Bottom line: This post contains a few new ways that you can help make Excel better, plus a video about Excel UserVoice.
Excel UserVoice Gives You the Mic
Have you ever been using Excel and thought to yourself, “I wish Excel could do this task better, or had this feature!”
I know I have! I have always wished Excel could…
- Make coffee
- Fold the laundry
- Stop global warming
- And solve world peace
Just kidding! 🙂
But in all seriousness, I think we have all wished that Excel could do something to make our lives easier.
And the good news is that Microsoft wants to hear about your ideas to help improve Excel. The Excel team at Microsoft has published a new site called Excel UserVoice (excel.uservoice.com).
On this site you can post your ideas for how to improve any aspect or feature of Excel. You can also browse and search the site for ideas that other people have posted.
Now you're probably thinking that sounds cool, BUT it will take years before I see any changes in the next version of Excel…
Fortunately, some of the biggest changes to Excel 2016 are behind the scenes. The latest version of Excel will allow Microsoft to push out updates much more frequently than ever before. We won't have to wait for the next release 3 or 4 years from now to see major updates.
“The latest version of Excel will allow Microsoft to push out updates much more frequently than ever before.”
Last month I got to spend time with members of the Excel team at the annual MVP Summit. It was an honor to get a sneak peek of what they are working on, and also see how excited the team is about the future of Excel.
The UserVoice site is an extension of that, and the team at Microsoft would really value your participation in this. It will help them determine what features are most important to you, so they can prioritize future updates.
I created a video that explains UserVoice in more detail and walks through how to use it. Click the video below to watch it.
I have a lot of ideas on feature updates and improvements for Excel, but I am really excited to hear your ideas.
All of the add-ins I have created over the years have been solutions to common problems that take extra time in Excel.
- Paste Buddy was originally designed to create a direct keyboard shortcut for paste values, and also pastes to visible cells only.
- Tab Hound gives you a search box so you can type a search for a worksheet name, and jump right to it. It also unhides multiple sheets at one time.
- The Formatting Shortcuts Add-in allows you to create custom keyboard shortcuts to apply a font or fill color or number formatting to a cell.
- PivotPal was created so I could search for fields in the field list, and quickly add them to a pivot area with keyboard shortcuts.
- The Chart Alignment Add-in was created to be able to move chart elements with the arrow keys.
These are a few of the features that I would like to see implemented in Excel. Hopefully that will get you thinking about other ideas and things you want to see improved.
After you checkout UserVoice and post your ideas, please come back to this page and share the link to your post. You can leave a comment at the bottom of this page with a link to the idea you post/like on UserVoice, so the rest of the Excel Campus community can see it and vote it up!
The Office Insider Program
The Excel and Office team also want to give you a chance to test out these new features.
The Office Insider Program gives you early access to new features and builds within the Office suite (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, etc.). And it's FREE to anyone with a compatible Office 365 account.
This gives you another chance to get involved with the development of Office, and help shape the future of the tool we all love so much (I'm referring to Excel of course!). 🙂
You will get to participate in the Microsoft community forums to give feedback, and interact with the Excel team.
Click the following link to get access to the Office Insider Program.
The Excel MVP Crew
As I mentioned above, I had the privilege to attend the Microsoft MVP Summit last month. The MVP award is given to those that contribute to community to help others learn about Microsoft products.
Once a year Microsoft holds a big conference in Redmond called the MVP Summit, where we get to meet with the Excel team and learn about what they are working on.
This is my second year receiving the award, and I feel honored to be a part of this group. Here's a pic of some faces you might recognize from around the web. I'm standing in the back there.
Missing from the pic are Bill Jelen, Mike Girvin, and Jordan Goldmeier. They are camera shy… 😉
Collectively, this group has probably taught me everything I know about Excel, and it's really cool to be able to hang out with my heroes for a week.
I wouldn't be there if it wasn't for your support of Excel Campus. Your comments and feedback continually inspire me to share my knowledge and help teach others about Excel. I am truly excited and grateful to have you here.
It might not solve global warming or world peace, but it's a great way to get involved and make the Excel world a better place. 🙂
Thanks again and Happy Holidays!