This new Microsoft Excel feature is so obvious we can’t believe it didn’t already exist

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Microsoft is getting ready an replace for spreadsheet software program Excel that rectifies an obvious shortcoming courting again a lot of years.

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According to a new entry within the firm’s product roadmap, Excel will quickly permit customers to drop hyperlinks into feedback added to spreadsheets. Currently, {links} can solely be added to feedback in plaintext, so should be pasted manually into an online browser.

The feature is at present beneath growth, however ought to roll out to all Microsoft 365 customers by the top of subsequent month.
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Given the simplicity and obvious utility of the new Excel feature, we discovered it troublesome to believe it didn’t already exist. But lo and behold, a quick investigation revealed the present model is not going to permit the person to click on via a {link} embedded in a remark thread, which provides pointless friction to the expertise.

A fast search online reveals this is an issue Excel customers have confronted for years. Until now, folks have needed to depend on a rough-and-ready workaround to sidestep the difficulty.


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(Image credit score: Future)

As numerous online tutorials display, it is potential so as to add a hyperlink to a word (which is distinct from a remark) and pin that word to the sheet so it doesn’t disappear when the person mouses away from the related cell. Microsoft Excel will then launch that URL within the default browser when somebody clicks via by way of the word.

However, this technique is neither significantly easy (it calls for all present formatting and any extra characters are faraway from the word) nor significantly fairly, so the flexibility to easily drop a hyperlink right into a remark thread can be welcome.

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The replace may be thought-about a part of the broader marketing campaign to optimize Microsoft 365 apps for reside collaboration, in a world by which many individuals anticipate to both stay distant or undertake a hybrid working mannequin.

In December, for instance, Microsoft rolled out a series of enhancements for the Excel web shopper, which might now help a wider vary of recordsdata. Microsoft Outlook, in the meantime, acquired a feature that lets customers specify whether or not they may attend a gathering in-person or via video conferencing software program.

The firm has even launched a completely new collaboration app, known as Loop, which permits customers to create moveable elements that transfer freely and keep in-sync throughout all Microsoft apps.

The new hyperlink facility for Excel is yet one more piece of this similar puzzle.

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