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Microsoft Excel has been serving the data management needs of businesses for over thirty years.


During this time there have been various incarnations of the spreadsheet and workbook program, with each version building on the classic functionality, features and interface of the original 1985 software. This version was built solely for Mac; it wasn’t until the release of Excel 2.0  two years later that the program was available on Windows.

Since then Excel has gone from strength to strength with each new version. Throughout the 1990s, we saw the development of intuitive toolbars, shortcuts, 3D charts, automation, not to mention the evolution of the Excel programming language, VBA. These improvements continued following the turn of the millennium and included greater security measures, error checking and formula auditing.

We’re here to take a more in-depth look at the more recent versions of Excel released over the past decade that are currently being utilised by thousands of businesses worldwide, as well as the benefits and progression between each.


Excel 2007

The 2007 version of Excel introduced the .xlsx and .xlsm file formats, primarily spurred on by the needs of business owners that were requesting an open file format that facilitated the quick and easy transferral of data between applications.

This release also saw the release of the ribbon menu system, the now-familiar strip of buttons above the central work area.


Excel 2010

Despite the improvements made in 2007, many people saw the 2010 version of Excel to be a major upgrade on its predecessor. Some of the new functionalities included greatly proved pivot tables, image editing, ribbon menu customisation and conditional formatting.

The password security features of the software were also updated; however, there were still a few things left to be desired in terms of developing a holistic approach to workbook security.


Excel 2013

Excel 2013 continued Microsoft’s dedication to improving the collaborative elements of the software, as well as enhancing usability, visualisations and data analysis. This included the FlashFill function which spots patterns in the user’s approach to data entry and uses this to complete blank data fields automatically.

Macros were also upgraded to offer a greater range of advanced options for businesses looking to set up more sophisticated automations.


Excel 2016

As the latest version of the flagship software, it’s fair to say that Excel 2016 retains more or less the same appearance as the 2013 version.

There are a few notable tweaks behind the scenes, such as the merging of PowerPivot and PowerQuery into one tool, 3D / Power maps, one-click forecasting and a collection of new charts. These are all geared to improve workbook efficiency and more engaging ways to visualise data sets.

If you’re unsure about which version of Microsoft Excel is the best fit for your business, or you wish to find out more about the services that Bespoke Excel provide, get in touch with our team of expert Excel consultants today on 0161 883 2655.


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