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You will soon be able to use Copilot for more chats and interactions with Excel

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If you use Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet a lot, you might know that the company has only dipped its toes into integrating the app with its Copilot generative AI assistant so far. That is looking to change in the very near future, according to a new listing this week on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap site.

The new post shows that the desktop, web, Mac, and iOS versions of Excel will soon add what the listing calls a Copilot "chat helper" sometime in June. The listing states that when the chat helper is launched, Excel users will be able to get more conversational answers to questions that are sent via Copilot prompts for a "broader range" of subjects.

The post offers up a couple of ways this "chat helper" could be used in Excel:

For example, the customer can ask how to accomplish a task and Copilot will respond with helpful steps that may include formulas to copy and use. In some cases, Copilot may explain a formula error and supply the corrected formula plus additional guidance to ensure the formula works properly.

In theory, this could help speed up certain tasks when using more complex formulas and tasks in Excel. Interestingly, the roadmap listing does not mention the Android version of Excel getting the Copilot "chat helper" in June. Presumably, it will add this feature later.

In November 2023, back when Microsoft was still using Bing Chat as the name for its AI chatbot, Microsoft quietly added a feature that let users ask the chatbot to create tables, which could then be imported into an Excel spreadsheet.

Earlier this month, Microsoft 365 Insiders were informed they could try out new features in Excel for Windows and Mac that added three regular expression (Regex) functions. Microsoft says they are usually used for "string searching and text parsing".

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