Vanishing Excel Features and How to Handle Them

Spreadsheets and graphs on a desk

Excel users that subscribe to Microsoft's Office 365 platform have the benefit of being on the vanguard of new features that are being added in Excel, yet there's a rough edge to being on the front lines of advances in Excel; certain features are vanishing.

In this article I'll describe the phenomenon and show you how to add these features back…for now at least.

First, let me help you determine if you're even subject to vanishing features in Excel:

  • If you're using Excel 2013 and earlier, your version of Excel isn't subject to change
  • If you're using a perpetual license for Excel 2016, your version of Excel isn't subject to change.
  • If you're using an Office 365 version of Excel 2016, your version of Excel may not have changed yet, but could soon if Microsoft pushes out a new Excel build to your computer. Figure 1 shows how to determine if you're using Office 365.

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About David Ringstrom, CPA

David Ringstrom

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.


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Nov 1st 2017 17:40

This is not all that has changed. I have noticed two changes for features I use regularly:
1. The "Remove Duplicates" feature on the "Data" tab, went from an icon with the name below it to icon only. This was slightly annoying at first because I had to retrain my eye to go for the picture instead of the words.
2. In the pivot table process, when you go to adjust the "Value Field Settings" after adding a new field, the default was always a count of the items in the column. About a week ago, I noticed that it changed and now the default is "Sum". This is definitely an improvement for me because I rarely ever needed an item count and most always needed a sum. I wish the default for the "number format" could also be changed. If you know of how to change the defaults, please feel free to share! Thank you!

Thanks (2)