First glimpse of MS Office 2010 - Excel 2010

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We will continue the introduction of with introducing features of the new version of the Microsoft’s office package by showing the improvements of the Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet processor. As with Word 2010, in Excel you will also find slightly modified user interface and functional improvements.

As you already know from the previous article that I have dedicated to MS Office 2010 in general and to Word 2010 in detail MS Office 2010 will not bring about any fundamental changes in the user interface, as was the case with MS Office 2007. The Ribbon tab bar remains, the most striking innovation is an interface called Backstage.

Backstage can be found in Excel 2010 as well. When you click on the Office button in the Ribbon strip (the circle from Excel 2007 has disappeared), a special interface will show, in which you will be able to choose new templates, prepare tables for printing, share sheets and save changes made. All that without additional dialogs, the respective settings are accessible directly from the Backstage interface.

Microsoft Excel 2010

Microsoft Excel 2010

For the record and for comparison purposes I enclose an Excel 2007 screenshot:

Microsoft Excel 2007

Microsoft Excel 2007

Again, we will show the changes by going through individual cards in the Ribbon tab bar.

Basic functions in Excel 2010

You will find no fundamental changes either in the Excel 2010 user interface (except for slight modification of the Ribbon tab bar), or in its basic controls, which is definitely for the good. Functions offered on the first card (Home) remain the same. Like in Word, in Excel 2010 the floating panel also offers changes according to content that has been just inserted. Instead of offering a list of possible formating adjustments of the inserted cells, Excel offers the settings in a form of buttons with icons. In Excel 2010 you can also use immediate preview for inserting.

Microsoft Excel 2010

Microsoft Excel 2010

Inserting content – graphs in one cell

Content inserting as such, represented by the functions on the Insert card, offers – just like in Word 2010 – a function for inserting a screenshot of any of other opened windows. The screenshots will show in a form of previews. The Screen Clipping function allows you to insert any rectangular screen crop.

An innovation that only Excel 2010 offers is the possibility to insert the so-called Sparklines. They are based on a similar principle as data lines, colour ranges and icon sets that came with Excel 2007. Using Sparklines you can insert similar graphic elements into chosen cells, instead of colourful lines they are small graphs that are much better in representing rising or falling tendency of the numeric data.

Microsoft Excel 2010

Microsoft Excel 2010

The new Slicer button is used to simply filter data in contingency tables. The rest of the Insert card is the same as in the previous Excel version. I will only remark that the button for inserting symbols has now a drop-down offer where you can also find functions for inserting mathematical symbols.

Microsoft Excel 2010

Microsoft Excel 2010

Page layout

Concerning the Page layout, don’t expect any fundamental changes, I haven’t yet found anything different that Excel 2010 has in comparison with the previous version.

Microsoft Excel 2010

Microsoft Excel 2010

Formulas and data in Excel 2010

Concerning the functions for inserting formulas and working with data in Excel 2010, the same can be said as of the page layout. There are no new buttons in the Ribbon strip. However is should acquire new, more exact functions.

Microsoft Excel 2010

Microsoft Excel 2010

Review and View

Just like Word, Excel 2010 now also emphasizes its connection to the translator dictionary. The respective button can be found on the Review card in an independent section, translation can be performed from seventeen into sixteen languages. The difference is caused by the fact that it is not possible to translate into English.

Microsoft Excel 2010

Microsoft Excel 2010

There are no innovations concerning the view of tables and graphs in a sheet either. There is only one small thing – the visual divider of individual print pages can be seen also after you go over to any part of the Backstage, so it is not necessary to view the print preview.

Microsoft Excel 2010

Microsoft Excel 2010

Further innovations in Excel 2010

Apart from the changes in Excel 2010 described above, you will find some more:

  • Improved work with images – cropping into a desired shape, colours, background removal etc.
  • Improved conditional formating and faster graph viewing
  • More accurate functions
  • Better interconnectivity with SharePoint Excel Services
  • An extra Project Gemini plug-in that allows you to quickly sort greater amounts of data
  • With the web form of Excel 2010, MS Excel Web App, several users can work on one table at the same time
  • Interconnectivity with Office Communicator 2007 R2
  • Improved search function, especially in contingency tables
  • New items in SmartArt graphic elements
  • 64bit form of Excel 2010

When I was talking about Word, I said there were not many new functions. And for me, as for an occasional user, Excel 2010 brings essentially no new useful features. Actually there is not much left to improve, except for a few trifles concerning performance, inserting additional graphs etc.

Note: Czech version of this article available in První pohled na MS Office 2010 - Excel 2010

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