Microsoft Excel 2016 Version Overview

If you’re considering upgrading to another version of Microsoft Excel before attending a training course or arranging custom training, check out this list of some of the new features in Excel 2016.

Important Note for 2016 Applications: Microsoft Office, Visio and Project 2016 cannot coexist on the same computer as standalone Office 2013 applications. This includes Office 2013, Office 365, Visio 2013 and Project 2013. If you have one of the following programs running you won’t be able to install your 2016 application until it is upgraded: Project 2013, Visio 2013, Word 2013, Excel 2013, Powerpoint 2013, Outlook 2013, Publisher 2013 and Access 2013.

If you are using Excel 2013 or considering upgrading to 2013, check out key new features in our Microsoft Excel 2013 version overview.

If you are using Excel 2010, check out key new features in our Microsoft Excel 2010 version overview.

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Microsoft Excel 2016 New Features

Applies to: Microsoft Excel 2016 for Windows

The following are some of the key new features available in Microsoft Excel 2016. Some features are available only to Office 365 subscribers.

Six New Chart Types for Data Visualization

In 2016, six new chart types have been added:

  • Treemap
  • Sunburst
  • Waterfall
  • Histogram
  • Pareto
  • Box and Whisker

3D Maps for Geospatial Visualization

In Excel 2016, 3D Maps can be inserted and are useful as a geospatial visualization tool. This tool is built into Excel and is available to all 2016 users. 3D Maps was previously known as Power Map. 3D Maps can be inserted using the Insert tab on the Ribbon.

Powerful Querying with Get & Transform

Transform and query data in a powerful way using Get & Transform on the Data tab on the Ribbon. Enhanced querying capabilities are now available natively in Excel which were previously available as a separate add-in called Power Query.

Improved Pivot Tables, Pivot Charts and PowerPivot Tables

Excel 2016 includes several enhancements:

  • Automatic relationship detection
  • Creating, editing and deleting custom measures
  • Automatic time grouping  (such as by year and month)
  • PivotChart drill-down buttons
  • Search in the PivotTable
  • Smart renaming
  • Delayed updating
  • Multi-select slicers on touch devices

Forecasting Tools

In Excel 2016, the FORECAST function has been extended to allow forecasting based on exponential smoothing (such as, FORECAST.ETS() …). You can also forecast by clicking on a Forecast Sheet button on the Data tab on the Ribbon to quickly create a forecast visualization of your data series.

New Templates

New financial and calendar templates have been added in 2016:

  • My Cash Flow Template
  • Stock Analysis Template
  • Calendar Insights Template (with drilldown)

New Excel Window Themes

There are now three Office themes that you can apply to control the appearance of your Excel window –  Colorful, Dark Gray and White. To access these themes, click on the File tab on the Ribbon and then click on Options. Click on the General category on the left and then click on the drop down menu next to Office Theme.

Get to Features or Help with Tell Me

In Excel 2016, a box appears on the Ribbon with Tell me what you want to do. You can enter words and phrases in the box and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform. You can also choose to get help or perform a Smart Lookup on a term you entered.

Get Insights

When you select a word or phrase, right-click on it and then choose Smart Lookup, the Insights Pane (powered by Bing) appears with definitions, Wiki articles, and top related searches from the web. Smart Lookup also appears on the Review tab on the Ribbon.


Microsoft Excel 2016 and 2013 Maximum Limits and Specifications

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