Microsoft announces feature updates for natural language queries for Excel applications

At this year’s Ignite conference, Microsoft announced updates to Excel features in the coming weeks and months. Some of these are already known, such as the new XLOOKUP function and dynamic arrays — improving the overall efficiency of the formula by allowing a single formula to display results in multiple cells. Microsoft has previously announced that the dynamic array feature will be pushed to Excel users this week, but XLOOLUP’s expected arrival time is still “in the next few months.”


(Instagram via Neowin)

As part of New Ideas, Microsoft has also brought natural language queries to Excel. Users can ask Excel certain questions in natural language, and then return insights based on the data in the document.

This feature has been pushed to Office Insider testers from now on, and updates are available simultaneously on Mac, Windows, and web platforms, but is currently available in English only.


Another feature, Sheet View, is designed to make it easier for users to create spreadsheets together and choose whether to apply sorting and filtering to each collaborator in the document to avoid mysterious loss of data in other documents.

If the user specifies that they change only, the view can be saved so that it can be accessed as a separate view later on without affecting the work of other collaborators. Sheet View will be available to Web version excel users by the end of 2019.

Then there’s a new Office scripting feature that makes it easy for users to record a series of actions and save the sequence as a script. to automate these operations in the future without any code.

The script is saved on the OneDrive for Business cloud disk and can be reused in the workbook. This feature will also be available to Users of Excel for the Web edition by the end of this year.

Finally, Microsoft announced the ability to categorize documents based on the sensitivity of the information. Manual tags are enabled on Macs and mobile devices, but are now extended to Windows and Web versions of Excel.

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