Joe Wainer
Joe WainerUpdated 3 months ago

A popular spreadsheet tool for Windows

Microsoft Excel is one of the most popular spreadsheet software available in the market. It is often used for data entries, financial management, record keeping, and budgeting. However, to start using Excel on your Windows desktop, you will have to invest in a Microsoft Office 365 license, which will enable you to get regular updates whenever they are available. 

One of the best things about Microsoft Excel is that it will help you organize available data, create graphs and tables, and learn patterns. When using Excel, you can create original templates or use different formulas for calculations. The software also allows you to collaborate with colleagues in real-time. A few alternatives that offer similar features are Google Sheets, LibreOffice, and Gnumeric

What is Microsoft Excel used for?

For over three decades, Microsoft Excel has been the go-to spreadsheet tool for several users around the world. It comes packed with various functions and features that allow users to create graphs, pivot tables and charts, predict patterns, and make complex calculations. With its help, you can keep track of your expenses, structure content, present data findings, and do much more. 

Since 2016, Microsoft has stopped providing individual updates for the Microsoft Excel download. Instead, the company now updates the tool in conjunction with Windows updates. You can get access to Microsoft Excel with a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 for Windows. Beginners new to Excel will find that the software comes with an interactive tour to help them get started. 

What are the features of Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel, like any other spreadsheet software, comes with grids that differentiate one cell from another. You can use the cells in Excel to add text, numbers, or graphs. One of the reasons why Microsoft Excel is so popular is that it can handle large amounts of data. While Google Sheets, an Excel competitor, provides users access to over five million cells, Excel provides users with access to over seventeen billion cells

In addition to this, the software also comes with over 450 functions that let users study, manipulate, and display data. You can even write your own code to expand the abilities of Excel. Furthermore, Microsoft Excel comes with a variety of visualization tools like charts, pictures, icons, maps, and pivot tables, to create compelling arguments about your data and calculations.

Microsoft Excel's latest version comes with a co-authoring feature that allows users to collaborate and chat with other users. However, this feature isn’t as popular as it has a few drawbacks. For starters, the application requires all users to have an Office 365 subscription to allow collaboration. Moreover, anyone who does have Microsoft Excel will require the latest update to start collaborating. 

What are the 5 functions that you should know?

Microsoft Excel is designed to help you make calculations almost instantly. It uses cells and tables to create batches, pivots, charts, and more. Once you become familiar with using Excel, you will be able to use different equations and formulas to process large data. A few prominent functions that most users proficient in the spreadsheet software know are VLookup, Concatenate, Pivot Tables, Remove Duplicates, and Text to Columns. 

What are the pros and cons of Microsoft Excel?

The spreadsheet software by Microsoft has several advantages. The application allows you to collect, organize, and manipulate large amounts of data. Thanks to this feature, you can use Microsoft Excel download to visualize data, create graphs for presentations, solve complex equations, and do much more. 

However, the disadvantage of all this is the fact that Excel comes with a steep learning curve. The more functions that you want to use, the better your understanding has to be of Excel. Nevertheless, beginners can still utilize the tool by entering data in tables manually and learning simple formulas to get started. 

Is Microsoft Excel free on PC?

Unfortunately, Microsoft Excel isn’t available for free. To get complete access to the spreadsheet tool, you will have to buy a subscription to Microsoft 365. This suite includes prominent programs like PowerPoint, OneDrive, Microsoft Word, and OneNote, among others. You can also make a one-off purchase of Office Home and Business. However, if you do that, you will not get any future updates to the software. 

Should I download Microsoft Excel?

If you’re looking for a spreadsheet tool to organize your data, check out Microsoft Excel. As part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite, MS Excel comes packed with features and formulas that can help you enter, change, manipulate, and analyze data. The benefit of using this tool is that it has been around for three decades, offers regular updates, and has unmatched processing power. 

Excel for insightful spreadsheets – anytime, virtually anywhere, and with anyone

A modern take on Excel with new built-in tools help you get more out of your data.

  • Enhanced by intelligence, Excel learns your patterns, organizing your data to save you time.
  • Create spreadsheets with ease from templates or on your own, and perform calculations with modern formulas.
  • New charts and graphs help you present your data in compelling ways, with formatting, sparklines, and tables to better understand your data.

Get premium versions of Excel and other Office apps like Word and PowerPoint by subscribing to Office 365. With Office 365 you'll get great Excel features like real-time collaboration. Plus, you'll receive exclusive, new features every month ensuring you're always up-to-date.


  • Comes packed with formulas
  • Features online collaboration
  • Lets users record and analyze data


  • Requires a subscription
  • Has a learning curve

Also available in other platforms

Program available in other languages

User reviews about Microsoft Excel

  • storyseen

    by storyseen

    I purchased MS office last year. tghere is no way I can find out what version I have. In addition, I've learned that it is impossible to auto save or  More

  • Dipak Dhavale

    by Dipak Dhavale

    working accounting business statement and other education editing system

  • Kingsley Arnold

    by Kingsley Arnold

    i have windows 10 i need excel from windows 7
    it is so much easier to use my in come is thru the A.S.X

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    excellent data analyst.
    it is a best tool to analysis the data and easy to store them in a very well mannered way.
    Pros: easy
    Cons:  More

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    so nice version.
    microsoft excel 2013 is a user friendly version and it is very useful
    Pros: sum in the excel
    formula bar
    Cons: More

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    Arbitrary UI changes decrease UX.
    This version sucks. Typical Microsoft arbitrary changes that decrease ease of use for no apparent reason. Ap More


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