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

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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

Microsoft “Office 15” in the works

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Microsoft announced on Monday that a new version of Office, codenamed “Office 15” is in the very early stages of development.

The software giant called Office 15 the business’ “most ambitious undertaking yet.” In addition to the update of Word, Outlook Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, Microsoft will also launch new versions of Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync„ and Visio.

Office 15 is currently in a “technical preview,” in which developers at Microsoft’s customers get to play around with the new product and provide the company with their feedback. It will launch in “Beta” — a test version open to the public — sometime in the summer, Microsoft said.

What would you like to see updated in Office 15? -David