If you’re an Office 365 user, a January 2016 software update to Excel 2016 introduced a new Funnel Chart feature, an improved AutoComplete feature, and six new worksheet functions. This article will explain these features in more detail.
Microsoft has decided to up its game with regard to pushing users toward its Office 365 subscription plans versus buying perpetual licenses (sometimes referred to as shrink-wrapped software). A recent Microsoft blog post uses the distinctions “Office 365 subscribers and Office 2016 one-time purchasers.” The Office 365 distinction also includes Excel Online, Excel for iOS, and Excel for Android.
The ability to create a Funnel Chart won’t affect most other Excel users that you share your work with, nor will the AutoComplete feature. However, Office 365 subscribers are going to have to be mindful when using any of the six new worksheet functions.
In short, if anyone other than an Office 365 subscriber using Excel 2016 opens a workbook that contains these new functions, then the formulas will return #NAME? instead of the expected values.
The Funnel Chart format is shown in Figure 1. This is designed to offer a sense of scale for amounts that can be arranged in descending order. If the Funnel Chart is available in your version of Excel 2016, you can access it by way of the Recommended Charts command on Excel’s Insert menu.
If a Funnel Chart doesn’t appear on the Recommended Charts tab, look on the All Charts tab of the Recommended Charts dialog box just below the Waterfall option. Note that Funnel Charts can be compromised in the same fashion as Waterfall Charts when opened in nonsupported versions of Excel.
About David Ringstrom, CPA
David H. Ringstrom, CPA, is an author and nationally recognized instructor who teaches scores of webinars each year. His Excel courses are based on over 25 years of consulting and teaching experience. His mantra is “Either you work Excel, or it works you.” David offers spreadsheet and database consulting services nationwide.