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January 2018 Semi-Annual Update (Version 1708)

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#1 Mike


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Posted 22 September 2017 - 01:44 PM

Excel 2016 (January 2018 release)

Released: January 2018, Version 1708


About this release


This is the first semi-annual Excel release and includes features originally made available in monthly updates 1706 and 1707.  From this point onward, a new semi-annual version of Excel will be released in January and July each year.  This version is fully supported in the current  edition of our books/e-books.


The next semi-annual release will be on July 10th 2018 and will include all updates previously published to the monthly update channel in versions: 1709, 1710, 1711, 1712, 1801 and 1802.  It has been speculated (and seems logical) that this version will also be identical to a new perpetual licenced version of Office named Office 2019.


  • “Add Column from Examples” enhancements: Supports more Date/Time, Math, and Index Column transformations.
  • Performance improvements: Excel opens complex workbooks with multiple sheets faster, so you can crunch formulas with large ranges, filter lots of rows, or copy and paste quicker.
  • Collaborative editing: Work with others at the same time in your workbook.
  • Insert online pictures: New landing page for selecting images and attribution information is automatically inserted with the image.
  • Azure Data Lake Store connector: Users can now import data from Azure Data Lake Store.
  • "Add column from Examples" enhancements: Supports suggestions, more Date/Time operations, and additional transformations.
  • Data tab: Ribbon buttons on the Data tab have been rearranged into two new groups: Get & Transform Data and Queries & Connections.
  • Share queries: Export any query definition into an Office Database Connection (ODC) file, and then share it across workbooks or with others.
  • Load data: Load data from a query directly into PivotTables or PivotCharts without having to save the data into the Data Model.
  • Shared file activity: Choose the Activity button in the upper right corner of the file to see when a file shared in OneDrive for Business or SharePoint was shared, edited, renamed, or restored.
  • Safe links: When a user clicks on a link, Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) inspects the link to see if it’s malicious. If the link is deemed malicious, the user is redirected to a warning page instead of the original target URL. 
  • Enhanced data import functionality: Easily import and shape data from various sources. Manage workbook queries and connections with the Queries & Connection side pane, and share queries with others via ODC files. 
  • Changes in shared files: View who has made changes in shared workbooks, and restore earlier versions. 
  • Lasso Select with a pen button: Use supported digital pen buttons to Lasso Select ink without visiting the ribbon.
  • Autosave when using OneDrive:  If you save an Excel file to a OneDrive it will automatically save your changes every few seconds as you work.  there is no longer any need to explicitly save your work (when a file resides upon a OneDrive).

Mike Smart is the author of ten world best-selling Excel books. The books are available in printed form for for Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016 for Windows and Excel 2016 for Apple Mac. Mike has also recorded over 850 video lessons (that you can watch online) for Excel 2007, Excel 2010 and Excel 2013.
Mike Smart is also part of the team that answers questions posted on the ExcelCentral.com forums.

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