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Excel update sees the introduction of natural language queries

Microsoft has announced an Excel update whereby the spreadsheet tool now employs natural language queries. Available to Office Insiders, the new feature lets you chat with Excel as if it were a real person, getting fast answers to your questions. Natural language query can assist users to obtain the insights they need for faster and better decisions.
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How it works

Microsoft believes that natural language query – for Excel users with different levels of experience – is an advance towards making visualisation and data insights more accessible and approachable. Novice users won’t need to write formulas any more for obtaining helpful insights from data – you can just ask ‘What were the total sales in June?,’ for example. Excel will then provide formulas, charts or pivot tables for insertion into your spreadsheet.

Power users can save time through making the data discovery process automatic – they need to simply ask the right questions. Meanwhile tables and charts can be added for informed and faster decisions.

To use this feature, open up Excel’s Ideas pane and pose a question in the query box located at the upper part of the pane. Then you can make use of the pivot tables, formulas and charts supplied in your sheet by Excel.

More information on the Excel update is here:  https://www.windowscentral.com/excel-supports-natural-language-queries-office-insiders)

You may also want to convert a PDF to Excel, look online for help from https://pdftables.com/convert-pdf-to-excel.

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Recent Excel developments

The natural language initiative is one among many recent Excel launches which have brought several novel machine learning smarts into the spreadsheet. The ability of Excel to better understand the entries you make is among these, as is its ability to supply you with additional geographical information, stocks and more.

Other new features include dynamic arrays and the XLOOKUP function, which use a single formula for displaying results across multiple cells.

Also new is Sheet View, intended for use when co-authoring spreadsheets. Users can choose levels of sorting criteria for all those working on the same document. In addition, an Office Scripts feature lets users record and save a sequence of actions for future automation, with no need for code.

Natural language queries is currently available for Windows, Mac and the web, but just in English. In the future, Microsoft intends to launch other language versions.


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