5 New Excel Features

Feb 1, 2024 | Excel Hints and Tips

Who doesn’t love a new Excel feature?  A quicker way of working or something that was just very fiddly before.  Here are my top 5 new features over the last few months.

Easy Search

You will probably already be aware that right clicking on a cell brings up a shortcut menu containing a list of popular features.  What you may not have noticed is that at the top of this list there is now the option of Search the menus.  Here you can type in what you want to do and if there is an option in the menu for this command it will find it.  If there are several possible solutions to your request you can choose from the list provided.

For example, if I wanted to align the text to the right I could type “Align Right”

Align right image

Navigation Pane

The navigation pane is accessed from the View tab by selecting the Navigation Pane icon.  This allows quick navigation to any tables, charts, named ranges and pivot tables.  Each sheet has its own section and even hidden sheets are shown but are greyed out.  Each object can be navigated to by clicking on it.  Some objects can even be renamed, deleted or hidden by right clicking on them all directly from this pane.  This will be particularly useful when working with large complicated spreadsheets with many different objects on many different sheets.

Navigation pane image

Value Preview Tooltip in Functions

When you are working with functions that contain cell references, name ranges or equivalent you can select the cell reference in the calculation to see what value is contained in that cell.  This can be really helpful if the calculation you are doing gives the wrong result as it will often make it more obvious where a mistake has been made.  If a range of cells are selected then the data stored in these cells will be shown as a list.

Value tooltip image

Automate Tab

The automate tab Is used for Scripts which are similar to macros.  Check out the blog or how to record scripts at the bottom of this blog and watch out for a future blog which will provide more detail regarding the similarities and difference of these 2 automation features.  Basically, both these options are used to automate repetitive tasks.

New Shortcuts

Here are 2 new shortcuts that may prove to be useful.  I’m loving the paste values one!!

ALT + F12 – Opens the Power Query editor window

This is a fantastic tool used to tidy up inconsistent and badly laid out data quickly and efficiently.

NOTE: Depending on your keyboard you may need to use the Fn or Function key to get to the Function keys at the top of the keyboard.

CTRL + SHIFT + V – Paste Values

Paste values is handy if you want to remove all the calculations from a spreadsheet.  CTRL + V pastes everything including the underlying calculations but past values replaces the calculations with a value showing the result of the calculation only.  All formatting is still retained.  This is great if you are sending a file to others and don’t want them to see how your calculations are set up but specifically if calculations are pointing at other workbooks which the person you are sending the workbook to may not have access to.

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about these 5 new features in Microsoft Excel, there are some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft Excel? Then email lara@laramellortraining.co.uk to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft Excel Courses I run.