Microsoft has introduced the AutoComplete feature for dropdown lists in Excel on Android, iOS, and Mac platforms. This feature, previously exclusive to Windows, aims to expedite data entry and validation processes for users.
A Welcome Addition for Efficient Data Entry
Prash Shirolkar, a Product Manager on the Excel team, shared the development on the Microsoft 365 Insider Blog, expressing the team's excitement in bringing this well-received feature to a broader user base. “We've heard from many of you that you'd like the ability to use AutoComplete for dropdown lists to make data entry and validation faster and easier across platforms,” Shirolkar mentioned. The feature's algorithm is designed to match text from any part of the list item, enhancing the user's ability to fill forms and other content more efficiently.
How Does It Work?
Users looking to leverage this feature can simply open a worksheet in Excel, create a dropdown list, and start entering text in a cell that corresponds with one of the list items. The list updates in real-time, showing matching entries, and users can either select an entry or press Enter to fill the cell. This addition is expected to reduce the time spent scrolling through lists and addressing data validation errors.
Availability and User Feedback
The AutoComplete feature is currently rolling out to Microsoft 365 Insiders with specific build versions for Android, iOS, and Mac. While there is no official statement on when the feature will be available for general users, Microsoft encourages Insiders to provide feedback to further refine the user experience. The company remains committed to enhancing Excel's functionality, with plans to integrate support for Python coding and the generative AI assistant Copilot in the near future.
Recent Microsoft Excel Updates
Last month, Microsoft announced that Excel users can now use Python to manage data. Microsoft says this tool brings more control for data analysts, engineers, marketers, and students in data science to utilize Python for complex statistical analysis, advanced visualizations, predictive analytics, and machine learning within Excel.
Another major recent announcement is the introduction of the Power BI Connected Tables. As Microsoft says, “A new Insert Table option is rolling out for the Power BI Datasets pane in Excel.” This feature allows users to create a connected table directly within Excel, optimizing the process of data addition and making it more user-friendly.
Excel for Windows has also incorporated Stale Value Formatting and Monospaced Font in the formula bar for Insiders Beta users. The Stale Value Formatting feature highlights stale cells by striking them out, ensuring users are aware of cells pending calculation.