Microsoft Announces New Features for Excel Web App

Microsoft Excel Web AppMicrosoft have announced updates for their Office Web Apps based on feedback from users. Microsoft Excel Web App is one of the web based Office Apps available free to Hotmail users allowing you to create, access, edit and share documents anywhere with an internet connection and a browser. For full details on how to use Excel Web Apps and why they are useful read our previous post Excel Web App in Office 365. Office Web Apps are the free alternatives to Office 365 which has a monthly fee.

Microsoft Office Web Apps have faced criticism for lacking the features of Google Docs. This update addresses some of the issues associated with Excel Web App that regular Excel users have been asking for. Microsoft have had a year to listen to feedback since the launch of Office Web Apps and so this update should reflect what users have missed.

Excel Web App – New Features

Merge and Autofit Cells in Excel Web App

There have been two useful additions to cell formatting in the update – Merge and Autofit. To Merge Cells simply highlight the cells you want to merge and click the button:

Merging Step 1You can then format the text into the position you require:

Merging Step 2Autofill automatically fits texts into multiple cells. As you can see above ‘I need merging’ is in both A1 and B1 although it was written in A1.To undo this you just have to click ‘Wrap Text’ and the text will remain in one cell.


Autofill Step 1After:

Autofill Step 2

Print Directly from Microsoft Excel Web App

It is unsurprising that so many users requested a print option for Excel Web App. This brings up a pop-up preview window and is great for printing spread sheets away from your main PC.

Print From Excel Web AppRight Click

Microsoft have added a few Right-Click short cuts to Excel Web App. Again not as many as full Excel but at least you can now Cut, Copy, Paste and use Hyperlinks with a mouse click.

Right Click in Excel Web App

Increased Speed and Reliability

Microsoft claim to have made a number of behind-the-scenes changes to improve speed and reliability of Office Web Apps. Microsoft have not released any more details about this so we’ll have to take them at word value but if they have solved the large number of bugs found by users then they have started on their way to competing with Google Docs as the best free cloud document application.

Microsoft Excel Web App only offers very limited functionality. If you want to learn how to use the more powerful functions of Microsoft Excel then come on ourĀ Advanced Excel Training Course or for some helpful hints and tips we have a range of free Excel resources.


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Andy Trainer

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