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One of the best features of Google Sheets is replicated in Microsoft Excel

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of programmes like Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel is the ability to automate computations through the use of formulae. But if you’re not familiar with these programmes and have never copied a formula into a cell before, the procedure might seem onerous. As luck would have it, Google Sheets has a feature called “formula recommendations” that was released last year and can intelligently automate certain previously laborious processes. It was helpful for newcomers, and Microsoft obviously agrees, since the company has added some similar features to Excel Online.

Microsoft has unveiled a number of helpful updates to Excel’s web-based interface, including “Formula Suggestions” and “Formula by Example.” The former is rather self-explanatory: when you type in a query, the spreadsheet application will recommend a formula that could work. When you start typing an equal symbol (=) into a cell, suggestions will appear. This function brings to the fore recommendations gleaned from clusters of information in the same column or row. For instance, it may recommend a formula to add up all the numbers in a set of cells if it finds a column called “Total” next to other columns holding numbers. The average, count, counta, min, and max formulae are also available. This function currently only works with the English language.

If you’re acquainted with Excel’s Flash Fill feature, the Formula by Example feature may seem similar. In the same way as the preexisting feature does, Formula by Example will automatically complete a set of cells when a pattern is detected. It helps you save time by not having to input the same formula in several cells, which is very helpful for manual and repetitive data entry tasks. The following video shows off this brand-new feature in action.

In addition, there is a handy tool that alerts you about broken links to cloud workbooks and suggests alternative locations from which to access them. To aid in the discovery of your queries, Microsoft has now included a search bar in the search pane. The long-awaited ability to put photos from a specified URL into a certain cell has been implemented, and it comes complete with alt text.

These enhancements are available in Excel for Windows and macOS as part of the December 2022 release. If you’re interested in making the transfer from Google Workspace to Excel, you may do so at no cost by using the web-based version.