I was a bit surprised to see some Excel 2016 updates when I opened it up this morning. For reference, I am on an Office 365 early release program – so I might get these a bit before you do – but how cool is this? Some of the key ones that made me take note:
We’ve got some new formulas to add to our arsenal. I haven’t tried any of them yet, but the ones listed were:
Chris Webb just posted a blog on the first two, IFS sounds useful, but SWITCH… Are you kidding me?
I LOVE that function in Power Pivot and am just itching for an excuse to use this one in a real world Excel project.
A New Chart Type
When Excel 2016 first came out, we saw some new chart types added to the product for the first time in… ages. Those included:
And now we got another for those of us on the subscription:
- Funnel Charts
This is a pretty simple one, but here’s a sample mocked up in about 3 seconds:
A Power Query (Get & Transform) Update
I put this last, but to me this is the biggest deal of the whole bunch. The Power Query engine has been updated to version 2.29.4217.xxx. It’s hard to see what’s been added, as the update hasn’t been released for Excel 2010/2013 yet, nor has a detailed feature page…
Having said that, a feature that I asked for a while back has finally been implemented: Monospaced Fonts.
The importance of this is huge. Power Query has always been big on using a pretty font, which wasn’t monospaced. I.e. the characters weren’t the same width. This is a big problem if you are trying to split by number of characters, as they just don’t line up.
Now, there is still an issue… Power Query is still aggressively trimming spaces (something that started with version 2.28.xxx) as you can see below:
But, if you go to the Advanced tab and click the new Monospaced option, you get this beautiful view:
How much easier will that be for splitting columns based on width? Like 1000% easier, that’s how much!
Dear Power Query team
This is a fantastic feature, thank you. I’ve got two asks for you:
- Can you get us the update for Excel 2010/2013 fairly soon? We need this there as well.
- Can you please give me an option to set Monospaced as the default way to display my queries? This is not due to the overzealous trimming issue (which I do want to see fixed) but rather because this is the way I need to see my data come in every time.
More about Excel 2016 Updates
If you want to see Microsoft’s official page listing all the new features in this Office update, or if you’d like to get into their early release program, have a read here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/What-s-New-and-Improved-in-Office-2016-for-Office-365-95c8d81d-08ba-42c1-914f-bca4603e1426?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US