Excel 2013’s coolest new feature that should have been available years ago


Microsoft Excel’s most aggravating feature — or lack thereof — was the spreadsheet software’s inability to intuit simple tasks like building lists.

When there’s a list of full names, and I wanted to separate that into two columns of First Name and Last Name, Excel was only slightly more effective than my cat walking across my keyboard.

Finally, in Office 2013, Microsoft has mostly solved that problem. It’s not perfect, but it’s faster than typing in an entire list of names.

When you begin to type a list, Excel 2013 will look at other columns and guess what you’re typing in. In the case above, it’s understanding that the list of e-mail addresses follow the FirstName.LastName@domain.com format, so if someone starts typing in Nancy, Andrew, etc., that’s probably a list of the first names in the e-mail list.

It doesn’t always work for people named Mary Joe or Peggy Sue, but it’s definitely a vast improvement. -David