Excel for the web: Evolution from companion app to collaboration powerhouse

There is no better day than Internet Day – today October 29 – to reflect on the significant evolution of one of Microsoft’s most successful web products – Excel for the web. We’ve come a long way and that journey has included listening to our customers, addressing your feedback, evolving to meet your needs, and making Excel for the web an effective app for your daily work in Excel. Keep reading this blog post to learn how we’ve evolved.

Excel for the web was originally a companion app that was used for consumption. Files were opened in View-only mode by default. Since then, we’ve transformed the app into a full-featured modern spreadsheeting experience. Excel for the Web has evolved from a consumption app into a modern collaboration app that supports most Excel workflows. Our goal is that people use whatever platform they prefer – web, Windows, or Mac – without worrying about being able to complete their work.

Excel for the Web allows you to access your spreadsheets from any device that has a web browser. You can also use your favorite browser to access them. This is where you spend most of your weekdays. With the cloud document, you can collaborate with your colleagues and be sure that you are all working on the most recent version.

Our efforts to make Excel web-friendly are part of our development priority to modernize all web apps. We’ve made major investments and have continued to close the gap with desktop as well as leading with innovation by adding features and improvements that focus on performance, reliability, authoring, and collaboration. In this blog post, I’ll spotlight a few notable improvements and features we’ve introduced to make the app even more powerful for daily work. Be sure to check them out – especially if you haven’t tried the app in a while.

Modern ways to collaborate

Everyone works together to achieve common goals. Excel for the web is now a modern collaboration app that allows you to collaborate with your colleagues and share your cloud spreadsheets without worrying about version control.

We improved the co-authoring experience, where you can work simultaneously on the same spreadsheet with your colleagues (even if they are on the desktop or mobile versions of Excel) and see each other’s changes in real-time.  The Sheet ViewsThis feature allows you sort and filter your data, without having to be affected by others.

With Show ChangesYou can now see all edits to your spreadsheets. This will show you who made changes to your spreadsheets, where they were made, and when. You can use modern comments to leave comments, @mention, and reply to your colleagues’ comments.

Show ChangesShow changes

Excel features make it easy to complete your work

Millions of users rely on the power of Excel to help them succeed at work. Excel for the Web now offers this power. You can create formulas faster with colored cell references, customize cells with additional colors, and format data with cells or table styles with files that are open by default for editing. You can also sortHighlight cells with a cell or font color conditional formattingTo visually explore and analyze data, you can apply data validationTo cells.

Excel for web also offers a better printing experience with print preview. You can zoom in and out in your spreadsheet and add shapes and photos. You can also work faster using familiar Excel keyboard shortcuts. You can choose from either the classic ribbon, or a simplified ribbon, which offers a modern design that’s easier to use with all the existing functionality.

Excel for the Web is now more accessible. We are also upgrading the app’s overall look to include dialogs and task panels. Excel for the Web can be used to automate tasks and flow, increasing productivity. Office Scripts.

We make sure all the most recent and innovative Excel features are available online at the same time as on the desktop. dynamic arrays, linked data types, Analyze Data.

Cell and Table StylesCellular and table styles

Enjoy faster performance and greater reliability

Excel’s daily work requires reliability and performance. Significative performance improvementsExcel for the web was designed to provide better rendering and a smoother user experience. It speeds up tasks like loading a file, scrolling through it, selecting cells, navigation, editing, and formatting. You can now work with larger and more complex workbooks which support faster calculations.

Get insights with data visualization, data analysis and BI features

We invested more in data analysis and visualization to support decision-making as customers began to request more advanced capabilities. We have also made it easier to access the web. pivot tablesExperience to the web, enabling split text into columns, and supporting interactive chart so you can easily format a chart by selecting it and then interfacing with chart elements

Excel also uses AI to simplify data analysis, make it more intuitive, and speed up the process. Analyze Data feature. Ask questions about your data to receive high-level visual summaries and trends.


Protect sensitive data

Built-in security is important when working in Excel spreadsheets and sharing them with colleagues. Microsoft Information ProtectionThe Mindfulness Integration Program (MIP) can help you feel more calm. Additionally, automatic labelling policiesThis can reduce human oversight and not compromise compliance or security.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the Excel for the web evolution story. We listen to our customers, and we continue to add new capabilities based upon their feedback. Microsoft will continue to lead innovation on the internet by releasing the most innovative features.

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