The Excel team has just taken to the official Office Blog to announce a powerful set of new features based on Power Query technology. The new features, which provides fast, easy data gathering and shaping capabilities, can be accessed through the Get & Transform section on the Data ribbon.
Overall there are four of these new data transformation and connectivity features, and the Excel team is noting all have been long requested by Office users. Conditional Columns, Column type indicator in Query Editor preview column headers, Reorder Queries and Query Groups inside Query Editor via drag and drop gestures, and Query Management menu in Query Editor all wrap up the new set of features.
First off, Conditional Columns make it easy for users to create new columns in their queries based on values from a different column. The Excel team is noting that starting with this update, users can now define a set of rules and output values for the new column based on values in other columns within their tables. This can be achieved via the new Conditional Columns dialog, available in the Query Editor under the “Add Column” tab on the ribbon.
Secondly, with column type indicator in Query Editor preview column headers, users can now quickly understand the types for each of the columns in their table. Additionally, users can change them to another type by clicking on these indicators or by using the previously available ribbon options.
With the third new feature, Excel users can reorder Queries and Query Groups inside the Query Editor via drag and drop gestures. This can be used to reorder items within a given group (or top level) and also to move objects into a query group. The Excel team notes that this greatly improves the user experience for reorganizing queries and query groups, which was previously only possible via Context Menu options.
The final of the four features is Query Management menu in Query Editor. The Excel team notes that they are exposing a new “Manage” drop-down menu for a query within the Query Editor Home tab on the ribbon. This menu exposes common management operations for a query, such as Delete, Duplicate and Reference.
These new features are all rolling out as part of an update to those who have an Office 365 subscription. So, if you are one of those who are subscribed to Microsoft’s Office 365 service, head over to this webpage to learn more about how to grab up these new features. Additionally, and if you have Excel 2010 or Excel 2013, you can also take advantage of these updates by downloading the latest Power Query for Excel add-in. As always, though, once you manage to get these new features, be sure to drop us a comment below telling us how these new Excel functions are working for you!
Further reading: Excel, Microsoft, Office, Office 365, Power Query