning with some new improvements. Hope to see you there next month! :)

For all users: We just announced Office Scripts (powered by OfficeJS apis) that lets users record actions and automate tasks, which is in preview for Excel for web:

-- Keyur

nohpex2 karma

I'm super disappointed that I'm on mobile right now.

  1. Is there a way to set a rule so when a cell has a manual entry vs a formula it'll change colors?

  2. When every other row is shaded, is there a way to have it auto fix after deleting a row?

  3. What is Xlookup, and how is it different from Vlookup?

  4. Why does the window slow down/spike CPU usage when your mouse polling rate is high?

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

on 'every other row shaded' - you can use a ctrl-T table to have that be managed automatically for you.

- Josh

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

WRT 2. If the data is in a table, tablestyle banding will automatically re-render as rows and hidden/shown/deleted etc.

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

For #3 you can learn more details about the benefits of XLOOKUP here

My personal favorites include that it defaults to "Exact Match", it can look left, it has a simpler signature or set of arguments... and finally it has "XL" in the name. :)

-- Carlos (Excel Team)

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

You can use =IsFormula(<thecell>) as the formula for your conditional format. That way if the cell with the CF has a formula it will be true, otherwise it will be false.

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

In regards to 4, please send us a frown. Does this only happens in Excel, not other Office Applications or applications.

I did a Bing and found that some report disabling the enhanced pointer precision (control panel > mouse > pointer options) has helped.

- Thomas

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

On #4, what version of Windows are you on? If this is Windows 10, then do you see a difference using latest Windows Insider build You can also provide feedback using the Feedback Hub app in Windows 10 as well.

thanx, Prash

vba72 karma


1) Why the EDIT LINKS window is so small? It cannot be resized in any way, so it is very hard to see paths

2) Paths cannot be copied from there.

3) There is a bug in EDIT LINKS window. When you have a file with say 10 other files, click shift to highlight them all + then click the "refresh" button; it only refreshes the first link.

Why this window and many other cannot be resized???

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

This is great feedback! We use to gather input on feature requests. Concerning the third point (bug for refresh multiple), it works well in my version - there is an option in the app to send feedback so we can have the details of your app.

- David M

vba72 karma

In the main ribbon, in the Font menu, there is this button under the font, that allows to set cell border styles. Why does it change randomly all the time? Why cant it remember the last selection? Why cant one set a default for it?

I'd argue that 99% of users would either want "all borders" as a default.

Why does it show "top border yes, other not really" when I open Excel?

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

Thanks for your question. When you first open Excel, the button defaults to "Bottom Border". The button will then remember the last selection you made - with that button. But it doesn't remember the last border setting you made in some other part for the app.

Setting your own defaults for the border button is an interesting suggestion. You should feel free to make feature requests at
You might want to upvote this suggestion

If you are a windows user a couple hot keys that i find helpful are.. CTRL+SHIFT+7 Applies All Outer Borders to your current selection CTRL+SHIFT+_ Removes all borders from your current selection

Thanks! Johnnie, Excel Team

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Not exactly sure what you are seeing. The borders button shows the last choice you made. This is convenient for re-apply border formatting. For example, if you select a range of cells and say outline border, then you can select another range and just click the icon (which shows 'outline' as the last thing you picked).

GeneralJohnStark2 karma


MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

Not sure, but I did find some conversations about this topic some SQL forums.


vba72 karma

Are you planning to have any way to control localization? There are lots of those "little" things that you forget, because your development team seems to make wrong assumptions.

1) For example new waterfall chart - shows the "increase", "decrease", "sum" labels. The thing is that if you dont have an English version of Excel, then those labels will be called in local language.

That is a big problem when you work in a corporation where you share your files with people from other countries -> by default (that cannot be changed) the chart shows names in a way they cant understand.

2) Same is for "subtotals" in a pivot table. In English it will be a "subtotal", but in other languages something else.

3) there are also those arcane functions like CELL()

The problem is that it does not have standardized parameters - say numbers; but rather it takes parameters as words. In English version the parameter to see contents is "contents", but in German version the parameter is "inhalt". So a file shared between two users with different language versions will not work. Excel will translate the CELLS function (in English) to ZIELE (in German), but the parameter will be hard coded by user -> and the formula will not work. Who allowed this? Why not numbers as parameters?

Are there any plans to change it?

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

These are great observations, and we will take a closer look. You may want to share these on There's a related suggestion there you may want to vote for, which is Show functions in English. -Steve

vba72 karma

Translating function names is something completely different than translating function parameters. Function SUBTOTAL() has parameters as numbers. For example 9 is "sum" in every language version. Meanwhile function CELLS() has parameters as text. In English version this parameter is different than in say German...

Are you just marketing people who write "please post on user voice"?

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

We are the engineering team for Excel. I understand your point about the functions that use text parameters. Those ones are a challenge, especially since they've been in use for many years. Making a change to a function carries the risk of causing existing formulas to give a different result, which we want to avoid. - Steve

mookler2 karma

What's the most bizarre use of Excel that you've ever heard of?

MicrosoftExcelTeam6 karma

Several over the years... This recent one comes to mind

Functional Drum Machine:

- David M

MicrosoftExcelTeam4 karma

There's so many cool uses!

My personal favorites are people who make big art pieces in Excel (kind of like pixel art almost) and recently I saw someone had made a DJ sound booth in Excel-- lemme try to find a link. I also have a coworker who makes slide shows exclusively in Excel.

Connie (Excel)

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

We have users creating works of art in Excel! As an artist, I love to see it.

-- Avani

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

I wouldn’t call it bizarre, but I love this recent example of the flexibility of Excel. Sick Beats in Excel

-- Carlos (Excel Team)

adequateatbestt2 karma

Hello MS Excel Gods,

When dragging a cell using the bottom right corner, Excel sees patterns and continues them. Is there a way to do this using a keyboard shortcut rather than using my mouse to drag the box? I know ctrl+d/r go down/right but those don't recognize patterns.

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

You can use ALT+E+I+S+Enter, which maps to the previous toolbars (Edit, Fill, Series)

-Eric (Excel)

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

If you ever forget the shortcut, use Alt+Q or click on the magnifying glass in the ribbon and type "Series". You can also right-click and add it to the quick bar from this search UI. -- Alex

goldenporsche2 karma

I have an issue sometimes, that when I paste an image it duplicates itself like 1,000s of times somehow. No idea how. And I can sit there deleting them one by one but it's pretty much impossible. So:

  1. Why is this happening?
  2. Without a script, how can I more efficiently mass-delete?

Starting over is not an option. This issue is happening with our templates.

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

To the best of my knowledge this is unknown problem. Please, send feedback from Excel when you see this problem again - this will let us look into the logs and investigate the source.

To remove pictures in bulk, use Ctrl-G / Special / Objects to select all objects, then press Del. -- Alex

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Sorry to hear you are having that problem! With the information you gave it's hard to tell why the picture duplication is happening, that's not an issue i've heard before.

As for mass-deleting, have you tried using the Selection Pane? You can either type "Selection Pane" in the search bar at the top of the app or select an image, go to the "Picture Format" ribbon, find the "Arrange" section of the ribbon, and you will find the "Selection Pane" button. From there it's easy to select many objects or select all objects and then ctrl+click to deselect a few objects then click delete THanks, Johnnie, Excel Team

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Best Guess for why is this happening: 1. Check if you have Sticky keys on.

  1. Check if your keyboard key gets stuck when pressing Ctrl+V.


sizarieldor2 karma

Hi, first I want to thank you for working on the amazing tool that it MS Excel. I'm sure you have hundreds of thousands of grateful fans out there. Let me ask a few things that other people probably also wonder:

Will there be a hotkey to close the F1 help menu, which is so often accidentally opened?

When creating chart legends, the colors of each data series is shown in a little square. Will there be an option to change their size?

Right now data validation in a cell can be overwritten by a simple paste into that cell. Will you make data validation harder to overwrite?

MicrosoftExcelTeam5 karma

Thanks very much! We use to prioritize feature requests - we'd love to hear from you there with these great ideas!

BTW we've got hundreds of millions of people using Excel ;)


MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

Regarding chart legends, we currently don't have a plan to enable changing the size of the legend keys. I'd encourage you to use the uservoice link Sharon shared if you think this feature should be implemented!

- David

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

You can also use Ctrl+Space, C to close the Help pane if you accidentally open it! -Sharon

ehansalytics2 karma

When are we going to see improvements to Power Pivot in Excel that more closely match Power BI. New functions like REMOVEFILTERS for example, or bi-directional relationships?

I've heard it is an issue that when these changes are made it could/would break compatibility with older version of Excel with an older Power Pivot engine, but does that mean it will never get updated for the sake of compatibility? Power Pivot in Excel hasn't seen any improvements since 2016. It is getting harder to use Excel because it is more difficult to replicate measures and the model that are supported in Power BI, and sometimes - sometimes - Excel is the right tool for the job.

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

There are two parts to this. It depends whether we're talking about features that break compatibility of the data model across Excel versions, or features that do not.

Part #1 - Features that break compatibility: Today the data model format is fully compatible across Excel 2013, 2016, 2019, and Office 365. Newer Power BI features that would break this compatibility include bi-directional cross-filtering, date-to-time relationships, and some others.

Part #2 - Features that don't break compatibility: There are some newer DAX functions that Excel can support without breaking compatibility (except that formulas using the newer functions can't be evaluated on older versions, just like new functions in Excel.)

We are working on some changes that will allow us to pick up newer DAX functions more quickly, so we don't lag as far behind Power BI in this area for as long. I hope we get this tackled relatively soon (but can't give you a date.)

We are also working on a longer term plan to allow Excel users access to the breaking features, but we want to approach that in a way that will not block Excel users from building data models that can be opened in all the different versions of Excel that support data models. I don't see this being addressed quickly - the solution will come later. In the interim, if you have a tabular data model that requires bi-directional cross filtering, and you don't want to handle this with a more complex measure, I recommend using Power BI Desktop for that model.

Hope this helps,


troll_detector_90012 karma

What Easter eggs are in the new versions of excel? I loved the 3D thing back when windows 98 was a thinng

MicrosoftExcelTeam7 karma

We had to stop doing that. The fun police got us.


MicrosoftExcelTeam4 karma

Much does he know ;-P -- Anonymous engineer

AMWJ1 karma

I love Excel formulas, but there are still simple processes that take extremely long formulas (both in character length and runtime). Is there any thought to adding functions that enable programming capabilities? Like variables, and Map/Reduce?

Also, indexing into arrays would be awesome, so we didn't need Shift-Enter for ArrayFormulas.

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

We are considering things in this space. I'd recommend you describe any specifics you want on

- Josh

[deleted]1 karma


MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Can you clarify the question, please? I've entered =HYPERLINK("[Book1]Sheet"&ROW()&"!B1") in A1:A10 and it works as I'd expect. -- Alex

AggressiveToken1 karma

XLOOKUP isnt available on my work computer even though I updated Excel under File->Account->Update Options. Is there something else i need to do?

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Make sure you are on the monthly channel of Office 365 to get the latest features. Learn more here: - Sanjay

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

If you are on the monthly channel and you're still seeing issues, please send a frown!


MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

XLOOKUP is available to all Office 365 Subscribers in the Monthly Channel. Users in the Semi-Annual Channel will see it starting in July. If you are on the Semi-Annual Channel, you may be able to switch to the Monthly Channel under File/Account. [Joe McDaid]

Pomerantz1 karma

I run a selection committee for a student program where we have each applicant scored in multiple categories by multiple reviewers. My method of normalizing the scores is, to put it charitably, inelegant and time-consuming. How would you recommend going about this more efficiently?

For reference, let's say I've got 40 different reviewers who each score 30 each applicants in 4 different categories. Each application is scored by two reviewers.

And in case relevant, I'm using MS Excel for Mac (Version 16.16.18)

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

You might try which would allow to send a form with a field for each applicant to each reviewer and the data is all collected into an excel file in onedrive.


MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

If I'm following your scenario, this sounds like an ideal user of coauthoring, i.e. have your reviewers work in a single workbook at the same time, vs. doing manually aggregation across 40 different copies of workbook for each reviewer.

Am I understanding the time-consuming part of the normalization?

helper5431 karma

Any plans to fix the copy/paste functionality so cell edits doesn't clear the clipboard? Office Clipboard is a clunky non user friendly solution most users don't even know exists.

tirlibibi173 karma

I think this was attempted in a monthly version a year or two ago, but it was rolled back because many long-time users of Excel hated the change.

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma

Indeed - changing the copy/paste semantics has proven dangerous.

The complexity comes from Paste - if you copy/paste within Excel, we do neat stuff like adjust formulas. We need to know what's selected in the copy - this leads to the copy reset issue I think you're complaining about.

Jim (Microsoft Excel)

dhavalcoholic1 karma

For some reason, the "Insert Data from Picture" option doesn't appear on my Android phone (Poco F1). I tried emailing the App developers, but did not receive any response. Is there anyone who can assist with Excel Phone app issues?

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Please check if you have the latest version installed. Also are you signed in? The feature is available only when you are editing a file (signed in with a Microsoft Account or O365 Account) - Sanjay

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Which entry point are you going for? I usually try to use the one from the menu bar.

-Connie (Excel)

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Which language are you using on your mobile device? Unfortunately this feature is not yet supported in all languages. you can see the list of supported languages here: - Avital

TheInnsanity1 karma

How deep has the rabbit hole gone for "spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets abou-"?

MicrosoftExcelTeam3 karma

I'll put together a spreadsheet to calculate it.

-Eric (Excel)

MicrosoftExcelTeam2 karma


MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Go ask Alice! ;-)

Not sure what you mean.

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets about spreadsheets?!?!?!?

-Connie (Excel)

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

=POWER(2,20) -Steve

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Easy. 1724 layers. How do I know?

=REPT("Spreadsheets about ",1724) resolves

=REPT("Spreadsheets about ",1725) does not.

[Joe McDaid]

ChalkbotPm1 karma

Are there any unknown easter eggs? What is the best easter egg?

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Not an Easter Egg, but if you haven't used Ctrl+~ before, try it :-) -- Alex

[deleted]1 karma


MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

You need some formulas. -- Alex

beyphy1 karma

The new dynamic array formulas in Excel are pretty great. Do you have any additional ones planned to what's available so far? Are there any plans to get something like Google Sheet's query function anytime soon?

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Thanks we love them too! We continuously release new functions so you can expect some great ones in future. If you have something you'd like to see, please submit a request on Excel Uservoice (or add a vote to an existing request) . Here is an existing request for a QUERY like function.

[Joe McDaid]

beyphy1 karma

I've been playing around with the javascript API and wrote some code to see what I could do with it. I noticed that some properties returned arrays (e.g. values) while others returned a static value (e.g. address). Has there been any thought to whether you'll implement properties like values in general? It would be nice to have a property like addresses returned an array I could pair with the value for example. Doing this, I could iterate through the values array, for a particular for and column, and find the address for a row and column. I know that I can do it without it. But I currently have to iterate through the values array, load the address properties for every value I want, and then do another context.sync() call. It seems like a lot of extra and unnecessary steps.

tirlibibi171 karma

Is the Javascript API GA or is it still an Insider feature?

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

It depends on what you are using the Office JS APIs for. You can install the Script Lab add-in to explore the Office JS APIs (we recommend this to add-in developers).

The other feature that was recently released to public preview is Office Scripts ( which helps users of all experience levels automate tasks and record actions. With this feature, you will be able to use the same Office JS APIs that is used in the Script Lab add-in. In order to have access to this feature, the admin of your tenant must enable it:


MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

We love and our passionate about making our APIs are easy to use as possible. Some of what you have we're thinking about on how to improve, but nothing concrete yet. For now, a great place for this feedback or suggestions is on our OfficeJS uservoice site:


beyphy1 karma

Will ScriptLab ever get its own dedicated window like VBE has? And will it get more advanced features like debugging tools? Or is the tentative plan just to use an external editor like VS code to develop Office Add-Ins?

MicrosoftExcelTeam1 karma

Pro-tip: If you're using ScriptLab to explore the Office JS apis in Excel Online, you can pop out into it's own window (I love that feature). Scriptlab is a great prototype tool, but to build an add-in we recommend an editor. We have some good tools like the Office Yeoman generator to help you get started (

If you're looking for create a set of scripts focused on automating tasks, we have a new feature we announced at Ignite called Office scripts that is now in preview for Excel for web. We'd love feedback on that as well:

-- Keyur