On Tuesday Microsoft released a List of New Features in Excel, covers its versions for Web, Windows and Mac. One of the biggest highlights of Roundup is the announcement of a new image function in the program, allowing users to insert images directly into cells with a choice of their own alternative text. According to Microsoft, it also listened to its customers’ requests, resulting in three new features directly derived from users’ feedback.

Excel's New Image Function
Excel Image Function (Image Credit: Microsoft)

The image function is now available on all three platforms mentioned above. convenience, first Reported In August, addresses an old issue of users limiting the option to use images as they only floated on top. with this new Excel Capability, images from a source location can be placed in cells along with their alternate texts. In addition, the function also includes other capabilities such as moving and resizing cells, sorting, and filtering.

Excel for the web gets the largest number of new features in this update, bringing it to five in total. In addition to the image function, it now allows functions such as “Formula Suggestion,” “Formula by Example,” “Suggested Links,” and “Add Search Bar to Queries Pane.” Formula Suggestions act as an intelligent feature that automatically shows suggestions (SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, COUNTA, MIN, and MAX) by simply typing the “=” sign in a cell or formula bar. Formula suggestions, Microsoft explained, are based on relevant insights from existing data on the spreadsheet.

Microsoft also implemented the same concept above in introducing the new “Formula by Example” function. Like other, it will intelligently identify a pattern when users do manual and repetitive data entry in a single column. Microsoft said it can be compared to its “Flash Fill” feature, although it suggests static text instead.

Rounding out the suggestion features of Excel for the web is the Suggested Links feature. This is the solution to the broken external link to Cloud Workbook. Through this, Excel will directly suggest new locations to fix broken links, allowing the new cloud workbook to store data. Also, Excel for web will get a better way to find files via the new search bar within the Queries search pane.

Create nested Power Query data types
Create nested Power Query data types (Image credit: Microsoft)

On the other hand, Excel for Windows is getting all new features generated from the collective feedback of users to the program. First up is the ability to quickly open the Power Query Editor via a newly added keyboard shortcut. Now, users can simply press Alt + F12 (Win32) or Option + F12 (Mac) to launch the editor in a snap. The other two features are the ability to create nested data types (Power Query data types with multiple levels) and to import data from a dynamic array using “GET DATA FROM TABLE/RANGE”. However, unlike the first feedback-based feature, these last two will be rolling out to Insiders for now, Microsoft said.

What do you think of these new features in Excel this December? Let us know in the comment section.

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