What's New in Excel 2010?

For a quick rundown on what’s new in Excel 2010, look no further! The new features and enhancements in Excel 2010 build upon the significant changes in Excel 2007. To learn more from Excel 2010 itself, press F1 and type What's New in the Search box of the Excel 2010 Help window to find details on all the new features in Excel 2010.

The Excel 2010 user interface, like Excel 2007, scraps its reliance on a series of pull-down menus, task panes, and multitudinous toolbars. Instead, it uses the Ribbon — a single strip at the top of the worksheet — which puts most of Excel's commands at your fingertips at all times.

Following are highlights of the new and improved features in Excel 2010:

  • Backstage view: Excel's Backstage view — accessible from the green File tab — enables you to work with files and to get all the properties and stats (technically known as metadata) about the workbook file you’re editing. You can view this information on one pane by choosing File→Info. Backstage view also makes it a breeze to preview, change settings, and print your worksheet using its new Print pane by choosing File→Print.

    Excel 2010's File tab — the leftmost tab on the Ribbon at the top of the Excel window — replaces the Office button from Excel 2007 and the File menu from Excel 2003 and earlier versions. This is where you'll find commands and settings to manage and share your files.

  • Sparklines: Sparklines are the newest graphic addition to Excel. They are tiny charts (so small they fit within a single worksheet cell) that visually represent changes in ranges of associated data. You can use sparklines to call attention to trends in the data as well as to help your users quickly spot high and low values. The three styles of sparklines — line, column, and win/loss — are available in the Sparklines group of the Insert tab on the Ribbon.

  • Simplified Ribbon customization: The Excel 2007 Ribbon wasn't easily customizable. You couldn't modify it unless you had some expertise in XML programming. Fortunately, Excel 2010 now makes it easy to add tabs, groups, and buttons to the Ribbon via the Excel Options dialog box, so that you can customize the Ribbon to your liking. Choose File→Options and select Customize Ribbon in the left pane to access this new feature.

  • Screenshots: The new Screenshot button on the Ribbon's Insert tab enables you to take a quick screen capture and add it to the current workbook. You can choose from a list of available screens provided in the drop-down menu or manually create a screenshot by selecting the Screen Clipping command and dragging to select an area of the screen. After you add a screenshot to the worksheet, you can use Picture Tools to modify the picture.

  • Paste with Live Preview: Use Live Preview with Paste options to see how your pasted data will look when you click an option from the Paste menu on the Home tab (Clipboard group).

  • PivotTable Slicers: Slicers are a new graphic object in Excel 2010 that makes it a snap to filter the contents of a PivotTable on more than one field. They allow you to connect with fields of other PivotTables that you’ve created in the workbook. You'll find this feature on the PivotTable Options tab.

This is just a glance at what you'll find in the new Excel 2010. Many other improvements build on the existing features and tools from previous versions and offer improved collaboration and accessibility options, as well as other behind-the-scenes performance enhancements.

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