Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)

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How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

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  1. Make a simple safer version of VLOOKUP and INDEX MATCH

    The majority of Excel users use VLOOKUP to get exact matches from a row or column, It would be good if they all used INDEX MATCH but it's more complex so how about this simpler version for the masses.

    =GETMATCH(ReferenceToMatch, MatchColumn/Row, GetColumn/Row, Optional Value if no match)

    If seen a few other references to updating VLOOKUPS and there are lots of opportunities, but it would be good to address the simple most widely used issue first.

    348 votes
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      81 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Give us a proper NULL() worksheet function.

      This would make calculations and charts treat a cell containing a formula as a blank cell, not as a cell with a text string ("") or as a zero.

      318 votes
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        26 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

        Great suggestion – thanks again for taking the time to put it on this site and for the thoughtful followup comments. This is pretty related to some other work we’ve got going and already has a fair number of votes, so we’ll work on getting plans in place now and hope to get started on this soon.

        Thanks,
        John [MS XL]

      • Built-in RegEx / Regular Expressions Functions to Search, Extract, and Replace

        I've constantly found myself installing and re-installing add-ins that add RegEx Functions to Excel. Everyone I introduce them too finds them extremely useful. There's over half a million results in google for the query ["excel" ("regular expression" OR "regex")].

        186 votes
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          17 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • VLOOKUP function for multiple criteria

          There should be a *VLOOKUPS function (or you name it) alongside VLOOKUP to find data based on multiple criteria. I know there are workarounds like INDEX and MATCH but they are unnecessarily complicated considering COUNTIFS and SUMIFS functions do a neat job at counting and adding multiple criteria. And please make it so it works with unsorted data.

          173 votes
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            6 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

            Thanks for the feedback! We’re seeing a number of different posts about lookup functions – we’ll be taking a close look at this area and thinking it through. We’ll prioritize the asks according to votes along with other requests on the site. So I encourage people to keep voting if it’s something they really want to see the priority raised on.

            Best,
            John [MS XL]

          • Create a function that returns the list of sheet name(s) in the workbook = SHEETNAME(), =SHEETNAMES()

            1. provide a function that returns the current sheet name

            2. provide a function that does the listing of the sheets in the workbook. This is presently being done using macro. there are certain companies which do not permit the running of macros within the excel workbook.

            72 votes
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              13 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • Auto resizing of formula bar

              Give us an easily accessible option to have the formula bar resize automatically if a formula spans across multiple rows in the formula bar so the whole formula will be visible.

              69 votes
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                5 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                Thanks for the suggestion. I think I’ve seen some related requests, I’ll look at merging them to make sure the votes properly reflect the ask. We’ll prioritize this into the execution pipe appropriately based on the number of votes.

                Cheers,
                John [MS XL]

              • Two new =if's

                Just like =IFERROR(), could we also get =IFBLANK() and =IFZERO(). I would use these on a regular basis, and it would cut in half the size of large formulas where I just want something specific to happen where the result is either blank or zero

                69 votes
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                  6 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                  Thanks for the suggestion figboot. As always, we’ll prioritize this according to the number of votes it gets, so please be sure to vote it up if you want to see it done sooner.

                  Thanks
                  John [MS XL]

                • NULL Worksheet Function

                  This request is to add a new function, =NULL(), which returns "blank" or null, forcing the cell to act as if it truly is empty; not a cell with an empty text string "" or 0.

                  64 votes
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                    22 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • Add a CountDistinct (unique, etc.) function

                    Add it as a standalone function

                    53 votes
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                      8 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • Extend VLOOKUP() and HLOOKUP()

                      Extend the lookup functions so they can lookup left/up as well as right/down. That will save us having to build and maintain unintuitive formulae combining INDEX() and MATCH().

                      41 votes
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                        16 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                        Thanks for taking the time to post a suggestion Malcolm! We’ll be taking a look at lookup functions. There’s a number of votes on the site for them – I’m not going to merge all of them though because different posts are asking for slightly different things. Please keep voting for the ones you want to see most!

                        Cheers,
                        John [MS XL]

                      • Add an IFCOND() function

                        similar to IFERROR, add a function that only evaluates second argument if first argument not met, like

                        =IFCOND([Formula],">5",5)

                        instead of

                        =IF([Formula]>5,5,[Formula])

                        This would make a lot of formulas much shorter and also improve execution time, as it would only have to evaluate [Function] once instead of twice if the condition is not met.

                        40 votes
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                          13 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • Adding the possibility of use formulas in English in all languaje versions of excel

                          Using English name of functions in all languaje versions of excel

                          39 votes
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                            5 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Adding a native interpolation function in Excel

                            Interpolation (even a simple linear interpolation) would be a great native function for Excel to have. Something like INTERPOLATE(KnownXRange,KnownYRange, NewX) would be fantastic for anyone who ever has to do this

                            The current workaround looks something like this:

                            =FORECAST(NewX,OFFSET(KnownY,MATCH(NewX,KnownX,1)-1,0,2), OFFSET(KnownX,MATCH(NewX,KnownX,1)-1,0,2))

                            27 votes
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                              6 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                              Thanks for the suggestion, and thanks for showing how you’re using the FORECAST as a workaround. We’ll consider this request along with all the other ideas here and prioritize it according to the votes – so please keep voting if you want to see the priority raised!

                              Best,
                              John [MS XL]

                            • Integrate error handling/value on error for functions such as VLOOKUP

                              While functions like IFERROR and ISERROR exist, it complicates things to have to wrap each function in an error checker.

                              E.g.
                              =IFERROR(VLOOKUP(C2,A1:B6,2,FALSE),"not found")
                              could become:
                              =VLOOKUP(C2,A1:B6,2,FALSE,"not found")

                              23 votes
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                                3 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                We’re always looking for ways to make formulas smaller and easier – thanks for the suggestion! We’ll prioritize this according to the number of votes, so keep voting if you want to see this get done sooner!

                                Thanks,
                                John [MS XL]

                              • Give us a proper ITERATION or INSTANCE function for duplicates

                                In many cases we need to find the Nth number of a duplicate. There are funky workarounds with complicated formulas, and currently no simple way to do this. I would like to propose a function to return the Nth instance of a value found in a specified range. It would return a range, like the INDEX function does now, which would make it extremely powerful and simplify many existing formulas.

                                I don't care about the name, so the best I could think of was ITERATION or INSTANCE, but I'm sure someone could find other clever names as well.

                                I imagine…

                                21 votes
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                                  3 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • have exception cells so that when you edit a formula and double click to autofill it skips over the exceptions

                                  Have the ability to mark a cell as an "Exception". If you edit a formula in a cell and double click to auto-fill the cells below it, it will skip over the exceptions and leave them as their given value

                                  19 votes
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                                    0 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • Define user-defined functions from the Name Manager

                                    Sometimes, a user-defined function is not so complicated that it requires VBA and thus requires us to ditch the XLSX format. We should be able to define our own functions in the Name Manager.

                                    For example:

                                    EXACTMATCHRANGE(a,b,c,d) = INDEX(d,MATCH(a,c,0)):INDEX(d,MATCH(b,c,0))

                                    NEWVLOOKUP(a,b,c,d) = OFFSET(INDEX(b,MATCH(a,b,d)),0,c)

                                    YESTERDAY() = TODAY()-1

                                    XNOR(a,b,c,...) = NOT(XOR(a,b,c,...))

                                    FIRSTMONDAY(y,m) = DATE(y,m,7)-WEEKDAY(DATE(y,m,7),3)

                                    SHEETNAME(ref) = =MID(CELL("filename",ref),FIND("]",CELL("filename",ref))+1,255)

                                    LASTWORD(s) = RIGHT(s,LEN(s)-FIND(" ",s))

                                    REFADDRESS(a,b,c,d) = ADDRESS(ROW(a),COLUMN(a),b,c,d)

                                    SHORTCIRCUITAND(a,b,c,...) = IF(a,IF(b,IF(c,...)))

                                    RMS(a,b,c,...) = SQRT(SUMSQ(a,b,c,...))

                                    RANDBETWEENFLOAT(a,b) = RANDBETWEEN(a,b-1)+RAND()

                                    You get the idea.

                                    18 votes
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                                      7 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Create NETWORKHOURS as a new function

                                      I would like to see a function that calculates hours worked over a period of Excel Dates that incorporates working hours and non-working hours as well as holidays and weekends parameters. This function could use similar logic to the NETWORDAYS.INTL function's use or holidays and weekends parameters.

                                      16 votes
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                                        2 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • A simple function to replace the IF(A1="","",EnterFormulaHere)

                                        Everyone down to amateur excel users knows the quick fix for displaying no value in a cell if it's precedent is blank is the =IF(A1="","",EnterFormulaHere). Usually used when the end user hasn't yet entered information into input cells and Errors in cells are undesired.

                                        This gets more complex when there are many precedent cells and requires this =IF(OR(A1="",B2="",C3=""),"",EnterFormulaHere) etc.

                                        We need a function for this such as:
                                        =IFBLANK(IfNotBlank,[CellsToCheck],[All/Any])

                                        So, =IFBLANK(A1*B2*C3) would only return the result of the formula if none of cells A1, B2 and C3 were blank.

                                        Or, =IFBLANK(A1*B2*C3,(A1,B2,D7)) allows the user to select the specific cells to be…

                                        14 votes
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                                          1 comment  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                          Interesting suggestion Jon, thanks for posting it. There’s some other suggestions around blank/null, so we’ll be taking a look at the space in general, and making particularly sure that we consider related functions that get a lot of votes. As always, the more votes something gets the more chance that a specific request gets in the execution pipe sooner. So I just want to encourage folks to keep voting for the ideas they like best!

                                          Cheers,
                                          John [MS XL]

                                        • Ability to comment within formulas

                                          Allow us to add commentary to formulas. While it is best practice to break up large formulas over multiple cells, sometimes it has been necessary that I must create large (or just simply complex) formulas. The ability to add commentary would help tremendously for my users or future administrators who are tasked with updating or understanding my financial models.

                                          13 votes
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                                            5 comments  ·  Formulas and Functions  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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