Fave Excel 2007 feature

What is your favourite new feature in Excel 2007?

Just one if possible, and a why would be good.

I’ve had a good think about it and there are several candidates. And especially if considering different classes of user. I have swung back and forth between several features but in the end I think I’m going to go for:

Function intellisense. Its great to help beginner users learn new functions, and great as a prompt for more experienced ones, and its faster than typing.

What do you think is the best new feature?

(lets try and keep it on target, we can do ‘most pointless’ in another post)



16 Responses to “Fave Excel 2007 feature”

  1. Dick Kusleika Says:

    Structured Table references in formulas. I like writing

    =MATCH(A1, Table1#Headings, FALSE)

  2. Kevin Says:

    Live Preview…applying formats, fonts, styles, charts and seeing the result before applying has saved me from hitting CTRL+Z about 1000 times

  3. Bob Phillips Says:

    I’m with Dick, but I would go one step further and say tables generally. I like them a lot.

  4. Simon Says:

    I liked Dany’s demo of running a pivot off a table. I’ll have to take a proper look at structured refs, I avoided them because of that labels in formulas mess in previous verisons.

    Live preview freaked me out till I got my Excel fully loaded with performance sapping add-ins now its so slow it hurts my eyes less.

  5. dougaj4 Says:

    I’m tempted to say the ribbon, just to see the reaction, but really function intellisense is the main thing that makes a real difference to my day to day work. I like the way you get UDFs listed as well, since I use a lot of UDFs and now I don’t have to remember the exact name and parameters.

  6. jonpeltier Says:

    First time I used the table structured references, I was completely sideswiped by the fact that the field names are relative, not absolute. I’ve been leery of them ever since.

    Their predecessors, the Lists in 2003, are the one feature that convinced me I had to upgrade to 2003 back when it cam out. So I believe the tables must be a fine feature, and if I had to use 2007 I’d like them.

  7. Jon E Says:

    I love the CONCATENATE feature, but I don’t know if it qualifies as new. Here is why I like it.

    I recently had to do an assignment for my Management 346 Productions Operations class and I was trying to make a template for aggregate planning. With the CONCATENATE function I can easily select certain strings and make a drop down list using Data Validation. This helps especially when I had to put in the formulas, but it cut the time in half, due to the simple functionality.


    ” I was completely sideswiped by the fact that the field names are relative, not absolute. I’ve been leery of them ever since.”


    It’s odd for sure but if you use AutoFill formulas are treated as relative but if you copy and paste they are are treated as absoute. I have found I can work with this for most situations. Because it is a Table this pretty much accomodates all my needs within the table.

    I agree totally that Structured References and in fact the whole Table story is the most significant new feature in Excel 2007. I also like the enhanced Conditional Formatting a whole bunch…

    The integration with MOSS 2007 and the ability to treat E2007 Worksheets like tables WITHIN SharePoint Doc Libraries is a huge plus (my White Paper to be released soon on this – apparently :-)).

    p.s. And of course the Effluent UI or Ribbon (just kidding Simon)

  9. Bob Phillips Says:


    Glad you like the table, but I have to disagree with you on the degraded CF. To my mind it is the biggest disappointment in 2007, sure I love the limitless conditions, but the implementation, the awful UI, and the cartoon icons are a real turn off for me.

  10. Dennis Wallentin Says:

    The better integration with .NET/VSTO and the MOSS integration.

    Dick: Where will the whitepaper be published at?

    Kind regards,


    “Dick: Where will the whitepaper be published at?”

    In the Office Developer Website at micsosoft.com somewhere. Should be out in the next month or so. We’ll be finalizing it when I am in Redmond week after next.


    “but the implementation, the awful UI, and the cartoon icons are a real turn off for me.”

    I never thought about that – yeah there are parts of the CF interface I haven’t even explored yet because there are so many. I agree it is kinda overwheming – good point …


  12. Stephen Says:

    the ribbon, haha

  13. sam Says:

    a) Ability to get back Classic Menus with XML

    b) Ability to Filter on multiple criteria using AutoFilter / Sort on multiple levels in one shot

    c) Prevent Column width autofit on Pivot Table update. Prevent loss of custom formatting on Pivot Table Update

    d) SUMIFs – For AND Operation on multiple criteria – Its much much faster compared to Sumproduct

    Tables : Table Reference are not truly Dynamic.
    Leave a couple of blank rows below a table and put a couple of rows of data.
    Delete the blank rows – The reference will not expand unlike in a Dynamic name

  14. Charles Says:

    Multi-threaded calculation: a great step forward and an excellent move for the not-too-distant future when most systems will have 4 or 8 cores.

  15. jonpeltier Says:

    Sam –

    (a) Those aren’t really the classic menus, just simulations.
    (c) These have been available since ’97, just not easy to find.

  16. Charlie Hall Says:

    I agree with the consensus. Functional Intellisense is the most useful – as it provides all the range names as well – too bad it wasn’t more like the IDE which replaces (sometimes too much) the previous name with the new name

    And the structured references in tables is great – although not being absolute was unexpected and a bit dangerous.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: