Microsoft adds 14 new functions to Excel and more in August
As we’re nearing the end of the month, Microsoft has rounded up the new features it added to Excel during August. These roundups include features for users in the stable channel, as well as Insider channels, and they cover all platforms Excel is available on. One of the highlights this month is the general availability of 14 new functions, mostly focused on text manipulation and dynamic arrays.
Starting with those new functions – which are available across the web, Windows, macOS, and mobile versions of Excel – they’ve been available to Insiders since March, but now they’re rolling out to everyone. Two new functions are TEXTBEFORE and TEXTAFTER, which let you output text from a cell only up to or from a specific point, simplifying the information in them. There’s also a TEXTSPLIT function that lets you split the text in one cell into two or more cells.
Other functions are related to dynamic arrays, which are also a relatively recent feature in Excel. These new functions let you combine, reshape, or resize arrays, so you can organize your data in a way that’s easier to understand.
Aside from this, the bulk of the changes seem to be in Excel for the web. The bigger changes including support for editing spreadsheets with legacy shared workbook features, as well as legacy data connections. Excel for the web also now supports Power Queries for Groups and you can also now create PivotTables that link directly to Power BI datasets. That last feature is also available in Excel for Windows if you’re in the Office Insider Beta channel.
The web version of Excel also now has a multi-line formula bar, and it supports rich text formatting in cells, so you can apply formatting changes only to specific parts of a cell. Microsoft has also made it easier to delete data series from a chart by simply clicking the data series and pressing the Backspace key on your keyboard. Finally, you can also now sort rows by color or icon.
On other platforms, most of the changes are exclusive to Office Insiders. If you’re in the Current Channel Preview on Windows, you can also use the new Show changes button, which lets you see the history of changes made to the entire workbook.
On Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, you can now display images directly inside a cell using the new IMAGE function to link to an image resource, as long as you’re in the Beta channel.
And that’s about it for the new Excel features Microsoft added in August. If you’re not an Office Insider, most of these features will likely be available in the next month or two, but we’ll have to wait to know for sure. Of course, as we’ve mentioned, the new features in Excel on the web are available to everyone now.