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Auto-detecting Data Types

24 September 2020

Here’s a new one. As regular readers will know, Data Types such as Stocks and Geography have been available for a while, but many users simply aren’t aware of their existence. That’s about to change. Excel is going to get more bolshy and let users know when they have data in their workbook that could be enhanced by Data Types which will help users pull in external data to enhance the data they’re analysing.

To see it in action, imagine you typed in several geographic locations or stock ticker symbols and put them in a columnar format (i.e. listed them in a column). For example, “New York”, “London”, “Grimsby” or “MSFT”, “ADBE”, “GOOG”.

A ScreenTip will appear (either Convert to Geography or Convert to Stocks, depending upon what you typed). All you have to do is click on that ScreenTip as it appears to the right of the selected cell.

It should be noted that for the moment, auto detecting in Excel is only available when an English input language is installed, and even then you have to have the right version of Excel. Currently, this feature is available to Current Channel (Preview) users who are running Version 1911 Build 11326.10000 or later.