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Editing in Excel Web App – Part II

Thanks to Dan Parish for putting together this series on editing in Excel Web App. 

Today I’m going to continue on with our baseball stats tracking workbook example and talk more about the editing capabilities in Excel Web App. If you haven’t read Editing in Excel Web App – Part I though, I suggest you check it out first.

Working with your data

So now you’ve got a great looking workbook with lots of data and formulas. You send it out to your team and are sure that everyone will love it, and they do…sort of. Your team is picky. They want to “analyze†the data. The want to easily find out who has the lowest batting average so they can mock them. They want to be able to find out who has the most home runs so they can make sure he or she never misses a game. Well, lucky for you, you can give them what they need.

If you click inside any range of data (or select the entire range you are interested in) and click “Sort & Filter as Tableâ€, Excel Web App will convert the range into an Excel table. This allows you (and all your picky teammates) to easily sort and filter the data to their heart’s content. You can even toggle the header and total rows on and off as well.

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But what if someone new joins your team? The easiest thing to do is just type below the table and it will automatically expand to encompass your new player, filling down the formulas too. If you want to enter a new column, your table will also automatically expand horizontally as well.

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You can of course also insert and delete rows, columns and cells from anywhere in your workbook, find data, and calculate manual workbooks as well.

Working with features you can’t create in Excel Web App

So what happens if you are editing a workbook and discover you want to do something that you can’t do on the web? Well if you have Excel 2003, 2007, or 2010 installed, you can simply click the “Open in Excel†button which will close your editing session on the server and open it – in its exact same state – in the Excel client where you can then proceed to apply your conditional formatting or create your chart, and when you click Save, your changes will be saved into the same workbook you were just editing on the server.

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So what about when you are editing your existing workbooks that contain charts, conditional formatting, or other things that render and work fine in Excel Web App but that you can’t create on the web? Well, as long as Excel Web App can load it, everything will continue to function as it should even if it can’t be created on the web. So, when you edit cells that contain or have dependent conditional formatting, their formats will update. When you edit the source data for a chart, the chart will update. And when you decide to increase the number of home runs you hit from 9 to 20 again, everything will update as well.

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There are many other similar features that work perfectly while editing in Excel Web App, even though they can’t be created there.

Conclusion

Our goal when creating Excel Web App was to make it fast and easy to use so that you can quickly and easily edit your existing workbooks or create simple workbooks from scratch. With the array of editing features at your disposal, you should be able to do just that. However, we know that there are things you may want or need that aren’t currently available and so please ask any questions you may have or let us know any suggestions for the future in the comments section.