Three Hot New Features in Excel 2013

Microsoft seems to have adopted a three year upgrade strategy with its Office Suite range of products, the 2013 version of which was released some time ago. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc promise to bring in a host of new features to the table. This article, however, concentrates on three new features that Microsoft has bundled with Excel 2013.

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Choices Get Easier through Recommended Charts

‘Recommended Charts’ cannot be termed as an in and out new feature. Instead, it is rather an addition that turns the experience of working on spreadsheets using Excel into a more intuitive one. So for a set of data you have selected, Recommended Charts will show a range of chart variants that you can use. In the hands of experienced users, this feature can be used to help viewers make sense of all the data before them.

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To use this feature, simply highlight data that needs to presented in chart form and hit the ‘Insert’ button. Now select the option ‘Recommended Charts’. This pops up a dialog box that contains a host of chart options that you can choose from. Just click on each type to preview how your selected data will appear and then confirm your decision by clicking ‘OK’.

Analyze Data Quickly

One of the more useful new features added to Excel 2013, the ‘Quick Analysis’ option helps users in dealing with analyzing a certain piece of data. To use this feature, you need to select any data that needs analysis. When doing so, a Quick Analysis icon can be seen towards the selected data’s right-bottom corner.

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Clicking that icon leads to a variety of tools that you can choose for data analysis. Some examples include Charts, Formatting, Tables, Sparklines and Totals. As is the case with many other options in Excel 2013, here too you can preview the effect of any option you select before deciding on the same. Writing formulas, charting or formatting was never this easy on Excel.

Smarter Chart Tools

Design, Layout and Format; those were the three tabs you could see by selecting a chart in previous versions of Excel. However, Design and Format are the only two tabs in the much simpler interface that Excel 2013 sports. There is also a range of icons that can be seen on the outer top right side of any selected chart.

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The three buttons are Chart Styles, Chart Filters and Chart Elements and clicking them throws up some additional options to help with the formatting. For example, using the Chart Elements option you can remove or add elements like legends or axis titles. Similarly, Chart Styles can be used for changing the color and style of a chart. And lastly, Chart Filters can be used for previewing filtered data.

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