The software giant Microsoft is reportedly bringing Excel directly into Teams. With the new update, multiple users can collaborate in real-time on a single spreadsheet through Excel Live while in a Teams meeting.
The new Excel Live version will allow users to make edits or update data during a Teams call, and the changes will be reflected in the spreadsheet in real-time, according to techradar.
“Until now, sharing spreadsheets within a Microsoft Teams meeting has been a fairly one-sided experience. You share your screen, and everyone else watches while you navigate through the workbook and update the content. But what if your group could use that meeting time more efficiently to get the work done together? Building on what we’ve learned and the evolving needs of today’s workplace, we’ve created an enhanced collaboration solution for working on Microsoft Excel workbooks—Excel Live—empowering your group to collaborate in real-time within your Teams meetings,” explained a member from Microsoft’s Tech Community.
Excel Live in Teams
Excel Live is built on top of the Live Share feature of Microsoft, described by the company at its Build 2022 developer conference.
Previously, meeting attendees were required to open Excel documents and share their screens. However, this process creates conflict, thus negatively impacting users’ productivity.
The new update of Excel Live will allow owners to choose the workbook file they want to share with others and edit directly while on a Teams call. Upon sharing the file, they can grant editing permission to specific meeting attendees or allow all participants to edit the workbook from the Teams meeting interface.
Microsoft expects the new update of Excel Live will make collaboration on Teams meetings seamless, delivering a frictionless co-working experience.
In addition, by enabling users to co-edit Excel spreadsheets right from within the meeting window, this new Teams feature will eliminate the need to switch between multiple windows, thus saving time in consolidating content after the call.
The new update has a scheduled rollout date of April 2023 and will be available on PC, iOS, and Android devices.
Microsoft Striving to Fortify Customer Experience
Microsoft has been working on updating Excel and Teams as part of its effort to fortify customer experience.
For example, it has recently added a new “@mentions” expansion which is expected to enable users to tag their co-workers, both within their company and outside.
On top of that, by releasing the spreadsheet software update last year, Microsoft has rectified an obvious drawback dating back several years: Excel users can now drop hyperlinks into comments added to spreadsheets.
To make presentations more accessible, Microsoft has recently introduced the Closed Captions feature with PowerPoint Live for Teams meetings.
Moreover, Microsoft is poised to give Excel a deep AI boost by bringing out an assistive AI system, FLAME AI. An AI developed for Excel-specific tasks, FLAME is expected to make automation in the Excel app more efficient.
Excel charts have now become the go-to choice for many when it comes to making a large volume of datasets easily comprehensible. By recapitulating massive troves of data in visual form, Excel charts help professionals assess key trends, evaluate key values at a glance, and more.
However, despite releasing a number of updates, the built-in Excel charts and graphs are still overwhelming to work with.
For example, formatting functionalities are limited with some types of Excel charts, which make the process of creating professional-looking PowerPoint presentations arduous and time-consuming.
For professionals who are often required to make PowerPoint presentations with great-looking charts, investing in high-quality add-ins such as think-cell is a sensible decision.
With less formatting and fewer clicks, PowerPoint add-ins enable users to create charts directly in PowerPoint, thus significantly saving working hours.
Microsoft expects the new Excel Live feature in Teams will allow users to collaboratively edit Excel spreadsheets while making file sharing in meetings more seamless than ever before.