Microsoft finally introduces its cloud-connected data types for Excel

Last September at its Ignite 2017 conference, Microsoft announced that it would be bringing new cloud-connected data types to Excel. Over six months later, the company finally confirmed today that the feature will be rolling out to Office Insiders this month.

The new data types are powered by the cloud, and to start with, they'll include stocks and geography, which are the same two that were demoed at Ignite. For example, if you make a list of companies, the app will recognize that, and offer ticker symbols, stock prices, and more. If you make a list of towns, the app can show you information about them, such as their populations.

This information doesn't actually have to be used in the spreadsheet in order to be used in functions. For example, if the A1 cell is Seattle, you can use A1.Population to get Seattle's population.

Of course, that's really the tip of the iceberg. With geography, you can use towns, but you can also use zip codes, states, countries, and more. With stocks, the data will update every time you refresh the spreadsheet.

Microsoft also announced some new features for Excel Online. You can now include Pivot Tables, and delete rows and columns to format data. You'll also be able to use images that are from local storage instead of just from OneDrive.

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