# What is your favorite feature of Excel? [poll]

Posted on April 5th, 2013 in Learn Excel - 131 comments

Its Friday, time for another poll.

This weeks topic is inspired from a discussion Jordan started in our forums (#).

### What is your favorite feature of Excel?

I will go first.

My favorite features are,

- Conditional formatting: Quickly highlight something that is not alright (or meets conditions), see trends with data bars or heat maps.
- Pivot tables: Turn data in to understandable information with just a few clicks. When combined with slicers & conditional formats, becomes very powerful.
- Formulas: Ofcourse, with out formulas, Excel would be a glorified notepad!

**What about you? What are your favorite features in Excel? **Go ahead and tell us by posting a comment.

PS: If you are reading this in our newsletter or RSS Reader, **click here to share your favorite features**.

### Leave a Reply

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## 131 Responses to “What is your favorite feature of Excel? [poll]”

Formulas - What would we do without it?

AND the almost never ending treasure hunt digging out hidden (unknown to me) features 🙂

Excel is Fun!

Subhash

Named ranges - since they are maintained by Excel you can add rows/columns/cells and the reference takes care of itself

Tables - Again, like named ranges, except without having to use clumsy "dynamic" named ranges (which can break if you add data to the wrong row/column that you're using to "count" rows/columns in your offset function)

VBA - automate things, create dynamic sheets, etc. VBA is what separates Excel from the rest of the wannabe spreadsheet programs.

formulaes..the ability to customize dashboards and the evr dependable pivot tables

I have to go with VBA - has saved so much staff time.

Clip Art! jk

I like Paste Special and Format Cell.

Pivots, Formuals and VBA are great, but special formatting and pasting features give this elegance to working with Excel

For teaching formulas, there is nothing that compares to Trace Precedents and Dependents (and combined with F4 for changing cell references it's a really good selfstudy tool).

And for my own use, the automatic translation of formulas (most often english to swedish).

Pivot tables, power pivot, vba.

I spent a lot of time learning a lot of formulas back in the day. But as I've grown up a bit, it seems like everything I need to do I can do with just a couple of formulas and a pivot table.

1. VBA

2. Charts

3. Pivot tables

4. Tables

NOTE: The combination of Charts and VBA is #1 on the most frustrating parts of Excel.

Formulas

Conditional Formatting

Charts

Pivot tables

VBA - because it allows me to automate dashboards like this:

...and vlookup and hlookup

...and text to columns

...and simple functions like countifs and sumifs.

... and of course sparklines and conditional formatting for quickie eyeballing analyses.

Ann! Here you are again!

How often do you use HLOOKUP?

I've used it just once and it was a lifesaver. I was dealing with 600 columns that were all our of order and HLOOKUP was key to getting them lined up.

Hahaha hello Oz! This blog is a great resource for all Excel users so I'm not surprised to see you here. Sometimes I used vlookup and other times hlookup, it just depends how the dataset I receive has been formatted. But I probably use vlookup 95% of the time and only need hlookup 5% of the time.

I love

Snap To Gridfor lining up charts and shapes.Angry Birds

VBA

Tables w/Structured Refs

Charts

Sparklines

Formulas

BI Front-end (CUBES)

Add-ins (PowerPivot Data Explorer)

.NET & Excel

I don't know .NET, but I would love to learn it and think up an application to use it with Excel. What are you doing with .NET and Excel? Are there books you recommend?

VBA combined with "record macro"

Sumifs & Countifs

Named ranges

Conditional formatting

I like Merge & Center. I'll defend it.

Kind of a rebel, kind of a loner, eh? Ok, give it your best shot.

Shoot! I didn't think anyone would take me up on it.

Honestly, I don't really have have a defense except to say that I don't mind its limitations too much. I know there are many people who say I should use "center across selection," but I don't really see the advantage. Where Merge (not so much the center part) does well is when I need to create a larger input box on a spreadsheet without pushing other elements out of the way.

Pivot from ODBC connections...make scorecards so easier.

Formula Pivot and VBA.

Pivot Tables! And the ability to sort and filter. Okay...I know that's more than one favorite but it was kind of a tie 🙂

1. VBA

2. Formula

3. Pivot tables

Formulas and data import queries

Pivot Table

Charts

Formulas

Pivot tables and formulas have to be together. I export data, but I always use formulas to create additional data. I use Pivot tables to transform the data into INFORMATION and CHARTS. I look like a hero every time!!

Formulas - VLOOKUP has saved me so much time i can't even tell you, Love excel!!

formulas,Developer,Macros

My favorite feature of Excel MUST be the versitile and flexible toolbars, which you can easily manipulate both from the user interface and via VBA - and even quickly built your own suitable for your own need with just a few mouse-clicks - and EVEN distribute and share with others on the fly!

And, you're not forced to have them located any specific place on the screen, say, like on the top, but you can just drag and place them anywhere you want - and they are so small that they don't clutter up your screen!

And, all the features of the toolbars are easily accessiable and programable within VBA for user-friendly interface or easy access to any custom made Excel you might have made!

Man, the toolbars rocks!

AWESOME!

VBA:

- OpenText method

- Advanced Filters

- EnvelopeVisible = true

- and of course CurrentRegion and xlUp)

Tables

VLOOKUP

Pivot tables

Gotta love Tables!

Data Tables, you know, the {=TABLE(,A1)} variety to distinguish them from the newer Tables.

These things are absolutely crucial to the analysis that I do day in and day out.

It's the package ... the whole package.

Formulae and conditioanl formatting yeah ... but without sorting and

filtering ... not nearly as powerful.

But I so wish I would take the time to learn how to pivot on a dime.

+Peace!

The User Defined Function (UDF) is my most favourite feature of Excel

PowerPivot, conditional formatting, Data Connections, tables, filtering. I use regular formulas as little as possible. Any report should be done in pivot tables.

Pivottable

vlookup

&

Definitely Pivot Tables. The group function is especially useful when grouping information by dates. Summarising by % is pretty useful too. In fact when I think

Then closely followed by formulas, in particular - vlookup.

Validation. If the data can't be protected and the inputs controlled, we're creating ticking time-bombsVLOOKUP- in spite of the anti-VLOOKUP proselytizers. For comparing lists, VLOOKUP works. Period.VBA. Makes validation so much sweeter. Program a button to unprotected a sheet, do it's work and then protect everything again ... that's heavenly.Slicers. Awwww YEAH, baby! The sexiest in sifting through data for ad hoc needs.the data filtering aspect, coupled with using charts and subtotal functions for "ad-hoc" analysis and visualization of "data scenarios"

I love the new PowerPivot addin. Being able to handle such large amounts of data and VBA. Being able to connect COM addins and VBA to futher the capabilities of Excel makes it almost limits of what can be done.

1. Formulas (eg. SUMPRODUCT, INDEX+MATCH and array formulas)

2. Tables

3. Connections to Database Servers

4. VBA

5. Conditional formatting

Using Excell 2003:

Conditional Sum Add-on;

Button / Toolbar Editor

Pivot tables and VBA to automate those boring repetitive tasks!

Pivot tables

Formulae

Dashboards

Condional formatting, hide columns, vba etc

1) Pivot Tables

2) Macro's (my VBA is so basic is't an insult to label it as such)

3) tie between Paste Special and VLookup.

I LOVE Excel!

I like VBA

Pivot Charts and Tables

Conditional Formatting

and my very favorite is

IMDIV1) Macros

2) IF, And, OR (use of this with formula its makes magic)

I love Exploring Excel

1. Formulae

2. VBA

3. Data Import Features

cheers,

Ravi.

I use VBA a lot and really like that you can record macros in Excel and then just modify the code. This saves you the time of writing the code and looking up uncommon properties and methods.

VBA

Pivots

VLookup

all the other formulas

Bottom of my list: CHARTS. I get SO frustrated with them!

Vlookup

Pivot Tables

Recording Macros

It is really hard to pick favorites as it always depends on what one is trying to develop.

However, if I must

VBA..even though I am not exceptionally good at it.

Formulas, especially the array formulas

Lookup capabilities

Ability to change what shows on a spreadsheet by making selections from a given set of choices(drop down box). Always seems to impress other folks.

Data Validation dropdowns with formulas. You can create great forms with this. Combine it with Vlookup and VBA and the form can do everything but sit the baby (haven't tried that yet)

Lookups

VBA

Named Ranges , Paste linked Pictures, Conditional formatting, VBA

1) Formulas

2) Pivot Tables

3) Macros

Of course whenever you say most lovable excel option, i would say the "F1" (Help)...

and Templates which are assisting me and groomed me a lot rather than a tutor does....

Besides, If formula, Text formula, Lookup formulae, and more.

Last but not least VBA - Macro.....

Pivot tables are awsome for analysis

Pivot Charts

Chandoo's newletter - there is always something cool to learn.

[...] Chandoo is polling his readers to find their favorite Excel feature. There’s almost 50 comments as of this writing and a lot of good features mentioned. A couple of people, including Chandoo, named formulas as a top feature. You can’t say formulas are the best feature of Excel. That’s like saying wetness is the best feature of the Ocean. Or cheesiness is the best feature of the Moon. Formulas are Excel. They are Excel’s essence. Aren’t they? [...]

My favourite features:-

1) VBA

2) Ranged Names

3) Sumproducts, Index and match formulas

4) Pivot Tables

5) Data Tables

Autofilter

For slicing and dicing data

Vlookup

Match

Offset

Forms Controls

Create interactive tools without using VBA

Power Pivot & Slicers.

My favorites are,

Pivot tables

Formulas

Macros

Conditional formatting

My favorites are:

1. VBA

2. Formulas

3. Conditional Formating

power pivot in excel2013 is the awesum function .....

Thank you so very much for viewing my post.

Conditional formatting

Pivot tables

Formulas

thanks

asim

1. Sumproduct

2. Conditional Formating

3. Iferror

for me it has to be ANALYSIS TOOLPAK !

Pivot Tables, Formulas, Macros

$ sign - Absolute reference, deserves to be mentioned

Hi

Formulas & Pivot tables

So much to choose from (too much!!!)

VBA - really satisfying when it works

Data validation - easy to create lists and impress others

Formulas

Pivot Tables

Charts

many more as guided by chandoo.org

vlookup

It has to be Pivot Tables. I love seeing users faces once you teach them Pivots and how easily they can see their data in more than one dimension.

Also to go along with Pivots- slicers just awesome.....

Regards

This is my list.

1. Pivot tables (managing & analysing mass amount of data)

2. Functions & Formulas (no functions no excel)

3. VBA (the ultimate time saver)

Conditional Formating

What if Analysis & VBA

Great comments all! I would be lost without VLOOKUP. Also, our ERP system spits out erroneous spaces before and after so simple formulas like TRIM and CLEAN prove to be life savers.

Many fields are limited to 30 characters, so LEN is a simple time saver.

1. Tables connected to SQL Server Views

2. Tables connected to Access queries

3. All other Tables

4. Index/Match formulas

5. Pivot tables

6. Conditional Formatting

7. Data Validation

...

VBA - somewhere in here for functionality, but #1 for fun.

...

23. Word Wrap

24. Quick Access toolbar (never thought I'd say that)

...

27. Code Indenter

28. MZ-Tools

...

43. MenuRighter

...

58. Select Visible Cells

59. Camera Tool

...

97. Custom Number formats combining labels and variables

...

78,326. Merge and Center

The 2 tools I use most (after formulas, of course):

vlookup

pivot tables

I like to use the functions and features given below:

?Conditional Formatting, ?PivotTable and PowerPivot, ?Data Connection, ?Data Validation, ?Lookup and References, ?SUMIFS(), ?3-D References, ?Paste Special, ?IFERROR(), ?Data Validation, ?What-if-Analysis, ?Using Objects and Controls with VBA and Macros

---------------------------------------------

Thanks & Regards,

Md. Nazmul Muneer

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Oh, great!!!!!!!!!!!!

Data Tables

http://chandoo.org/wp/2010/05/06/data-tables-monte-carlo-simulations-in-excel-a-comprehensive-guide/

I like it very much Conditional formatting, Pivot tables & Formulas

thanks

asim

Advanced Chart

VBA

IF Function

Pivot Tables

I must say I love VBA and in VBA my best feature is "A LOOP". Also use a lot of SUMPRODUCT and VLOOKUP. Drop boxes with set criteria is also very helpfull.

My favorite features in Excel are Macro VBA, excel built-in functions. It is really interesting to create formulas with the built-in functions.

I like the ability to attach a string of data to any calulation or cell.

e.g. you can attach an "ea" to a cell and insert a quanity in the cell and still include it in a formula 5 ea appears in the displayed cell.

1. Formulas

2. Chart - this is a wonderful tool which helps engineers like me saving a lot of time working with scattered data.

my favorite feature are Formula, especially SUMIF..

other are Camera.. great to make report or dashboard..

pivot are great too, but i prefer SUMIF..

Conditional Formatting

PivotTable and PowerPivot

IFERROR()

Data Validation

Data Connection

SUMIFS()

3-Dimensional References

Objects and Controls with Macros

Greatest Excel functions:

- Tables + connectivity to other data sources

- Pivot tables

- Pivot charts

Of course, my favorite Excel features are Pivottables, Formulas and Charts. Those features improve my efficiency greatly!!

1) Pivot tables, which pay my wages

2) All those little shortcuts that I discover 6 months after they would have been most useful, e.g. Ctrl-Shft-F3 to automatically create names

3) The magical way you can stack formulas up and Excel just deals with it

i will go with Pivot....love to play long database

1) Logical functions like IF.

2) VLOOKUP & HLOOKUP used alone or with other function such as IF & VLOOKUP.

3) DATA VALIDATION - it is very good to control data entry.

4) SORT & FILTER.

5) SUBTOTALS

Pivot Tables ...

Oh! I forgot about data tables. I always arrange everything into tables, even if it isn't really necessary... I just love the default banded rows look 🙂

I would put data tables in at #1, pushing the other things down one rank

I love to work with excel sover. However I do not understand it I need simple tutorials

1. Pivot tables

2. Charts

3. Formulae

4. Vlookup

The best thing for me in Excel, is the button to make it start.

Then the button to start up VBA to use Excel with other programmes like Powerpoint and Lotus Notes to create great graphics and e-mail them all at the puch of a button in Excel.

Using Excel to drive VisioPro is also another winner for me, to introduce live-update smart graphics and easy to edit gauge dial mapping.

And Chandoo.org... 🙂

1. Tables

2. SUMIFS()

3. Everything else (it's too hard to choose)

Filters

Charts

Formulas

Merge

1 -Sumproducts ( i validate with pivot table, subtotal/filters or sumifs())

2- Vlookup;

3- Macros ( copy formula for many range than copy the data...so it's lighter);

4- names

For a non-programmer: VBA

You can automate, design mini app to look pro, control other applications. This is extraordinary.

Because VBA I am not converted to OpenOffice, nor to the MAC.

FRANCE (UE)

Pivot Tables

Slicers

Named Ranges

Great charting in Excel 2013.

The list goes on...

I am always impressed with Target Value

Array formulas!Pivot tables!Not exactly Excel, but

Customized Ribbonsthat started with Office 2010. If you aren't using this in all your Office apps, you're wasting time. Just create one ribbon with all your main commands and set it first so it is the default. Then you never (rarely) have to look for stuff again.Iferror & Vlookup

They've turned me to a magician!

My favorite feature are Pivot Tables and the SUMIF function, especially when using it for year-to-date estimates. The more I go into the advanced features, the more I like, considering my company is still using Excel 2003. so it does help to bring a good amount of creativity into the open.

1- Sort & Filter

2- Conditional formatting

3- and dealing with the add-in named ASAP - a forgotten great utility, that complements several Excel features.

Really odd, no one mentioned it!

Hi

I Try To insert a search bar in excel sheet.........so please help me.

VLOOKUP, PIVIOT TABLE & COLOR SORTING

My favorite feature is the lowly ampersand.

I have created complex HTML tables, automatically generated VB code and numerous other time-saving tasks, simply by being able to concatenate columns.

Of course, all of the neat things that CAN be concatenated make the ampersand worthwhile.

Cheers,

Mitch

Formulae

Pivot

Charts

Autofilter

love formulas

add-ins

power pivot

VBAs

would like to draw a photo in excel cell .

is it possible??

I love data forms! If there was only one feature that has made my life worth living this is it.

followed closely by ctrl +enter for multiple selections

and freeze panes

🙂

Text to columns...I love the ease of use...I get lots of reports in text files and with goofy delimiters Excel makes it easy to get the date in readable formats...

Then Macro's I love my macros to open and format all those silly text files and set up their basic formulas and calculations.

I like paste special function. it makes life so much more easier.

Also the f4 repeat command is very useful.

[...] week, we had a lovely poll on what are your favorite features of Excel? More than 120 people responded to it with various answers. So I did what any data analyst worth his [...]

If & And + VBA + Named Range

I like & use in Working place,

formulas, Pivot Table, chart & Protection methods,

I like Chandoo in Excel.

Because, Chandoo has everything in excel. jk.

1. VBA

2. Charts

3. Pivot tables

4. Tables

5. Formuls

6. Lookups -All

NOTE: The combination of Charts and VBA is #1 on the most frustrating parts of Excel. DASHBOARDS & You Guruji.

Indirect + Named Range

It lets me load data sets and KPI's based on a user input.